Submarine Industrial  Base Council

Los Angeles & Seawolf Classes

Los Angeles class

General Characteristics: Los Angeles Class
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co.; General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 360 feet
Beam: 33 feet
Displacement: Approximately 6,900 tons submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour)
Crew: 143: 16 Officers; 127 Enlisted.
Armament: Tomahawk missiles and MK48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes.  VLS on SSN 719 and later.

The Los Angeles Class, sometimes called the LA Class or the 688 Class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that forms the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force. With 36 submarines of this class on active duty and 26 retired from service, the Los Angeles Class has more nuclear submarines in it than any other class in the world. The Los Angeles Class was preceded by the Sturgeon Class and followed by the Seawolf Class.

The final 23 boats of the Los Angeles Class were designed and built to be quieter than their predecessors and also to carry more-advanced sensor and weapons systems. These advanced boats were also designed for operating beneath the polar icecap. Their diving planes were placed at their bows rather than on their sails, and they have stronger sails for penetrating thick ice.

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 launching system (VLS) tubes for launching Tomahawks.

Pacific Ocean (Jul. 29, 2003) — Crewmen aboard the Los Angeles Class nuclear powered attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758), man the topside navigation watch as the submarine operates at high speed near San Diego. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Thomas C. Peterson. (RELEASED)


Seawolf class

General Characteristics: Seawolf Class
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: SSNs 21 and 22: 353 feet
SSN 23: 453 feet
Beam: 40 feet
Displacement: SSNs 21 and 22: 9,138 tons submerged
SSN 23: 12,158 tons submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour)
Crew: 140: 14 Officers; 126 Enlisted.
Armament: Tomahawk missiles and MK48 torpedoes, eight torpedo tubes.

The U.S. Navy has three Seawolf Class submarines. Commissioned on July 19, 1997, USS Seawolf (SSN 21) is exceptionally quiet, fast, well-armed, and equipped with advanced sensors. Though lacking Vertical Launch Systems, the Seawolf class has eight torpedo tubes and can hold up to 50 weapons in its torpedo room. The third ship of the class, USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), has a 100-foot hull extension called the multi-mission platform. This hull section provides for additional payload capacity to accommodate advanced technology used to carry out classified research and development and for enhanced warfighting capabilities.

Compared to previous Los Angeles Class submarines, Seawolf Class submarines are larger, faster, and significantly quieter. The boats also have extensive equipment to allow for “littoral”, or “shallow-water” operations. The class uses the more advanced ARCI Modified AN/BSY-2 combat system, which includes a new, larger spherical sonar array, a wide aperture array (WAA), and a new towed-array sonar.

North Sea (Aug. 27, 2003) — The nuclear powered attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21) participates in NATO exercise Odin-One. Odin-One is a Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise conducted in the North Sea region. U.S. Navy photo N-4307F-010. (RELEASED)