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USS South Dakota (SSN-790)


Nuclear Attack Submarine


United States | 2018



"USS South Dakota SSN-790 is one of the latest submarine additions to the United States Navy fleet."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 11/09/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Virginia-class series of nuclear attack submarines represents one of the most important undersea components of the modern United States Navy (USN). Some 48 total boats of the group are planned with sixteen completed as of late-2017. The latest of these is USS South Dakota (SSN-790), laid down on April 4th, 2016 and christened on October 14th, 2017. The boat is part of the Block III batch featuring a modified bow section as well as improved technologies. Electric Boat (General Dynamics) was responsible for her construction after the contract was awarded on December 22nd, 2008.

The boat displaces 7,800 tons under load and has a length of 377 feet with a beam measuring 34 feet. Power is from an S9G series nuclear reactor unit generating 40,000 horsepower to a single shaft astern. This provides essentially unlimited range (an estimated thirty-three year lifespan for the reactor is reported) and speeds reach up to 25 knots. On board there is a crew of 134 (14 officer-level candidates) and mission endurance is limited to food supplies and general maintenance schedules.

The armament suite of the attack submarine consists of 4 x 533mm torpedo tubes cleared to fire the Mk 48 torpedo series. About 37 reloads can be carried. Beyond this the boat also supports the launching of the BGM-109 "Tomahawk" land-attack cruise missile and twelve Vertical Launching Systems (VLSs) are installed. The boat can fire these while completely submerged so as to maintain its position away from enemy eyes. The "Harpoon" anti-ship missile is also another ranged option for the boat and the type can also release naval mines as needed.

The general profile of SSN-790 is consistent with the Virginia-class. The nose section is rounded for hydrodynamic efficiency and contains a sonar fit as we well as the four torpedo launch tubes. Ahead of midships is the conning tower / sail and various communications and sensors are installed on the structure. The hull is tubular and tapers at the stern where a cruciform plane arrange is featured. Aft of this is the single-shaft propeller unit which is shrouded for noise reduction. The entire boat is also optimized for stealth through various noise-reduction means. Surface-search and navigation radars are carried as well as a complete electronic warfare suite.

The Virginia-class Block III group includes USS North Dakota, USS John Warner, USS Illinois, USS Washington, USS Colorado, USS Indiana and USS Delaware. USS South Dakota and USS Delaware officially remain "under construction" as of this writing (2017). The versatility of these boats is such that it can undertake intelligence-gathering missions, support special operations forces, defend contested sea-spaces and deny strategic areas from the enemy.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for USS South Dakota (SSN-790).
1 x General Electric S9G nuclear reactor driving 1 x shaft.
Propulsion
25.0 kts
28.8 mph
Surface Speed
35.0 kts
40.3 mph
Submerged Speed
Essentially Unlimited
Range
Structure
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of USS South Dakota (SSN-790).
134
Personnel
Complement
377.0 ft
114.91 meters
O/A Length
34.0 ft
10.36 meters
Beam
32.0 ft
9.75 meters
Draught
7,800
tons
Displacement
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of USS South Dakota (SSN-790).
12 x VLS (Vertical Launch System) launch tubes for BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
4 x 21" (530mm) torpedo tubes (Mk-48 torpedoes)
Naval Mines as needed.
Ships-in-Class (18)
Notable series variants as part of the USS South Dakota (SSN-790) family line as relating to the Virginia-class group.
USS Virginia (SSN-774); USS Texas (SSN-775); USS Hawaii (SSN-776); USS North Carolina (SSN-777); USS New Hampshire (SSN-778); USS New Mexico (SSN-779); USS Missouri (SSN-780); USS California (SSN-781); USS Mississippi (SSN-782); USS Minnesota (SSN-783); USS North Dakota (SSN-784); USS John Warner (SSN-785); USS Illinois (SSN-786); USS Washington (SSN-787); USS Colorado (SSN-788); USS Indiana (SSN-789); USS South Dakota (SSN-790); USS Delaware (SSN-791)
Operators
Global operator(s) of the USS South Dakota (SSN-790). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
1 / 1
Image of the USS South Dakota (SSN-790)
Image of USS John Warner (SSN-785) used to demonstrate the soon-to-be-commissioned USS South Dakota.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
BLUE WATER SERVICE
SUBMERGED ATTACK
OFFSHORE OPERATION
MARITIME PATROL
FLEET SUPPORT
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
USS South Dakota (SSN-790) Nuclear Attack Submarine appears in the following collections:
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