Sustaining U.S. Nuclear Submarine Design Capabilities. Executive Summary
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The U.S. submarine eet currently numbers more than 50 fast attack submarines SSNs and 18 submarines built to launch ballistic missiles SSBNs. All are nuclear powered to maximize the duration and speed of underwater operations. While the submarine eet has been decreasing in size since the end of the Cold War, it is anticipated that the U.S. Navy will sustain a force of several dozen boats into the foreseeable future. Submarines are almost continually being built to replace older ones that must be retired. As is the case with surface ships, submarines are built in classes sets of boats constructed to a common design. Designing a new class of nuclear submarines is a very large and complex endeavor, lasting 15 years or longer and requiring 15,000 to 20,000 man-years at the prime shipyard contractor alone.
- Marine Engineering