IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


8th November, 2023 Security


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  • A US nuclear-powered Ohio-class submarine is in the Middle East to help prevent the Israel-Hamas war from spiraling into a broader conflict.


  • The Ohio class submarine is a class of nuclear-powered submarines currently in service with the United States Navy.
  • These submarines are designed for extended underwater operations and are equipped with advanced technology to support various missions, including strategic deterrence, surveillance, and special operations.

History and Development

  • The Ohio class submarines were developed during the Cold War to provide the United States with a robust and survivable sea-based strategic deterrent.
  • The first Ohio class submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726), was commissioned in 1981, and a total of 18 submarines were built between 1976 and 1997. 

Design and Specifications

  • Dimensions: The Ohio class submarines are approximately 560 feet (170 meters) long and have a submerged displacement of around 18,750 tons.
  • Propulsion: They are powered by a nuclear reactor, providing virtually unlimited range and the ability to remain submerged for extended periods.
  • Armament: Originally designed as ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), the Ohio class was later modified to carry conventional cruise missiles, making them capable of conducting a variety of missions, including precision strike and intelligence gathering.

Mission Capabilities

  • Strategic Deterrence: Ohio class submarines play a crucial role in the United States' nuclear triad, serving as a platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) armed with nuclear warheads. These submarines contribute to the nation's strategic deterrence posture and serve as a critical component of national security.
  • Conventional Capabilities: With their ability to carry and launch a variety of conventional cruise missiles, Ohio class submarines have the flexibility to engage in non-nuclear missions, including precision strikes, intelligence gathering, and surveillance operations.

Strategic Importance

  • Given their capacity for extended deployments and their role in strategic deterrence, Ohio class submarines are a critical component of the U.S. Navy's global force projection and national security strategy.
  • They contribute to maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent and provide the United States with a significant strategic advantage in ensuring the security and stability of international waters.


Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Ohio class submarines were developed during the Cold War era.
  2. These submarines are powered by diesel-electric engines.
  3. They are armed with conventional cruise missiles for precision strikes.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) Only Statement 1.

b) Only Statement 3.

c) Statements 1 and 3.

d) Statements 2 and 3.

Answer: c)