U.S. Navy future fast attack submarines to have long-range sonar, networking, and fly-by-wire control

Nov. 20, 2020
A wider hull can improve stealth to enable ship designers to use more sound-deadening technology and develop systems to increase a boat’s speed.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy’s future fast attack submarines will be bigger, faster, more autonomous, networked, and stealthier than the existing Virginia-class attack boats because greater size will allow for more advanced quieting technologies. Kris Osborn at The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 Nov. 2020 -- Set to emerge in the 2030s, a SSN(X) class of attack submarines may be closer in size to the Navy’s much larger future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.

Yet another area of innovation likely to figure prominently in the development of a new generation of attack submarines is fly-by-wire navigational controls such as those built into the Virginia class Block III boats; instead of using mechanically operated hydraulic controls, the Fly-by-Wire system uses a joystick, digital moving maps and various adaptations of computer automation to navigate the boat. This means that computer systems can control the depth and speed of the submarine, while a human remains in a command and control role.

The SSN(X)'s large-aperture bow sonar is passive and active; it can listen while remaining silent, yet can send an active ping, analyze the return signal, and render an enemy object to include its contours, speed and distance.

Related: Navy orders nine new Virginia-class submarines with additional missile tubes for enhanced undersea warfare

Related: Navy orders 10 Virginia-class attack submarines from Electric Boat in $17.8 billion contract

Related: A look aboard Navy attack sub reveals growing use of COTS equipment

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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