The USA’s Ohio/ Henry M. Jackson Class and Britain’s Vanguard Class SSBNs (i.e. nuclear missile submarines) will begin experiencing age-related risks by the late 2010s, and military programs of this type can easily take 15-20 years from concept to fielding. The Common Missile Compartment (CMC) sub-program will help to define one of the next-generation SSBN’s most important constraints.
CMC aims to define the missile tubes and accompanying systems that would be used to launch new ballistic missiles, successors to the current Trident II/ D5 missile fleet used by the USA and Britain. The new CMCs will reportedly carry just 12 launch tubes each, as opposed to the current Ohio SSBNs’ 24, or the Vanguard SSBNs’ 16. Key options under consideration include a widened diameter for each tube from 2.21m – 3.04m, and the potential for flexibility beyond nuclear missiles.