Is This Jumbo Diesel Electric Submarine A True Nuclear Alternative?
French naval ship builder DCNS super-sized SMX-Ocean sub concept. It has 328 feet long and displacing 4,750 tons while surfaced.
DCNS's latest fuel cell and lithium-ion battery based AIP technology
will allow these big boats to stay submerged and near entirely silent
for up to 21 days at a time. With its large internal volume, the SMX-Ocean will have enough fuel and stores on-board that it will be as adapted to 'blue water' operations
The SMX-Ocean boats are designed to pack vertical launch tubes
for land and surface attack long-range cruise missiles and even
anti-aircraft missiles. This is all in addition to the standard forward
firing torpedo tubes, although these too are capable of deploying
anti-ship, anti-sub and even anti-air weaponry. In total, this
innovative new SSK design will be able to pack an incredible amount of
firepower, totaling 34 missiles, mines or torpedoes. In comparison, the Virginia Class SSNs, which are nearly double displacement, carry 39 weapons.
In addition to her bristling quiver full of missiles and torpedoes, full
accommodations for a team of special forces frog men, including a
lockout chamber and a 'garage' for swimmer delivery vehicles and/or a
dorsally mounted midget submarines are part of the initial design.