Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Los Angeles Class Submarine

One of the most iconic submarine in recent history, the Los Angeles class Submarine is the mainstay of hunter-killers submarines for the United States Navy. Not only is it the backbone of the submarine fleet, but it is the most built of any class, nuclear class submarine in the USN.

While this is a micromachine model, I tried to modify or convert it in such a way that it looked like the iconic LA-class Submarine.

Modifying its top part by adding extra periscope and poles, I was able to convert two unassuming generic submarines that were produced by Micromachine into a vague semblance of the LA-class submarine.

SSN 688s cruising on the surface.

These Silent killers carry about 25 torpedo-tube-launched weapons and all boats of the class are capable of launching Tomahawk cruise missles horizontally (from the torpedo tubes). The last 31 boats of this class also have 12 dedicated vertical launch (VLS) tubes for launching Tomahawks.

I can still remember the days I go to the my Secondary School Library to borrow a few Tom Clancy books and you are bound to find the presents of these class of submarines in his Naval Novels. Better yet, I always was fascinated by his Naval Guide as he points out the various specifications and capabilities of this hunter killer.

Back then, which was about a decade or so, the SSN 688 was the pinnacle of modern submarine technology. In fact, to accompany that statement, the LA-cass sub was also famous in many submarine games such as the Electronic Art 688I Hunter Killer and more recently, Dangerous Waters.

It also starred in movies such as the infamous Hunt for Red October (which to me is by far, one of the most compelling submarine novel and movie) and Terminator Salvation.

Its glory days are almost over though, with the new Virginia Class Submarines taking over as the lead hunter sub class in modernization. It is planned to phase out and replace the Los Angeles Class Submarines in the distant future. However, as for now though, it still remain the mainstay until total replacement by the new class of Submarines.

Whatever is future status maybe, it is considered to be the most famous of all submarines in the USN and unless the world takes interest in Submarine warfare once again, it will continue to be the icon of submarine warfare.


  1. Quite a neat conversion. I am surprise u can go to the extent of converting a Micromachine. Didn't think that was even possible.

    Great job done and u forgot to add the movie Crimson Tide as one of the submarine shows.

  2. Kills, The Crimson Tide film is based on the USS Ohio Class SSBN. Not the Los Angeles Class Submarine. HAHA.

    But I must agree that the Los Angeles Class has an impression on people.

  3. Ahhh Tom Clancy's guidebooks were really good references to military structure of the USA.

    He doesn't really do that anymore I think.

  4. It is however important to realize that while Los Angeles like many nuclear submarine have unlimited range and can remain submerged for the longest of times. Diesal subs are quieter and are coming back into the submarine warfare theater because of its advantage.

  5. Agreed hiko.

    But still I have to concurred that in terms of deep sea operations and long range capabilities, diesal will never match up to the nuclear submarine. But then again, if your country is not a superpower and your military expenditure is limited to domestic defense, SSK or Diesal designated subs are the way to go.

    Speaking of Tom cClancy too, are you sure he doesn't have any more guide books or current ones for that matter?

  6. Shen, My apologizes. It just occurred to me that yes, it was an Ohio-class SSBN.

    and yeah Jiaqi, it is indeed true on that analogy of submarine warfare. The pros and cons of diesal and nuclear are apparent on what you have stated. But technology are trying to cover the weakness bit by bit.

    Like for eg, they are trying to make diesel submarines have the ability to remain submerged and requires less frequent times to surface unlike old diesel submarine technology.

    I'm not entirely familiar with it but I have heard of it.

    As for Tom Clany guide books, I believe that you guys are talking about the Guided Tour non-fiction books Clancy wrote about.

    Its been almost ten years since his last one which was a guided tour of special forces. Warfare strategies have changed since that time but certain general elements remain relevant.

    Phew... Longest comment I have ever wrote, I believe.

  7. @RedChina : "He doesn't really do that anymore"

    I have to say that Tom Clancy is becoming a less relevant to the changing dynamics of Urban Warfare. Perhaps I don't read his current novels but his association of USA to the various enemies and allies are not really in sync to the world we see today.

    That's just my opinion.