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At an investment of about $400M/ship (not including replacement cores) the Navy would acquire a modified Trident capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk missiles as well as Special Forces. SSGNs could operate in otherwise denied areas to provide unique capabilities that would enable other U.S. forces. These capabilities include cruise missiles that can be launched at rapid rates, 66 Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel, a swimmer lock out shelter, and an Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS). This submarine would also retain the multi-mission capability found in SSNs and provide large volumes for future payloads and mission adaptation. These features would provide a transformational degree of firepower in a survivable and virtually undetectable platform that can remain on station continuously.
As of early 2003 two of the four submarines had already completed their final strategic offload. The first two SSBN engineered refueling overhauls (EROs) were scheduled to start in FY 2003, followed by conversion to SSGN starting in FY 2004. The third and fourth SSBN EROs are scheduled to start in FY 2004 and FY 2005, respectively, followed by conversion to SSGN starting in FY 2005.
The Ohio class cruise missile submarine (SSGN) program entails the refueling and conversion of the four SSBNs to dedicated cruise missile launch submarines to support the Land- Attack/Strike mission. Each new Multiple All-Up-Round (AUR) Canister (MAC) launchers contain seven Tomahawk land-attack missiles (TLAMs) and fit within the existing Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) vertical launch tubes. Each SSGN will accommodate up to 22 MACs, for a total of 154 TLAMs.
The SSGN will also support Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions. Two of the large vertical launch tubes will be converted to SOF lockout chambers and the ship will feature dedicated accommodations for SOF personnel and their equipment. The SSGN is capable of hosting the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) and Dry Deck Shelter on its upper deck. In the future, the extensive payload capacity of the SSGN may be used to support other offboard systems, including large unmanned and autonomous underwater vehicles, as well as alternate weapons systems.
SSBN-726 Ohio GD-EB PAC 1974 10 Apr 76 7 Apr 79 11 Nov 81 Nov 02 Nov 05 2023
SSBN-727 Michigan GD-EB PAC 1975 4 Apr 77 26 Apr 80 11 Sep 82 Aug 03 Apr 06 2024
SSBN-728 Florida GD-EB LANT 1975 9 Jun 77 14 Nov 81 18 Jun 83 Nov 03 Oct 06 2025
SSBN-729 Georgia GD-EB PAC 1976 7 Apr 79 6 Nov 82 11 Feb 84 Apr 05 Apr 07 2026
Originally posted by Zaphod58
There are plenty of SSBNs. They're only converting four. That leaves 15 SSBNs.