Seawolf-class submarines - the first new top-to-bottom attack submarine design since the early 1960s - are the fastest, quietest, most heavily armed undersea vessels in the world.
Seawolf submarines provide the U.S. Navy with undersea weapons platforms that can operate in any scenario against any threat, with mission and growth capabilities that far exceed Los Angeles-class submarines. The robust design of the Seawolf class enables these submarines to perform a wide spectrum of crucial military assignments - from underneath the Arctic icepack to littoral regions anywhere in the world.
Their missions include surveillance, intelligence collection, special warfare, cruise missile strike, mine warfare, and anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare.
Jimmy Carter (SSN23) Modification
The Jimmy Carter (SSN23), the third and final Seawolf-class submarine, was modified by Electric Boat to accommodate advanced technology for naval special warfare, tactical surveillance and mine warfare operations.
Defense Department studies have described the Navy's need to develop submarines with "improved payload capabilities and a flexible interface with the undersea environment, without sacrificing Seawolf-class warfighting capability." According to the Navy, the Jimmy Carter modification accomplishes these goals.
The $887 million modification required alterations to the basic Seawolf design in the areas of ballast control, mission-management spaces, and various services. A unique feature of the modification was the creation of a flexible ocean interface, referred to as the "wasp waist," which enables the Navy to deploy and recover various payloads without having to use torpedo tubes.
The Jimmy Carter was delivered to the U.S. Navy in December 2004 and commissioned in February 2005.
Seawolf Class Statistics
- 9,137 tons submerged (12,139 tons for the Jimmy Carter)
- 353 feet (453 feet for the Jimmy Carter)
- Hull Diameter:
- 40 feet
- 35 feet
- 25+ knots
- Diving Depth:
- 800+ feet
- Mark 48 anti-submarine torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles
- 130 officers and enlisted crew members
- Less detectable at high speed than a Los Angeles-class submarine sitting at pier side