Despite a virtual news blackout, information on America’s damaged Seawolf Class attack submarine, USS Connecticut (SSN-22), is starting to leak out. While details are scarce, the Pacific Fleet’s latest operational debacle has left the U.S. without a key undersea combatant. At a minimum, the USS Connecticut will be out of service for years, and there is a creeping realization that the damage may be significant enough to force the USS Connecticut into a premature retirement.
It is time for the Navy to start talking. Regardless of the outcome, the fate of the USS Connecticut has enormous ramifications for virtually every facet of America’s maritime industrial base. Given the extended news blackout and the fact that the submarine hasn’t budged from Guam yet, indications suggest the USS Connecticut is badly hurt.