The Seawolf class attack submarine (SSN) was the intended successor to the Los Angeles class, ordered at the end of the Cold War in 1989. At one time, an intended fleet of 29 submarines was to be built over a ten-year period, later reduced to twelve. The end of the Cold War and budget constraints led to the fleet being canceled at three boats in 1995, and led to the design of the smaller Virginia class.
They are quieter than the previous Los Angeles class submarines, larger, faster, have twice as many torpedo tubes for a total of 8, and carry more weapons, but were also much more expensive. They were intended to combat the then-threat of large numbers of advanced Soviet ballistic-missile submarines in deep ocean, such as the Typhoon class, and to reply to the new Soviet Akula class attack submarines. They were built using HY-100 steel rather than HY-80 steel which is what previous classes had used. However they also have extensive equipment for shallow-water operations, including a floodable silo capable of deploying eight combat swimmers and their equipment at once. The boats can also carry up to 50 UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles for attacking land and shipping targets.
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