When I told a friend, who is a high-ranking Naval officer, about our incredible sighting, he of course was aware of the situation. He said the submarine we likely saw was the USS Ohio, originally a vessel capable of carrying nuclear warheads but that had been scheduled to be retired in 2002.
In the late ‘90’s, the Navy decided to convert the nuclear-capable sub to one which would instead carry a load of cruise missiles with conventional warheads (like the Tomahawk or other similar weaponry). However, she would remain nuclear powered.
The Ohio recently completed its three-year rebuild, and it went so well that many more are undergoing similar changes. In fact it’s resulted in a category of subs aptly named the “Ohio Class,” which now has more than a dozen ships. The photo above shows the Ohio getting its makeover.
I mentioned that that the sub we saw appeared to be quite large. She is – stretching almost two football fields in length and having a girth half as wide as a cruise ship. “Ohio class” vessels are the largest category of subs in our Navy. The Russians have a class that is slightly larger.
The correction that needs to be made is that I thought she still carried nuclear weapon capabilities. Not true anymore. Now, she can only wreak havoc on a few city blocks at a time or on an enemy military convoy – but with precision accuracy.
“Ohio class” subs are the ones featured in recent Tom Clancy books (at least one of which became a movie), The Sum of All Fears and Debt of Honor.