US nuclear submarine "Los Angeles" type

US nuclear submarine "Los Angeles" type
Submarine hunters with nuclear heart. Submarines of "Los Angeles" type - the most mass produced submarines of the USA. For any simple person Los Angeles means palm trees, the Sun, Beaches and Hollywood. For sailors of Navy it first of all means the name of American multi-role submarines. Submarines of this type were at frontlines of Cold War, and even today they don't reduce their activity. While American Congress men don't spare money from budget for their modernizations.

In 20 years there were built 62 submarines of "Los Angeles" type. It does not seem much, especially in comparison with thousands "prints" of aircrafts and tanks. But submarine is a product of limited production and is very expensive. Ratio of foghter's price to price of submarine is the same with ratio of small family car to Luxury limo. "Los Angeles" boats are the most mass produced nuclear submarines in the world. Works on "Los Angeles" project started in the end of 60s. Those years Soviet Navy was rapidly increasing it's power. It was turning into global power and more often was pushing Americans all over the world. Strengthening of Soviets was a challenge to which Washington could not to not answer. Most of all the USA was concerning about two things. Starting of building of large aircraft carriers in Soviet Union and fast development of nuclear submarine forces.

Specifically at those years our country surpassed the USA in number of nuclear submarines. With their help, Soviet Union in case of conflict could cut off sea communications and to turn United States into an isolated island. Americans decided to answer both with quantity and with quality. New US submarines should become champions in silent movement for many years to come. Technologies like in US were simply inexistent at that time in the USSR. Except of that, new serie is designed for use with the most modern weapons - cruise missiles "Tomahawk". Ship building started in two shipyards, Electric Boat and Newport Newship Building. The serie's first-born, "Los Angeles" itself, was shipped at 13 November of 1976. After 9 years already 20th submarine of this type, "Honolulu", has been built.

First 20 of "Los Angeles" had some weapons, electronics and hydro-acoustics. Boats had in their arsenal different types of torpedoes for battle against other subs and surface ships, "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles and the most important weapon, the super-modern "Tomahawks". Ship could bring 3 types of "Tomahawks". For launching against ships till 400 km, for launching against land based target till 2800 km with usual warhead and a version with same range, but with nuclear warhead. It was a revolution in evolution of Navy. For the first  time mlti-role submarines received long range nuclear missiles. In case of nuclear war, "Los Angeles" were going to become a part of missile-nuclear assault force. Strike zone of several dozens of "Los Angeless" is actually the whole World. The arsenal of first ships of ships of this type is consisted of 14 torpedoes, 4 "Harpoons" and 8 "Tomahawks". All these weapons had to be launched through only 4 torpedo tubes. While two of them must have torpedoes inside all the time for ship's self-defense. It was obvious, taht in case of emergency, the first "Los Angeles" wouldn't be able to launch massive missile salvos.

For this reason, starting from the ship "Providence", these submarines have being built with seperate verticle sils for "Tomahawks". Designers managed to locate on board of new "Los Angeles" a total of 12 launchers, and this was done without change of dimensions and hull design.

Submarine boat type "Los Angeles"
Lenth:  110.3 m
The widest part:  10.1 m
Maximum Operational Depth:  450-500 m
Crew:  141
Speed on Surface:  22 knots
Speed under surface: 33 knots

At the end of 80s the newest Soviet submarines reach "Los Angeles" in level of silent movement, while in parameters of max depth, speed and several types of weapons they even surpassed "Los Angeleses". Advantages of the USA dispersed loke a smoke. Decision was taken to modernize "Los Angeles" again. Starting from 40th ship "San Huan" and till the end of serie in 1996, these nuclear subs have been built according to project "Los Angeles Improved". Thanks to use of special materials this version became even more silent. This submarine is better prepared for operation under ice. Steering were moved from bridge to nose of the boat. Of course the newest ships had electronics of the latest generation. "Los Angeleses" took part in real combat operations. The "Albuquerque", the "Norfolk and the "Miami" were used against Yugoslavia. The "Pitsberg" and the "Jefferson City" in Persian Gulf Wars. Ships "Augusta" and "Memphis" were used for trials of the most modern weapons and Battle Management Systems. The most of the latest "Los Angeleses" will stay in service for other 20 years. In near future they will receive super-modern missiles. These will radically exceed "Tomahawks" in range, accuracy and speed. Western sources assert that this is about supersonic cruise missiles with range of 5,000 km. "Los Angeles" will retire gradually. The most mass produced nuclear submarine will be replaced by model of next generation, "Virginia".

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