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Rear Adm. Bill Houston on Navy’s Next-Gen Attack Submarine SSN(X)

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Rear Adm. Bill Houston
Rear Adm. Bill Houston U.S. Navy

Rear Adm. Bill Houston, director of the undersea warfare requirements office at the U.S. Navy, said the service’s next-generation attack submarine called SSN(X) will be the “ultimate apex predator for the maritime domain,” Breaking Defense reported Wednesday.

Houston said the new boat will feature the acoustics and sensors of the Virginia-class submarine, the Columbia-class submarine's service life and operational availability and the Seawolf-class submarine's speed and payload.

“We’re confident that we’re going to be able to do that because we’ve already built that on those previous platforms, we know how to do that. We just have to mesh it together with one platform,” he added.

Houston said the military branch and industry are close to completing design work on Columbia and intend to tap the same team to work on SSN(X).

“We’re going to time it such that when Columbia is ramping down in production, we’ll be ramping up in SSN(X) because we’ll have the design and the RDT&E done,” he said. 

“It takes a significant amount of time and effort for that RDT&E to develop this apex predator, but that’s what we’re going to do over the next decade as we’re working on the systems for SSN(X),” Houston added.