posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 01:34 PM
the english submarine in the picture is not VLS capable..not surprising as the VLS system adds significant weight and of course huge costs to build
and maintain. The USA and the BRits have cooperated on submariine design and weaponry for years. American Submarines have been ported out of BRit soil
and operated with British fleets in cooperative exercises. Most of what we have in America the Brits have or have access to. Its simply a matter of
what works and of course the ultimate decision is how much it costs. In both countrys ...costs are becoming prohibitive.
The Jimmy Carter pictured is as stated the last of the Sea Wolf submarines. The costs of the Sea Wolf program has been huge..the boats are complex
and also very costly to maintain. They spend alot of their time on the piers broken...and in the trades are known as "Pier Wolf's". I cannot speak
for the Jimmy Carter as to whether they have rectified many of these problems but this applies to the first two..of the Sea Wolf class boats.
Construction and maintnence costs are begining to tell..on many nations operating fleets of any kind and therefore dictate the features on their ships
and boats for which a nation is willing to pay. Budgets are getting very tight.
I have been hearing that the US Navy is studying AIP technology for submarines. I am not sure as to whether they are considering building
conventional submarines again or sticking to the nuclear propulsion. I do know that in the US submarine field thier is a hard core cadre who are
dedicated to nuclear propulsion for obvious reasons but this option is very very expensive as stated previously and costs are becoming a huge factor
in future designs. They would be foolish not to explore every option.
However ..with rising costs all across the technology field..I suspect that many nations , while looking into high tech , are also taking into
consideration the keep it simple stupid...option (KISS)
The Virginia Class submarines, while expensive, are obviously a attempt to keep the best of the Sea Wolf class and the Los Angeles class submarines
in play. This is becoming diffiult against a inflated dollar and construction and operational expenses. This same trend is happening in many nations.
This is obvious to me when looking at the new British design mentioned in the article above...Orangetom