To maintain an at-sea presence after the current force of 14 Ohio-lass SSBNs reach the end of their 42-year life, the U.S. is developing the Ohio Replacement (OR) SSBN. Current plans call for a force of 12 OR SSBNs, with initial construction beginning in 2021. Because these new SSBNs will be in service until 2080, a new ship design that advances critical stealth capabilities and a life-of-ship reactor is required.
The OR program will provide a credible deterrent at the lowest possible cost. The program is leveraging lessons learned for USS Jimmy Carter, and the Virginia and Ohio submarine classes. Additionally, U.S. and United Kingdom collaboration in developing a common strategic weapon system module is both cost effective and key to sustaining the U.S. and U.K. SSBN forces.