Tom Clancy Drool-Fest Alert
Now this is just cool. Steven J. Cole writes in Strategy Page:
The US Navy has now decided to convert four (instead of just two) Trident missile submarines to carry conventional cruise missiles. Moreover, it is studying new kinds of warheads and payloads for the missiles, as well as new missiles. Some possibilities include a supersonic missile to hit targets that are likely to move, an unmanned recon drone that could be lofted over the target by a cruise missile and then extend wings and cruise like an aircraft, and various kinds of bomblets, penetrating warheads, or fuel-air explosives.
Boomers are big (the size of a WWII aircraft carrier), they’re slow, and they steer like an Ohio cow. But there’s not a nation on earth that can find ours. Hell, we usually can’t even find ours. A guy I knew briefly back in my Arcata days used to work sonor for an advanced Los Angeles-class attack sub in Squadron 22 out of Groton, I think. He had a great little sea story…
The were on mock patrol, hunting for an Ohio-class missile boat that was doing the world’s best impression of falling into a hole and dragging the hole away. The sonor guy thought he maybe heard something that might have possibly somehow been the boomer, then it was gone. The Captain logged it — and later they both got very nice marks in their dossiers. You see, when the two sub skippers had their notes compared after the exercise, it turns out they had heard the boomer — they just didn’t know it at the time.
So our very best hunter-killers can maybe sometimes find one of our SSBNs under ideal circumstances, but surely no Axis of Evil country can. And when coverted for “conventional” attack work, there’s not a nation on earth they won’t be able to sneak up on, hurt badly, and then slink away.