Over the years, the Virginia-class has proven to be an adaptable and versatile design with plenty of room for growth. Indeed, the Virginia-class submarine may prove so capable that a future SSN(X) — which is tentatively planned for 2034 — might prove to be unnecessary.
The Navy has a choice to make in seven or eight years from now — either develop a new SSN(X) with potentially game-changing technologies or continue building advanced Virginia-class variants.
A future SSN might act as an underwater mothership for unmanned underwater vehicles and an SSN(X) might have no moving parts to be quieter.
The Navy has essentially reached the limits of what is possible for acoustic signature reduction with a purely mechanical system. While the future Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarines are expected to use a permanent magnetic motor to increase stealth, Jabaley wants to take a step further.
Read the full story here.