Attack submarines have always relied chiefly on torpedoes as weapons. During the Cold War, they might also have been armed with several kinds of short- or medium-range missiles that allow them to engage surface ships or other submarines beyond torpedo range. With cruise missiles, the only type of tactical missile now in service, they can pinpoint land targets several hundred miles away.
View a cutaway of a Los Angeles-class submarine.
Model of USS Sturgeon
View a video clip of an emergency blow exercise. (2mb AVI).
Model of the Nuclear-propelled
Fast Attack Submarine USS Los Angeles (SSN-688)
Los Angeles-class submarines carry an array of weapons, including torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, and submarine-launched mobile mines. Tomahawks were fired from torpedo tubes by earlier versions of this class but later versions have vertical-launch tubes. During the Cold War, Los Angeles-class boats also carried Subroc (submarine rocket) nuclear depth charges, Harpoon and Tomahawk anti-ship missiles, and nuclear Tomahawks.
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