Seawolf: The Navy’s Special Submarine Built To Fight Russia

The Seawolf-class of submarines were built to fight Russia in a third word war scenario. And with the death of the USSR, the Seawolf-class had to be scaled back: Designed to address the threat of Soviet ballistic missile submarines, and to replace the aging Los Angeles-class of submarines, the Seawolf­-class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) has been described as the best of the best. A total of 29 boats were to be constructed over a 10-year period – a number that was then reduced to 12 – but only three were launched.

The reason: the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Simply put, the Seawolf­-class­ may have been the best of the best, but at approximately $3 to $3.5 billion per vessel, it was simply too expensive, especially in the wake of changing global geopolitics. Instead, the United States Navy opted for the smaller and more cost-effective Virginia-class submarine program.

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