Aviation Week reported last Thursday that the Navy was considering canceling the proposed SSBN(X) project to meet budget reduction requirements. Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright stated at the Defense Writers Group breakfast that the Pentagon was considering lengthening Virginia-class submarines to be capable of carrying Trident C-4 SLBMs (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles).
The idea of lengthening Virginia-class submarines has been discussed before, the idea being to insert an extra 27.4 meter section into a normal Virginia-class sub, and fill the section with 194 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The proposal to insert SLBMs into a Virginia-class certainly has merit, but with congress in a stalemate over the debt ceiling, the chances of this happening, are slim at best.
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy