The Submarine Called The “Death Dealer” Of The U.S. Navy

( 19FortyFive notes that the Ohio State University Buckeyes’ alumni and fans often refer to their school as “the Ohio State University” in casual conversation as if they were worried that viewers might confuse them with other public universities in Ohio.

This makes fans and alumni of the Buckeyes’ in-conference rivals, like the Michigan Wolverines, and storied non-conference opponents, like the USC Trojans, laugh and write “tOSU” to mock them.

Who would mock someone who casually called the Ohio-class cruise missile submarines (SSGNs) and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) of the U.S. Navy “the submarines”? After 40 years as the USN’s ultimate power projection and nuclear deterrence, these powerful warships deserve it. The Ohio-Class submarines are the ultimate death dealers of the US Navy.

The Ohio-class boats have their origins in 1976, appropriately enough, the year of America’s bicentennial, when the keel of the class’s first ship, USS Ohio (SSBN-726), was laid down. She was launched in 1979 and officially commissioned on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1981.

The Lafayette-class and Benjamin Franklin-class submarines were replaced by the Ohio-class submarines. There were 18 Ohios built in total; the most recent ship of the class to be commissioned is the USS Louisiana (SSBN-743). Except for USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN-730), which is named after the illustrious Senator “Scoop” Jackson, they are all given American state names (D-WA).

These boats are huge and powerful. The Ohio class is the third-largest submarine class in the world, behind the Typhoon class and the Russian Navy’s Borei class, with a 560-foot hull, 42-foot beam, 16,764 tons surfaced, and 18,750 tons submerged. These measurements fit 140 enlisted sailors and 15 commissioned officers. 23+ mph (20+ knots).

Weaponry includes 24 Trident II (D5) submarine-launched ballistic missile tubes (SLBMs). Four Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo tubes are present.

In 2002, the Navy decided to convert the four oldest boats — USS Ohio, USS Michigan, USS Florida, and USS Georgia — into cruise-missile submarines.

Reclassified SSGNs traded their torpedoes and ballistic missiles for up to 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles fired from their missile tubes. Two tubes were converted into swimmer lockout chambers, allowing the SSGNs to carry and deploy 66 special operations troops for covert missions.