File photo U.S. submarine New Mexico is seen during the NATO-Dynamic Manta 2017 anti-submarine warfare exercise in the port of Catania, southern Italy, 13 March 2017. Photo taken on March 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello) –
Marine Columbia-Class submarine reassure ‘electric drive’ – stealthiest sub ever?
The Navy has now issued at least one-fourth of the design to work and started further promoting the business systems, such as a stealthy “electric drive” propulsion system for the emerging nuclear-armed Columbia-Class submarines with ballistic missiles by 2021.
“Of the required design remarks (drawing), 26 percent were issued, and the program is on a path to have 83 percent issued by the construction start,” Bill Couch, spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command, told the Warrior Maven.
The Columbia-class is equipped with an electric drive propulsion train, as opposed to the mechanical-drive propulsion train used on other Navy submarines.
In the current Ohio-class submarines, reactor plant generates heat which creates steam, Navy officials explained. The steam than turbines that produce electricity and propel the ship forward by the “reduction gears” that are able to translate the high-speed energy of a turbine into the shaft Rpms needed to make a boat propeller.
“The electric drive system is expected to be quieter (i.e., stealthier) than a mechanical drive,” a Congressional Research Service report on the Columbia-Class submarines from earlier this year states.
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Designed to be 560 meters long and house 16 Trident II D5 missiles fired from 44-metre-long missile tubes, Columbia-Class submarines will make use of a sedative X-shaped stern configuration.
The “X”shaped stern will restore agility to submarines; as submarine design progressed from the use of a screw with the help of a propulsor to improve reassure submarines lost surface manoeuvrability, Navy officials explained.
Marine developers explain that electric drive propulsion technology still relies on a nuclear reactor to generate heat and create steam to power turbines. However, the electricity produced is transferred to an electric motor in place of so-called reduction of the gears is turning the boat propellers.
The use of an electric motor brings also other advantages, according to an MIT essay written years ago, when the electric actuator is evaluated submarine propulsion.
With the help of an electric motor optimizes the use of the installed reactor capacity in a more efficient way in comparison with a mechanical propulsion of submarines, so more on-board power available for other applications, according to an essay called “Evaluation and Comparison of Electric Propulsion Motors for Submarines.” Author Joel Port says that on a mechanical drive submarine, 80 percent of the total reactor power is exclusively used for propulsion.
“With an electric drive submarine, the installed reactor power of the submarine is first converted into electric energy and then delivered to an electric drive motor. The currently available electric power is not used for propulsion can easily be tapped into for other uses,” he writes.
Research, science and technology, the work and the first missile tube construction on the Columbia-Class submarines has been underway for several years. An important exercise, the so-called tube and hull forging, to build four-packs of the rocket tubes to assess, welding and construction methods. These structures are intended to load in the boot modules, such as the construction of the progress.
“Early procurement of the rocket tubes and prototyping of the first meeting of the four missile tubes are the support of the proof of the planning of the production,” the Bank said.
While the Columbia-Class is intended to replace the existing fleet of Ohio-Class submarines with ballistic missiles, the new boats are some of the still-not-seen technologies as well as different compositions compared to the Ohio Class. The Columbia-Class 16 launch tubes instead of the 20 tubes current Ohio boats, but the Columbias will also be about 2 tons larger, according to Navy information.
The Columbia-Class, to be operational by 2028, is a new generation of technically advanced submarines intended to quietly patrol the underwater realm all over the world to ensure second-strike capacity would the united states be hit with a catastrophic nuclear attack.
Formal production is scheduled for 2021, as a significant step in the direction of the handle of a new generation of nuclear submarines to serve in and outside the 2080s.
General Dynamics Electric Boat has started with the acquisition of long-lead items in anticipation of the beginning of the construction; the process is the acquisition of metal, electronics, sonar arrays, and other important components that are needed for the build of the submarines.
Both the Pentagon and the Navy are approaching this program with a sense of urgency, given the escalation of the current global threat environment. Many senior DoD officials have called the Columbia-Class program as the number one priority for all services.
“The Columbia-Class submarine program makes use of an improved acquisition authorities provided by the Congress, such as advanced procurement, advanced construction and multi-year continuous production of missile tubes,” Bank added.
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