About U.S. Navy Submarines
Submarines play a critical role in the United States Navy, both past and present. The Navy began using submarines in the late 1800s, but it did not rely on the vessels until after World War I. Witnessing the mayhem caused by German U-boats resulted in the military ordering submarines for the fleet.
During World War II, the Navy used submarines to attack enemy merchant and military vessels while also defending American assets.
Submarines were also vital for rescuing pilots who ejected from their fighter jets over water during aviation battles.
From the Cold War to the present, submarines have provided the third option in America’s nuclear triad. Submarines are capable of firing ballistic missiles from the sea at targets thousands of miles away.
Today’s Navy Submarines
In addition to nuclear deterrence, submarines today perform many jobs from reconnaissance and rescue missions to providing military support and deploying SEAL teams.
Some vessels are capable of launching ballistic and guided missiles. All submarines in the U.S. fleet are nuclear-powered.
Today, the U.S. Navy has over 65 submarines in its fleet and more in production.
The four different classes of submarines are:
- Los Angeles
Construction continues on new submarines as old vessels reach the end of their lifetimes. Approximately one new submarine enters the fleet each year.