Ohio’s New Maiden Voyage
This excellent article from Soldier Tech details the Navy’s converted Ohio SSBN Trident Sub, now tailored to handle Special Forces and cruise missiles:
Externally, the Ohio SSGNs are unchanged. They still retain their 24 Trident-II missile tubes, though now, instead of packing 24 ICBMs 22 of the tubes will be loaded with Tomahawk cruise missile magazines (7 cruise missiles per magazine) while the remaining 2 missile tubes will be converted to dedicated SOF support functions; they can be used as “lock out” chambers for swimmers or for equipment storage. In addition the Ohio will be able to accommodate 2 DDS or ASDS (Advanced SEAL delivery System) modules on the submarine’s deck, which will be accessible through the new lock out chambers.
The three follow on SSGNs, Michigan (SSGN 727), Florida (SSGN 728), and Georgia (SSGN 729), are expected to be completed and in active service by 2007.
And much welcome they will be. Compare them to the Iowa class battleships, converted as missile carriers in the 1980’s.