The US Seawolf class submarines are special. They are newer, bigger, faster and more heavily armed than standard attack submarines, the nearly $3-billion-per-copy Seawolfs have been fitted with hundreds of millions of dollars in unique equipment and are assigned to their own special squadron in Washington State.
USS Jimmy Carter, third Seawolf commissioned in 2005 is roughly 100 feet (30 meters) longer than the other two boats of her class due to the insertion of a section known as the Multi-Mission Platform (MMP), which allows launch and recovery of ROVs and United States Navy SEALs forces. The MMP may also be used as an underwater splicing chamber for tapping of undersea fiber optic cables.
Compared to previous Los Angeles-class submarines, Seawolf submarines are larger, faster, and significantly quieter; they also carry more weapons and have twice as many torpedo tubes, for a total of 8. The boats are able to carry up to 50 UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles for attacking land and sea surface targets. The boats also have extensive equipment to allow shallow water operations. The class uses the more advanced ARCI Modified AN/BSY-2 combat system, which includes a new, larger spherical sonar array, a wide aperture array (WAA), and a new towed-array sonar. Each boat is powered by a single S6W nuclear reactor, delivering 45,000 hp (34 MW) to a low-noise pump-jet.
Seawolf class hulls are constructed from HY-100 steel, which is stronger than the HY-80 steel employed in previous classes, in order to withstand water pressure at greater depths