IPIX plug-in
Photographs by
Bill Swersey/Newsmakers.
Ohio Class "Trident" submarines are the largest submarines ever built by the United States. The 185 metre long nuclear-powered missile carriers were conceived as an essential part of the U.S. nuclear triad to deter a Soviet first strike against the U.S. by guaranteeing massive retaliation. The newest Tridents patrol with a crew of 165 men and 24 Trident II ballistic missiles, each capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads.

Congress authorized the construction of 18 Tridents; the first, U.S.S. Ohio, was commissioned in 1981. The construction program was completed with delivery of the last "boomer," USS Louisiana (SSBN 743), which was commissioned in 1997 and now operates out of Kings Bay, Georgia. Although the end of the cold war forced the United States to re-evaluate defense philosophy and strategy, the Navy will likely operate Tridents,
which have an operational life-span of approximately 30 years, for some time to come.

These 360-degree panoramas were made aboard U.S.S. Louisiana during the cruise in Long Island Sound in the summer of 1997, when the boat was officially handed over from its manufacturer, the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics Corp., to the US Navy.

Click on the circular pictures to step inside the Louisiana and get a feel for the unique environment in a working Trident submarine. Use your mouse to look around, up and down, zoom in and out.
Note: To view these IPIX 360-degree immersive images, you must have the IPIX plug-in.