- Los Angeles class submarine
The "Los Angeles" class, sometimes called the "LA"-class or the "688"-class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack
submarines (SSN) that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 62 submarines, this class has more boats than any other nuclear powered submarine class in the world. The class was preceded by the Sclass|Sturgeon|submarine|4 and followed by the Sclass|Seawolf|submarine|4 and Sclass|Virginia|submarine|4es. Submarines of this class are usually named after U.S. cities, breaking a long-standing Navy tradition of naming attack submarines after sea creatures.
The final 23 boats in the series, referred to as "688i" boats, are quieter than their predecessors and incorporate a more advanced combat system. These 688i boats are also designed for under-ice operations: their
diving planes are on the bow rather than on the sail, and they have reinforced sails.
According to the U.S. government, the top speed of "Los Angeles"-class submarines is over 25 knots (46 km/h, 29 mph) and the precise speed is classified. Some estimates put the top speed at 30ndash33 knots. [
title = Running Critical
publisher = Harper and Row
date = 1986
location = New York
pages = 24, 56, 66-67
isbn = 978-0-06-091441-7] Citation
last = Polmar
first = Norman
last2 = Moore
first2 = Kenneth J.
title = Cold War Submarines:The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines
pages = 271
publisher = Brassey's
year = 2003
isbn = 1574885944]
Similarly, government sources give the maximum operating depth as convert|650|ft|m, [cite book
last = Waddle
first = Scott
authorlink = Scott Waddle
title = The Right Thing
publisher = Integrity Publishers
year = 2003
isbn = 1591450365
pages= pp. xi (map/diagram)
quote=This reference is for operating depth only ] while
Patrick Tyler, in his book "Running Critical", suggests a maximum operating depth of convert|950|ft|m. [Tyler, (1986). pp. 66-67, 156] Although Tyler cites the "688-"class design committee for this figure, ["Notes in pp. 64-67: Deliberations of ad-hoc committee on SSN 688 design taken from confidential sources and from interviews with Admiral [Ret] Rickover...." From Tyler, p. 365] the government has not commented on it.
Weapons and fire control systems
" Los Angeles" class submarines carry about 25 torpedo-tube launched weapons, and all boats of the class are capable of launching Tomahawk
cruise missiles horizontally (from the torpedo tubes). The last 31 boats of this class also have 12 dedicated vertical launch (VLS) tubes for launching Tomahawks.
Engineering and auxiliary systems
There are two watertight compartments in the "Los Angeles" class of submarines. The aft compartment contains the Reactor Compartment (RC) and Engine Room (ER). The Forward Compartment (FC) contains the crew livings spaces, weapons handling spaces and control spaces. The two compartments are separated by a single watertight door. [SSN-688 Los Angeles Class Design. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/ssn-688-design.htm Los Angeles Class] at Globalsecurity.org. Accessed on April 29, 2008] Some submarines in the class are capable of delivering
SEALs through either the Dry Deck Shelter(DDS) system or the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS). [Polmar & Moore, (2003). pp. 263] A variety of atmospheric control devices are used to remain submerged for long periods of time without ventilating, including an Electrolytic Oxygen Generator (EOG). [ Treadwell Supplies Oxygen Generator Components for Nuclear Subs [http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/treadwell-supplies-oxygen-generator-components-for-nuclear-subs-2-04690/ Defense Industry Daily] 28-Jan-2008] [http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/ssn-688.htm SSN-688 Los Angeles class] from Federation of American Scientists]
While on the surface or at periscope depth the submarine may use the ship's auxiliary (or, alternately, emergency) diesel generator for power or ventilation [Fairbanks Morse Engines [http://www.fairbanksmorse.com/installations_marine.php Marine Installations] Accessed on April 29, 2008] [ Auxiliary Division on USS Cheyenne [http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/navy/unit/dept-ssn-773.htm#ENGINEERING%20DEPARTMENT USS CHEYENNE SSN-773 Department & Divisions] from
Federation of American Scientists. Accessed on April 29, 2008] (for example: following a fire). [Firefighting and Damage Control Update [http://www.dcfp.navy.mil/library/dcra/181044ZJUN98.htm 181044Z JUN 98 (SUBS) Message] COMSUBLANT(1998) Accessed on April 29, 2008] Unlike modern conventional submarines such as the HMAS|Rankin|SSG 78|6, the procedure to start the diesel engine in a "688 class" is quite complicated and can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes before the diesel is capable of producing full power. [Citation
last = DiMercurio
first = Michael
last2 = Benson
first2 = Michael
title = The complete idiot's guide to submarines
place = New York, NY
publisher = Alpha Books
year = 2003
pages = 49–52
isbn = 978-0-02-864471-4 ] Normally, power is generated by the ship's
nuclear reactorproviding steam for the steam driven turbine generators. While the emergency diesel generator is starting up, power can be provided from the ships battery through the Ship Service Motor Generators (SSMGs). [cite journal
last = Elger
first = Wallace
title = Development of Metal Fiber Electrical Brushes for 500kW SSMG Sets
journal = Naval Engineers Journal
volume = 117
issue = 4
pages = 37–38
date = 2007
accessdate = ] Likewise, propulsion is normally delivered through the ship's steam driven main engines. [ Nuclear Propulsion [http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/eng/reactor.html Pressurized water Naval nuclear propulsion system] at
Federation of American ScientistsAccessed on April 30, 2008]
In the media
"Los Angeles"-class submarines have been involved in a number of major submarine incidents. "LA"-class submarines have also been featured prominently in numerous
Tom Clancynovels and film adaptations, most notably the USS|Dallas|SSN-700|6 in " The Hunt for Red October". [cite book
last = Clancy
first = Tom
authorlink =Tom Clancy
title = The Hunt for Red October
publisher = Naval Institute Press
date = 1984
pages = 71, 77, 81
isbn = 0-87021-285-0] Other "Los Angeles" class submarines have been the subject of video games and simulations such as 688i.
*"Clancy, T." (1984). The Hunt for Red October. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-285-0
*"DiMercurio, M. & Benson, M." (2003), The complete idiot's guide to submarines, New York, NY: Alpha Books. ISBN 978-0-02-864471-4
*"Hutchinson, R." (2002), Submarines, War Beneath The Waves, From 1776 To The Present Day. ISBN 978-0-00-710558-8
*"Polmar, N. & Moore, K. J." (2003), Cold War Submarines:The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines. Brassey's. ISBN 1574885944
*"Tyler, P." (1986). Running Critical. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 978-0-06-091441-7.
*"Waddle, S." (2003). The Right Thing. Integrity Publishers. ISBN 1591450365.
* [http://www.submarinehistory.com/21stCentury.html Role of the Modern Submarine] " at [http://www.submarinehistory.com Submarine History] ".
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