for Submariners

by Hamilton 1:1 Communications, LLC

Los Angeles Class
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SSN-688 Los Angeles-class 


The LOS ANGELES class SSN specifically included ASW against Soviet submarines trying to sink the US carrier and ASUW against capital ships in the Soviet surface action group [SAG]. The LOS ANGELES class SSN was designed almost exclusively for Carrier Battlegroup escort; they were fast, quiet, and could launch Mk48 and ADCAP torpedoes, Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles (no longer carried), and both land attack and anti-ship (no longer carried) Tomahawk cruise missiles. The new submarines showed another step improvement in quieting and an increase in operating speed to allow them to support the CVBG. Escort duties included conducting ASW sweeps hundreds of miles ahead of the CVBG and conducting attacks against the SAG.

Submarines of the LOS ANGELES Class are among the most advanced undersea vessels of their type in the world. While anti-submarine warfare is still their primary mission, the inherent characteristics of the submarine's stealth, mobility and endurance are used to meet the challenges of today's changing global geopolitical climate. Submarines are able to get on station quickly, stay for an extended period of time and carry out a variety of missions including the deployment of Special Forces, mine laying, and precision strike land attack.

These 360 foot, 6,900-ton ships are well equipped to accomplish these tasks. Faster than her predecessors and possessing highly accurate sensors, weapons control systems and central computer complexes, the LOS ANGELES Class is armed with sophisticated MK-48 Advanced Capability anti-submarine/ship torpedoes, Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles, and mines.

These submarines were built in three successive variants:

  1. SSNs 688-718 - Original Los Angeles class
  2. SSNs 719-750 - Starting with SSN 719 and beyond the last 31 hulls of the class have 12 vertical launch tubes for the Tomahawk cruise missile, along with an upgraded reactor core.
  3. SSNs 751-773 - The final 23 hulls [SSN 751 and later] referred to as "688I" (for improved), are quieter, incorporate an advanced combat system and the ability to lay mines from their torpedo tubes. They are configured for under-ice operations in that their forward diving planes have been moved from the sail structure to the bow and the sail has been strengthened for breaking through ice.

The submarines are outfitted with a wide variety of antennas, transmitters and receivers necessary to support accomplishment of their assigned tasks. Interior communication is possible on a wide range of circuits and sound powered phones, which do not require electrical power and are reliable in battle situations. Various alarm and indicating circuits enable the Officer of the Deck and the Engineering Officer of the Watch to continuously monitor critical parameters and equipment located throughout the ship.

The nuclear power plant gives these boats the ability to remain deployed and submerged for extended periods of time. To take advantage of this, the ship is outfitted with auxiliary equipment to provide for the needs of the crew. Atmosphere control equipment replenishes oxygen used by the crew, and removes carbon dioxide and other atmosphere contaminants. The ship is equipped with two distilling plants, which convert salt water to fresh water for drinking, washing and the propulsion plant. Sustained operation of the complex equipment and machinery on the ship requires the support of repair parts carried on board. The ship carries enough food to feed a crew of over one hundred for as long as 90 days.

Los Angeles class submarines are divided into two watertight compartments. The forward compartment houses all the living spaces, weapons systems, control centers, and sonar/fire control computers. The after compartment houses the nuclear reactor and the ship's propulsion equipment.

SSN-688 class submarines could operate for much longer than 30 years; one of the shipbuilders stated that 10 to 20 years of additional service would not be unreasonable. Past Navy actions indicate that extending a submarine's service life may be feasible. After a 5-year study was completed on the SSN-637 class submarine--the predecessor of the SSN-688 class--the design life was extended from 20 years to 30 years, with a possible extension to 33 years on a case-by-case basis. After these submarines serve for 30 years, they could undergo a 2-year overhaul and serve for one more 10-year operating cycle, for a total service life of 42 years. The cost for the additional overhaul of SSN-688 class submarines would be about $406 million per boat.

Boats Built

USS Los Angeles (SSN-688)
USS Baton Rouge (SSN-689)
USS Philadelphia (SSN-690)
USS Memphis (SSN-691)
USS Omaha (SSN-692)
USS Cincinnati (SSN-693)
USS Groton (SSN-694)
USS Birmingham (SSN-695)
USS New York City (SSN-696)
USS Indianapolis (SSN-697)
USS Bremerton (SSN-698)
USS Jacksonville (SSN-699)
USS Dallas (SSN-700)
USS Dallas (SSN-700) w/Shelter
USS La Jolla (SSN-701)
USS Phoenix (SSN-702)
USS Boston (SSN-703)
USS Baltimore (SSN-704)
USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN-705)
USS Albuquerque (SSN-706)
USS Portsmouth (SSN-707)
USS Mineapolis-St. Paul (SSN-708)

USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN-709)
USS Augusta (SSN-710)
USS San Francisco (SSN-711)
USS Atlanta (SSN-712)
USS Houston (SSN-713)
USS Norfolk (SSN-714)
USS Buffalo (SSN-715)
USS Buffalo (SSN-715) Hazy
USS Salt Lake City (SSN-716)
USS Olympia (SSN-717)
USS Honolulu (SSN-718)
USS Providence (SSN-719)
USS Providence (SSN-719) Haul
USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)
USS Chicago (SSN-721)
USS Key West (SSN-722)
USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723)
USS Louisville (SSN-724)
USS Helena (SSN-725)
USS Newport News (SSN-750)
USS San Juan (SSN-751)
USS Pasadena (SSN-752)
USS Albany (SSN-753)
USS Topeka (SSN-754)
USS Miami (SSN-755)

USS Scranton (SSN-756)
USS Alexandria (SSN-757)
USS Asheville (SSN-758)
USS Jefferson City (SSN-759)
USS Annapolis (SSN-760)
USS Springfield (SSN-761)
USS Columbus (SSN-762)
USS Santa Fe (SSN-763)
USS Boise (SSN-764)
USS Montpelier (SSN-765)
USS Charlotte (SSN-766)
USS Charlotte (SSN-766)

USS Hampton (SSN-767)
USS Hartford (SSN-758)
USS Toledo (SSN-769)

USS Tucson (SSN-770)
USS Columbia (SSN-771)
USS Greenville (SSN-772)
USS Cheyenne (SSN-773)


Newport News Shipbuilding Co.
General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division.
Power Plant:
One S6G reactor
One shaft at 35,000 shp
Improved Performance Machinery Program Phase I [on 688 Improved]
360 feet (109.73 meters)
33 feet (10 meters)
6,927 tons (6210 metric tons) submerged
Official: 20+ knots (23+ miles per hour, 36.8 +kph)
Actual: 30-32 knots maximum submerged speed
Operating Depth official:
"greater than 800 feet"
Actual: 950 feet [300 meters] test depth
Actual: 1475 feet [450 meters] collapse depth
HY-80 Steel
13 Officers,
116 Enlisted
Harpoon and Tomahawk ASM/LAM missiles from VLS tubes
MK-48 torpedoes from four 533-mm torpedo tubes (Seawolf has 8)
Combat Systems:
AN/BPS-5 surface search radar,
AN/BPS-15 A/16 navigations and fire control radar,
TB-16D passive towed sonar arrays,
TB-23 passive "thin line" towed array,
AN/BQG-5D wide aperture flank array,
AN/5D.E low frequency spherical sonar array,
AN/BQS-15 close range active sonar (for ice detection),
MIDAS Mine and Ice Detection Avoidance System,
SADS-TG active detection sonar Type 2 attack periscope (port),
Type 18 search periscope (starboard) AN/BSY-1 (primary computer),
UYK-7; UYK-43; UYK-44 WLR-9 Acoustic Intercept Receiver ESM.
Unit Cost:
$900 million [1990 prices]
Unit Operating Cost Annual Average:
$21,000,000 (Source FY1996 VAMOSC)