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Will The US Navy Bring Back Diesel Submarines?


Robert Farley, National Interest: Why It Is Past Time for the Navy to Bring Back Diesel Submarines

Silent and deadly.

Key point: AIP works well and is arguably more stealthy than nuclear power. If America wants more affordable submarines, it should look into building AIP boats.

Over the past decade, air-independent propulsion (AIP) for submarines has spread rapidly around the world. The technology, which allows conventionally powered submarines to operate without access to outside air, has the potential the shift the balance away from the big nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) that have dominated undersea warfare since the 1950s, and back towards small conventional boats. In global terms, this might again make submarines the great strategic equalizer; small, cheap weapons that can destroy the expensive warships of the world’s most powerful navies. Does this mean that the United States should invest in these kinds of boats? Probably not.

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WNU Editor: The US Navy wants subs that can travel quickly and go anywhere around the world. So they will stick with nuclear subs. But many there is some room for a few diesel subs. IMHO it is an idea that should be explored more deeply.

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