USS Florida (SSGN-728) makes up one of the eighteen nuclear-powered attack submarines of the Ohio-class utilized by the modern United States Navy (USN). The class was initially to have numbered twenty-four boats but this was eventually curtailed with six of the lot ultimately cancelled. All eighteen remain in active service as of this writing (2020). The vessels of the class are the largest submarines available to the surface, offering considerable firepower and performance for their size, and are fielded alongside the Cold War-era Los Angeles-class and more modern Virginia-class boats.
USS Florida was ordered on February 28th, 1975 as a nuclear ballistic missile submarine ("SSBN") and saw her keel laid on January 19th, 1981 by the specialists of Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics (Groton). She was launched on November 14th, 1981 and formally commissioned into the ranks of the United States Navy on June 18th, 1983. Today (2020) she homeports out of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia and maintains an active status in the USN inventory, covering nearly forty years of faithful service. The boat fights under the motto of "Fortune Favors the Brave".
The boat displaces 17,033 tons when surfaced and 19,050 tons when submerged. She has a running length of 560 feet, a beam of 42 feet, and a draught of 38 feet. Power is from a single S8G PWR nuclear reactor unit feeding 2 x Geared turbines developing 60,000 horsepower driving 1 x Shaft astern. Submerged speeds can reach beyond 25 knots, giving the submarine excellent speeds during undersea travel. The hull has been tested to depths of 800 feet. Aboard is a crew encompassing 15 officers and 140 enlisted personnel.
Armament includes 4 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes along with 154 x BGM-109 "Tomahawk" land-attack cruise missiles housed in twenty-two groups of seven missiles each.
The boat's profile is consistent with the Ohio-class standard: the hull shape is tubular with a blunt nose cap and tapering tail section. The fin / sail is positioned ahead of midships with the center of the boat housing the Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) of the cruise missile inventory. The reactor and engine units are positioned aft of midships. The tail unit includes a cruciform tailplane arrangement set ahead of the single propeller unit.
The boat completed its requisite "shakedown" cruise and passed through the Panama Canal in March of 1984, en route to Bangor, Washington (Naval Base Kitsap). Her first patrol was had in July of that year. After the fall of the Soviet Empire and the formal end of the Cold War in 1989-1991, USS Florida was selected - along with sisters Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia - for conversion to cruise missile land-attack platforms (the four were the oldest boats of the group). After the change in structure and role, the vessels were redesignated from "SSBN" to "SSGN". The work spanned from July 2003 to April 2006.
In March of 2011, Florida was part of the Western-led coalition contingent in the Mediterranean Theater assailing positions in Libya during" Operation Odyssey Dawn" where her cruise missiles struck targets far inland with 97% hit efficiency. The action marked the first direct combat exposure undertaken by Florida or any of the powerful Ohio-class submarines. In June of 2010, she - along with sisters USS Ohio and USS Michigan - were used as a show of force against China following Chinese missile testing in the East China Sea.
USS Florida continues to sail today in defense of American interests abroad.
Status Commissioned, in Active Service
Complement 155 Personnel
Ship Class [ Ohio-class ] Ships-in-Class [ 18 ]Ship Names:USS Ohio (SSBN-726/SSGN-726); USS Michigan (SSBN-727/SSGN-727); USS Florida (SSBN-728/SSGN-728); USS Georgia (SSBN-729/SSGN-729); USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730); USS Alabama (SSBN-731); USS Alaska (SSBN-732); USS Nevada (SSBN-733); USS Tennessee (SSBN-734); USS Pennsylvania (SSBN-735); USS West Virginia (SSBN-736); USS Kentucky (SSBN-737); USS Maryland (SSBN-738); USS Nebraska (SSBN-739); USS Rhode Island (SSBN-740); USS Wyoming (SSBN-741); USS Louisiana (SSBN-742)
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
560 ft (170.69 m)
Width / Beam:
42 ft (12.80 m)
Height / Draught:
38 ft (11.58 m)
1 x S8G PWR nuclear reactor feeding 2 x Steam turbines developing 60,000 horsepower and driving 1 x Shaft; 1 x Auxiliary motor developing 325 horsepower.
12 kts (14 mph)
25 kts (28.77 miles)
4 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes.
22 x Vertical Launching System (VLS) cells housing 154 x BGM-109 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles.
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