The U.S. Navy is designing a big, powerful attack submarine to fight the wars of the future. The new class will be considerably larger and more capable than the current Virginia class, with an emphasis on undersea combat. The new sub, SSN(X) will be a quiet, deep diving, heavily armed submarine meant to take on all comers in the mid 21st century.
Traditionally, the U.S. Navy’s nuclear attack submarine (SSN) fleet was given the mission of chasing down enemy surface fleets and attack submarines. This hunter-killer role required a submarine to locate enemy ships, stalk them, and then unleash a deadly ambush with missiles and torpedoes.