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Seawolf vs Virginia class Submarine

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posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 04:00 AM
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Hi guys!
My first post here...so be nice to me =)

Submarines are a great interest of mine and therefore I have this question for you.

Which is the better sub...Seawolf or Virginia? And what do you think the max deapth and max speed are?

The way I see it, Seawolf was very expensive and after Soviet went belly up there was no need for such a peach of weapon.
The Virginia Class was built as a more Littoral combat sub, and as a more budget version. But the Virgina as at least 10 years newer...so what do you think?

I'm guessing the speed is around 42-45 knots...but I have no idea of deapth.

[edit on 21-8-2004 by Kim78]




posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 04:06 AM
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The Navy never really gives a actual depth. However, it is widely known that Rickover wanted the LA class to be faster so he built them light, but the could not go as deep.

The Seawolf as you pointed out is a cold war weapon that the Clinton admin forced on the Navy. The 3 ships are really state of the art Blue water subs that would have been a force to recon with if WWIII has broken out with the Sovs. Bigger faster better armed and loaded for bear. But not really suited for Litoral warfare.

Its hard to really say which is better. Based on current threats the Virginia class will have the edge close in, but that is what it is designed for.



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 04:35 AM
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I heard Virginia should use some UUV's (unmanned underwater vehicles) lounched from external stores and torpedo tubes , so it should be really powerfull sub, especially in coastal water. Seawolf and Virginia should be able to reach 600 m depth.



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 06:12 AM
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It's maybe a little offtopic question, but what do you think about the sugestions to stop building 2 billion Virginia submarines and start building smaller 500 mil. AIP submarines, better suited for littoral operations?

[edit on 21-8-2004 by longbow]



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 06:17 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
It's maybe a little offtopic question, but what do you think about the sugestions to stop building 2 billion Virginia submarines and start building smaller 500 mil. AIP submarines, better suited for coastal operations?


The Virgina class is for coatal or Litoral operations. The seawolf is the 2 billion dollar baby



Virginia is intended to be a submarine comparable in most respects to its immediate predecessor - the Seawolf - but in a more affordable configuration. The missions of Virginia include Covert Strike Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Covert Intelligence Collection/Surveillance, Covert Indication and Warning and Electronic Warfare, Anti-Surface Ship Warfare, Special Warfare, Covert Mine Warfare, and Battle Group Support.
www.globalsecurity.org...



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 06:29 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
It's maybe a little offtopic question, but what do you think about the sugestions to stop building 2 billion Virginia submarines and start building smaller 500 mil. AIP submarines, better suited for coastal operations?


they don't even need to cost that much...German subs cost around 250mil and Swedish cost 100mil

If you intentions are coastal operations then AIP is a lot better...thats why swedes and german use them...but the US work on deep sea water too...so I don't know really...maybe they can combine them?



posted on Aug, 21 2004 @ 06:57 AM
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Yes, I read about sugestions to stop building the Virginia class entirely, but I think it would be better to produce about 18-20 Virginias (istead of 30), and keeping the newer LA class subs longer in service. That together with 3 Seawolfs will leave the US subs the dominance on deep see and instead of 10 remaining Virginia boats they could build 30 AIP subs for litoral ops.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 08:43 AM
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The Virgina class is for coatal or Litoral operations. The seawolf is the 2 billion dollar baby

Your right the Seawolf is a 2 Billion dollar baby but goin from memory Virginias are now pushin 2.4 Billion!!!

To judge these boats they must be taken in context.
Seawolf was designed to be the best possible submarine the yanks could build.
Virginia was built to a budget. ( A blown budget at that!)
Theres a lot of hype about "littoral" operations but alot of it is garbage, personally I think the Virginias are an unknown quantity and only time will tell if they measure up to Seawolf. A good example of the faith placed in the Virginias is the modifications carried out to Jimmy Carter before launch, shes obviously being readied to replace the role that Parche was carrying out, and the the higher ups picked the best boat for the job eh!

The navy never had the Seawolf class forced on them they were beggin for them, Clinton made the call to build Conneticut and Jimmy Carter to keep the industrial base for building submarines in place, who do you think were the ones screamin about losing that industrial base? The navy!!!

The simple fact is that to build a cheaper boat than Seawolf corners had to be cut and capability had to be removed to fit a new budget, the only area where Virginia would be superior would be in electronics, shes ten years newer and thats a given.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Kim78
they don't even need to cost that much...German subs cost around 250mil and Swedish cost 100mil


Kim,

What is not told to the American public or the public anywhere is that the germans nor the sweds want to underwrite the cost of a nuclear reactor. This is a very very expensive undertaking.
What most peoples dont know or understand is that a nuclear reactor is about half the cost of a submarine or aircraft carrier. I am just talking about construction costs. I am not talking about the maintenenace costs. Included in the maintenance costs is the cost of maintaining a crew to operate the reactor...do maintenance proceedures...also shore facilities. Nuclear powered ships do not remain long in ports which do not have certain support facilities. This is not information the public has any need to know nor informations the government nor the navy is wont to release to the general public.

For our U.S. Navy Nuclear power offers an edge ,the reasons for which they are not wont to release to the general public.
Most nations do not go this route simply because they cannot afford it.

This so called edge that the littorial AIP type boats have in shallow waters, I dont think it will last long..either it is gone right now or shortly to disappear. Technology is going to leave these boats by the wayside very shortly if not already done.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 12:43 PM
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I saw a documentary on this a few days ago.

Apparently the Virginia's are 70 times as quiet as the L.A. Class subs. How they compare with the seawolfs I do not know.

If you analyze the way the government discloses specifications, you can calculate max speed and depth with some degree of accuracy. For instance, they said that the SR-71 could go mach 3, now they disclose the fact it could hit 3.5, so thats 6/7ths of its actual specs. Find some others, you will find an average.

I know that the Virginias use photonic masts or high res cameras instead of periscopes, and use pump jet propulsors more efficiently.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by BlackWidow23
I saw a documentary on this a few days ago.

Apparently the Virginia's are 70 times as quiet as the L.A. Class subs. How they compare with the seawolfs I do not know.


Alot of this depends on how the submarine is operated at the time. There are several quieting modes of which can be taken advantage at different times and for different reasons on a nuclear submarine.

An LA class submarine can shut down almost everything not absolutely needed. Same with the older class Sturgeon 637 class boats. This is not new or ground breaking. It is just something the general public never has any reason to consider. There is more but this should suffice.

While I wont go into particulars, many of these types of posts are based on Wikipedia or Janes but do not take into consideration the modes of operation to which the boats can switch when needed.

Oh by the way.... I am envious here. With the hours I work I can seldom view these documentarys of which you speak. I have now heard posters here mention some two to three documentarys for which I have missed due to work considerations. One day I shall have to catch up on my viewing of these documentarys.
Was this documentary on the history channel or discovery or such??

Gotta get ready to shove off now,
Thanks,
Orangetom

[edit on 4-9-2007 by orangetom1999]



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999

Kim,

What is not told to the American public or the public anywhere is that the germans nor the sweds want to underwrite the cost of a nuclear reactor. This is a very very expensive undertaking.

For our U.S. Navy Nuclear power offers an edge ,the reasons for which they are not wont to release to the general public.
Most nations do not go this route simply because they cannot afford it.

This so called edge that the littorial AIP type boats have in shallow waters, I dont think it will last long..either it is gone right now or shortly to disappear. Technology is going to leave these boats by the wayside very shortly if not already done.

Thanks,
Orangetom


Orangetom,

It is a well known fact that a lot of countries dont want to run nuclear subs, it is also a well known fact that most ports around the world bar nuclear powered ships from entering. Nuclear power is unfortunately a necessary evil, no other current technology offers the same level of capabilities that nuclear power does but that is rapidly changing.

Dont get me wrong Im an enthusiastic proponent of nuclear power as it is the next step to the ultimate clean power source (fusion technology) but it has large drawbacks besides the obvious ones the main drawback for subs is weight, the shielding required for these boats makes them bloody heavy (theres a reason they put them in the middle of the boat!!!). The NR-1 is a good example they couldnt use the lead required because the boat would have sunk at the pier so they sealed the entire aft of the boat off and let water do the rest!!(13 feet of water has the same density as a foot of lead)

America as well as every other nuke country are all looking for suitable power sources to replace nukes, as I said nukes are a necessary evil and the second something suitable comes up everyones gonna grab it, the main and most promising technology are fuel cells, america is seriously looking at this down the track and its been mentioned by more than one officer, when the technology matures but this is probably another 30 years away before it can offer the same capabilities as nuclear power.

Remember also AIP isnt new, the germans played with this back in the 40's(Walter Boat) and the Russians used it operationally in the 50's, back then it was dangerous, High Test Peroxide( the fuel) is nasty stuff very similar to liquid fueled torpedoes. But the technology required to safely utilize this has matured and thats why there poppin up everywhere lately, these boats should not be underestimated for they are bloody quiet!! These boats make a 688 sound like an underwater rock concert in comparison.
Does that make them a better boat?? No it doesnt, there accoustically very good and speed wise in a combat situation there similar (anyone that thinks a seawolf can cruise around an enemy sub at twenty knots and not get heard is a fool, there good but there not that bloody good), but there passive sonar and combat systems are years behind the major players and thats where they get left behind, so yes I believe the nukes have it over the AIPs in a combat situation BUT an AIP in the hands of a bloke that knows what he is doing is a serious threat.

Oh and for the bloke that asked earlier Seawolfs speed and dive depth arent officially released but common and reasonably accurate guestimates are as follows,

Tactical (quiet) speed: 10-15 knots
Flank Speed: somewhere between 35 and 42 knots
Dive Depth: around 2000 feet give or take a couple of hundred.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 06:30 AM
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Oh and also some facts about what a diesel can do in the right hands.

The latest Rimpac excercises held between America, Australia and a few other pacific countries was described by the American force as quote " Extremely Humbling" Why?

HMAS Waller (collins/gotland class) during the exercise "sunk" 1 American aircraft carrier and the same 688I on two seperate occasions without being detected for the duration of the exercise herself, she's not even fitted with AIP!!!

And to disquiet the obvious defensive comments that will come up.

1.These exercises are treated as real combat situations and all vessels are handled as such, bragging rights for scoreing kills in these exercises are huge and all vessels want a piece of the action and on the other hand dont wanna get "sunk", LOL bet the skipper of that 688 had his tail between his legs!! he wont live that one down for a loooong time!!

2.To confirm a kill sub to sub in these exercises the attacking sub must have a irrefutable firing solution on the target, the collins carry the same torps as the yanks (MK48 Adcap), if this had been for real that 688 would have been blown apart before she even knew she was being tracked.


An on the subject of littoral operations regarding subs, its a
"Catch Phrase".

The only difference between blue water operations and shallow water operations is sonar related, once a sub passes over the continental shelf the water becomes very noisy with biologics, whether its a Seawolf or a Virginia makes little difference just because there a few feet shorter do u really think there gonna be chasin PT boats up creeks???

In all honesty the Seawolf has a massive advantage over Virginia and any other boat currently in the water specifically because of her sonar, why u ask??

The Seawolf class were specifically built for the purpose of hunting Ruskie boomers under the arctic ice pack. Back in the 80's the Russians started using a tactic called bastioning,they would send there boats under the marginal ice zones of the arctic and also hole them up in the sea of oskotsch,this scared the living sh##t out of America at the time because under ice zones are notorious for screwing with sonar, they are the one place where the hunted has a very large advantage over the hunter and the yanks knew that sending 688's under the ice looking for them would be virtual suicide they were simply never designed to operate in that environment. Seawolf was the answer to this threat, the sonar on these boats was specifically designed to pick out very quiet boats in a high backgound acoustic environment such as would be encountered in shallow water environments.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 12:23 PM
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ASuW is not my forte but in a real world scenario any submarine would have to fire it's torpedo(s). In exercises they (presumably) have the luxury of not conducing such a noisy procedure... This would have an impact in an actual conflict, no?



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 10:55 PM
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The Virginia class submarine was submarine was designed almost 10 years after the Seawolf and it was designed to be 200 million dollars cheaper than the Seawolf class. So, of course being built 10 years later is has some more advanced technologies in it, for example, highly advanced and simple to use computer systems, and a new periscope which uses some kind of optic fibre instead of the very bulky optical types used in earlier subs.

However, the Seawolf was designed in the cold war to counter the best Soviet threats and it of course, costed lots more and also according to 'Complete idiots guide to Submarines', the Seawolf is more quiet and more capable than the Virginia.

Thanks.



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 04:58 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
ASuW is not my forte but in a real world scenario any submarine would have to fire it's torpedo(s). In exercises they (presumably) have the luxury of not conducing such a noisy procedure... This would have an impact in an actual conflict, no?


Yes and no, it depends on the situation. As I said the Collins are armed with the MK48 Adcap, this is the same torp as the yanks and its very good at what it does. A sub does make noise when it fires through the use of high pressure compressed air, at a reasonable guestimation a sub with a decent passive sonar would hear this at 5km's or so, the torps themselves are screamers and would be heard over tens of km's so if there was another sub in the area there could be a risk of counterattack but going deep and dead in the water would negate this. Once again I mention those distances are only educated guesses, the sonar capabilities of any boat are highly classified.

The question of the boat being targeted can be taken 2 ways.
If she was cruisin around with her towed sonar array out she would hear the tubes being flooded, she would hear the doors open up, and she would hear a high speed torpedo screamin towards her, she would have a time period of 30 to sixty seconds to start taking evasive measures but her chances of dodgin a MK 48 arent good especially if the Collins had dropped the firin range to below 2000 yards.

If she didnt have her towed array (unlikely) and the Collins initiated a stern shot (most likely) she wouldnt know until it was too late.



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 05:36 AM
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Originally posted by C0bzz


However, the Seawolf was designed in the cold war to counter the best Soviet threats and it of course, costed lots more and also according to 'Complete idiots guide to Submarines', the Seawolf is more quiet and more capable than the Virginia.

Thanks.


Thats your opinion, fair enough. I see no need to call everyone who disagrees with your opinion a quote "complete idiot". Everybody has a right to an opinion.

My opinion is this, in all honesty no person except those lucky enough to get posted to both classes will know which is better until the day these boats have been cut up and sold for scrap, no navy is gonna come out and say that one of there operational classes is inferior to an earlier design, thats politics.

I base my opinion on what information is available about these boats and there aint much "useful" information out there I can tell u that!!

As I said earlier Seawolf was designed to be the best submarine the yanks could build with complete disregard to cost.

Virginia was designed to be cheaper than Seawolf.

A simple analogy, pretend your granny died and u just inherited 30 Grand, u decide to buy a car with that money, the car u want is a brand new Superwizzbanga6000, it costs 25 grand on the road but for 30 grand you can get all the options, all the flash stuff you know (climate control,cruise control,6 stacker, airbags).

Now pretend you only inherited 25 grand from dear granny, you still get your Superwizzbanga6000 but it isnt as flash is it?

The navy never asked for Virginia the politicians forced it on them because they scoffed at the price tag of a Seawolf, basically they said you dont need a sub that flash go and build a "cheaper" sub, because politicians are so knowledgable about these things and they know what the navy needs. The "navy" doesnt know what it needs would they? Surely not!!!

Unfortunately for those knowledgable politicians designing and building a sub from scratch takes 5 to 10 years and with the rate of inflation endemic in all countries by the time the first Virginia slid into the water this cheaper sub cost substantially more than that flash boat the navy was told it didnt need!!! Latests pricings put the cost of a Virginia at 2.4 Billion. Thats 400million more than Seawolf.

This is my opinion and my argument to substantiate it
Counter arguments most welcome
Flaming and derogatory insults not welcome



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 10:51 AM
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Thats your opinion, fair enough. I see no need to call everyone who disagrees with your opinion a quote "complete idiot". Everybody has a right to an opinion.

Wow, you got me all wrong.

ec1.images-amazon.com...

It's a book.


Thanks and sorry for the misunderstanding.
Star added for good post.


[edit on 8/9/2007 by C0bzz]



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Tonka

A sub does make noise when it fires through the use of high pressure compressed air, at a reasonable guestimation a sub with a decent passive sonar would hear this at 5km's or so...

If she was cruisin around with her towed sonar array out she would hear the tubes being flooded, she would hear the doors open up

Tonka,
Think this through carefully. This is last years technology including the flooding of the tubes. and doors opening up or closing. Quiet methods of firing torpedos were out two generations of boats go. This tech has only gotten better and quieter.

Thanks,
Orangetom

[edit on 8-9-2007 by orangetom1999]



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 07:08 PM
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Your right the Seawolf is a 2 Billion dollar baby but goin from memory Virginias are now pushin 2.4 Billion!!!


Well seeing as The Royal Navy can afford a new fleet of $2.4 Billion a go subs (the first being the Astute) it should be no problem for America.



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