Payload Modular Submarines for an Uncertain Future
Symposium paper 26-27 Feb 2002
NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND WASHINGTON DC
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In the multi-polar world, new and uncertain threats to our Navy and nation arise at a rapid rate. Rapid changes in potential payload technologies will enable new missions. Traditional submarine designs are mission-optimized platforms that are only moderately able to adapt to this changing environment through payload modifications or modifications to the limited non-pressure hull area. Facing an uncertain future, the operational community demands future platforms that are adaptable and flexible. Payload modularity is a transformational concept that endows the submarine force with adaptability to respond to emerging threats in an uncertain future and to readily incorporate the latest technologies. Flexibility is provided through payload bays on each platform, combined with different types of task specific payload modules that enable CINCs to tailor and scale submarine loadout. Further flexibility is provided through larger payload volume with the option to reconfigure or reload in theater. Analysis to date indicates that payload modularity is achievable and revolutionary. The adaptability provided by payload modularity offers compelling military value. Payload modularity offers the potential to provide CINCs with more capability, more rapidly at significantly lower unit cost. After the initial investment to go payload modular, payload modularity enables increased capability with a stable funding profile, at lower annual cost.
- Submarine Engineering