While the Ohio-class submarines are children of the Cold War – and built to destroy the Soviet Union in a nuclear war – these ballistic missiles submarines now are tasked with deterring China and Russia. When the USS Ohio (SSBN-726) was commissioned in 1981, the nuclear ballistic submarine was heralded by then-Vice President George H.W. Bush as providing “a new dimension in our nation’s strategic deterrence.” The submarine, which had been laid down five years earlier, was the first in a new class of eighteen nuclear-powered SSBNs built for the United States Navy.
The first eight boats were delivered with Trident C4 missiles, while the fourteen to follow were armed with the longer-range Trident D5 – a weapon that has been touted as being as accurate as ground-based ICBMs, and with the same response time and greater destructive effect.
Major Leap Forward
The Ohio-class has been seen as a major improvement over the previous Lafayette-class SSBNs, and the
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