Poster submarine Virginia class
A digital drawing of the Virginia class fast attack American submarine
The Virginia class is the latest generation of American attack submarines. It was inaugurated by the USS Virginia, commissioned in 2004.
The first generation of post-Cold War submarines, they differ from previous American submarines by their ability to patrol the depths of the oceans but also to operate in shallow coastal waters, an important asset in the fight against terrorism. .
It is intended to replace the Los Angeles class submarines, several of which have already been decommissioned. Designed in the 1990s and put into service from 2005, the Virgins feature many innovations.
They are the first submarines to be built without a periscope, replaced by two photonic masts, each containing several high resolution cameras with light amplifiers and infrared sensors and various other optical and electronic equipment.
These submarines can launch unmanned underwater vehicles (drones) used, among other things, for mine action. They feature a computerized autopilot designed to reduce crew stress when navigating in shallow water.
Their hull is covered with synthetic materials to reduce the noise emitted by improving hydrodynamics.
The vessels of this class are equipped with a submarine airlock facilitating the submerged launching of special forces teams (Navy SEAL for example) by group of nine men, their equipment being pre-positioned in storage in the side of the submarine kiosk, accessible from the outside.
The Virginia class has armament similar to the Los Angeles class submarine, namely Mk-48 533 mm torpedoes, Harpoon sea-to-sea missiles, and Tomahawk vertical launch missiles.
More than twenty ships of this class should see the light of day.