Submarines are sea-going vessels that operate under water instead of the usual sea ships that are on the surface. The Los Angeles class submarines are nuclear powered attack submarines. The United States Navy has a fleet of 45 units in active duty and 17 units which are retired. The Los Angeles class submarines were preceded by the Sturgeon class submarines and followed by the Sea-wolf and Virginia classes of submarines. |
They were built by Newport News Shipbuilding, General Dynamics Electric Boat and operated mainly by the United States Navy. The submarines were commissioned between 1976 and the present day. 62 units were completed, 19 have been retired and 43 are still in active service.
The Los Angeles class submarines have the displacement of 6,082 tons on surface and when submerged 6,927 tons. Its length is 110 meters (362 feet), a beam of 10 meters (32 feet) and a draft of 9.4 meters (31 feet). The top speed is over 46km/hour (25 knots) and it is propelled by the general electric nuclear reactor, 2 turbines producing 26MW (35,000hp), an auxiliary motor of 242kW (325hp). When submerged, the Los Angeles class submarine speed is 37km/hour (20 knots) and has a surface speed of 37km/hour (23mph, 20 knots). Refueling is done after 30 years its endurance is 90 days. The test depth is 290m (950 feet).
They carry a complementary crew of 129 service men. The sensors and processing systems consist of passive sonar, detecting and ranging sonar, fire control radar receiver, acoustic receiver for detection of active search sonar and acoustic homing torpedoes and radio direction finders. The Los Angeles class submarines have weapons and fire control systems.
They can launch 25 torpedoes and tomahawk cruise missiles, electronic war-fare and decoys armament consisting of 4 x 533mm mid-ship tubes, 10- torpedo reloads, tomahawk land attack missiles of 3,100km (1,700 nautical miles) range and a 70 nautical miles (130km) range harpoon anti-surface ship missile, mine laying and mobile captor mines. The Los Angeles class submarines have two water tight compartments. 0ne is used for the crew’s living space, weapons handling and control space.
The second compartment is for the ship’s engineering systems, power generation turbines and water making equipment. Atmospheric control devices are built into the Los Angeles class submarines to allow the vessels to be under the sea for prolonged times without ventilation. Nuclear reactors generate steam power delivering pressurized hot water to steam generators through the team driven main turbines which drive the ship’s propeller using the reduction gear system.
The Los Angeles class submarine is in a class of its own and is widely used as a nuclear powered submarine. It is a quiet and fast attack submarine and the new versions of it are designed to operate under polar conditions and have more advanced combat systems.
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