Ohio-Class Submarine

The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The Navy has 18 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) and guided missile submarines (SSGN).

The Ohio class is named after the lead submarine of this class, USS Ohio. The 14 Trident II SSBNs together carry approximately fifty percent of the total US active inventory of strategic thermonuclear warheads. The exact number of warheads deployed in the oceans of the world varies in an unpredictable and classified manner, always at or below a maximum number set by various Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties. Although the Trident missiles have no pre-set targets when the submarines go on patrol, the warships, when required, are capable of quickly being assigned targets by using secure and constant radio communications links at sea, including very low frequency (VLF) systems.

All the Ohio-class submarines, except for the USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730), are named for U.S. states, which until that point was a tradition reserved for battleships and cruisers.

The Ohio-class submarines are the largest submarines ever built for the U.S. Navy. Two classes of the Russian Navy's submarines have larger total displacements: the Soviet-designed Typhoon-class submarines have more than twice the total displacement, and the Russian Federation's Borei-class submarines have roughly 25 percent greater displacement, but the Ohio-class warships carry more missiles and warheads than either of the other designs: 24 Trident missiles per boat, versus only 16 missiles for the Borei class (20 for the Borei II) and 20 for the Typhoon-class.

Name: Ohio
Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Benjamin Franklin class
Built: 1976–1997
In commission: 1981–present
Completed: 18
Active: 18
General characteristics
Type: SSBN/SSGN (hull design SCB-304)
Displacement: 16,764 tonnes (16,499 long tons) surfaced
18,750 tonnes (18,450 long tons) submerged
Length: 560 ft (170 m)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)
Draft: 35.5 ft (10.8 m) maximum
Propulsion: 1× S8G PWR nuclear reactor
2× geared turbines; 60,000 shp (45 MW) Fairbanks Morse auxiliary diesel
1× 325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
1 shaft with seven-bladed screw
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) submerged (official)
25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) submerged (reported)
Range: Limited only by food supplies
Test depth: +800 ft (240 m)
Crew: 15 officers, 140 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
BQQ-6 passive bow-mounted array(which includes BQS-13 fire control array)
BQR-19 navigation
TB-16 or BQR-23 towed array
BQR-25 conformal array
Armament: 4 × 21 in (53 cm) Mark 48 torpedo tubes (midships)
General characteristics SSBN-726 to SSBN-733 from construction to refueling
Armament: 24 × Trident I C4 SLBM with up to 8 MIRVed 100 ktTNT W76 nuclear warheads each, range 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi)
General characteristics SSBN-734 and subsequent hulls upon construction, SSBN-730 to SSBN-733 since refueling
Armament: 24 × Trident II D5 SLBM with up to 12 MIRVed W76 or W88 (300–475 ktTNT) nuclear warheads each, range 6,500 nmi (12,000 km; 7,500 mi)
General characteristics SSGN conversion
Armament: 22 tubes, each with 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles, totaling 154

The Ohio-class submarines were designed specifically for extended war-deterrence patrols. Each of these submarines is provided with two complete crews, called the Blue crew and the Gold crew, with each crew serving typically on 70- to 90-day deterrent patrols. To decrease the time in port for crew turnover and replenishment, three large logistics hatches have been installed to provide large-diameter resupply and repair access. These hatches allow rapid transfer of supply pallets, equipment replacement modules, and machinery components, significantly reducing the time required for replenishment and maintenance of the submarines.

Longitudinal cross-section diagram of Ohio-class submarines

The class's design allows the warship to operate for about fifteen years between major overhauls. These submarines are reported to be as quiet at their cruising speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) or more than the previous Lafayette-class submarines were at 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph), although exact information remains classified. Fire control for their Mark 48 torpedoes is carried out by Mark 118 Mod 2 system, while the Missile Fire Control (MFC) system is a Mark 98.

The Ohio-class submarines were constructed from sections of hull, with each four-deck section being 42 ft (13 m) in diameter. The sections were produced at General Dynamics Electric Boat's Quonset Point, Rhode Island facility, and then assembled at their Groton, Connecticut shipyard.

The US Navy has a total of 18 Ohio-class submarines which consist of 14 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and four cruise missile submarines (SSGNs). The SSBN submarines are also known as "Trident" submarines, and provide the sea-based leg of the US's nuclear triad. Each SSBN submarine is armed with up to 24 Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles with either conventional or nuclear warheads, plus a complement of Harpoon missiles to be fired through their torpedo tubes.


  •   Boats in lime(†) are operated by the U.S. Pacific Fleet and are thus based at Naval Base Kitsap, Washington.
  •   Boats in aqua(*) are operated by the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, formerly the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and are thus based at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

Note: The classification of the 18 boats into the two U.S. fleets is according to the latest updates of the Naval Vessel Register, and does not indicate previous boat transfers between the two fleets.

Boat Hull number UIC Picture Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Weapons
Ohio SSGN-726 (ex SSBN-726)  21036 Submarine in drydock, surrounded by scaffolding and machinery. It is painted in two halves of orange and steel grey. 1 July 1974 10 April 1976 7 April 1979 11 November 1981 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles;Mark 48 torpedoes
Michigan SSGN-727 (ex SSBN-727)  21037 Submerged submarine moored in pier. Atop it are several people. 28 February 1975 4 April 1977 26 April 1980 11 September 1982 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles;Mark 48 torpedoes
Florida SSGN-728 (ex SSBN-728)  21038 Submarine underway with a beach as a backdrop. Several people are standing atop of the boat. 28 February 1975 19 January 1981 14 November 1981 18 June 1983 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles;Mark 48 torpedoes
Georgia SSGN-729 (ex SSBN-729)  21039 Submarine in port with an aircraft carrier in the background. 20 February 1976 7 April 1979 6 November 1982 11 February 1984 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles;Mark 48 torpedoes
Henry M. Jackson(ex Rhode Island) SSBN-730  21040 Submarine in bay with valleys and snow-capped mountains in the background. 6 June 1977 19 November 1981 15 October 1983 16 October 1984 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Alabama SSBN-731  21041 Aerial view of submarine running on surface; antennas are raised from the boat's sail. 27 February 1978 27 August 1981 19 May 1984 25 May 1985 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Alaska SSBN-732  21042 Submarine running at high speed of surface, creating huge waves. Several people's heads pop up from the boat's sail. 27 February 1978 9 March 1983 12 January 1985 25 January 1986 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Nevada SSBN-733  21043 Sideview of submarine on surface, with the outline of a city in the background. 7 January 1981 8 August 1983 14 September 1985 16 August 1986 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Tennessee SSBN-734  21044 Submarine on surface, assisted by two colorful tugs. 7 January 1982 9 June 1986 13 December 1986 17 December 1988 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Pennsylvania SSBN-735  21045 Submarine running on surface in the open seas, creating huge waves in the process. 29 November 1982 2 March 1987 23 April 1988 9 September 1989 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
West Virginia SSBN-736  21365 Submarine moored in pier, next to a moving tug. 21 November 1983 18 December 1987 14 October 1989 20 October 1990 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Kentucky SSBN-737  21433 Submarine running on surface at high speed. Several people are on the sail, next to a US flag. 13 August 1985 18 December 1987 11 August 1990 13 July 1991 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Maryland SSBN-738  21460 Three quarters back view of a submarine running on surface in a featureless sea. 14 March 1986 22 April 1986 10 August 1991 13 June 1992 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Nebraska SSBN-739  21461 Submarine being assisted into a mooring position at a pier by a tug. 26 May 1987 6 July 1987 15 August 1992 10 July 1993 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Rhode Island SSBN-740  21682 Three quarters view of submarine running on surface near land. 15 January 1988 15 September 1988 17 July 1993 9 July 1994 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Maine SSBN-741  21826 Submarine executing a tight turn on surface, leaving behind a huge wake. 5 October 1988 3 July 1990 16 July 1994 29 July 1995 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Wyoming SSBN-742  21846 View of front of submarine running on surface, with trees and land in the mid-ground. 18 October 1989 8 August 1991 15 July 1995 13 July 1996 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes
Louisiana SSBN-743  21861 Surfaced submarine in bay with mountains in the background. Flanked to its starboard side by a tug, the boat has several people standing atop of it. 19 December 1990 23 October 1992 27 July 1996 6 September 1997 24 UGM-133 Trident II SLBMs; Mark 48 torpedoes



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