The provisional age of a submarine for diving purposes is thirty years or so. Rather than decommission the Ohio's as they "turned thirty," the US Navy came up with a novel idea: a guided missile submarine (SSGN). The first four Ohio Class (the oldest) were taken in hand and converted for a new role which does not require the deep diving so needed by boomers. Twenty of the missile tubes were removed and in their place were inserted "sleeves" containing seven-round Tomahawk launchers. The remaining four of the tubes were removed and a hangar and supply/staging area was provided for Navy special forces (SEAL) mini-subs and other gear. As the Tomahawk launchers do not take up four floors like the Trident missile did, extra room was provided for SEAL berthing. Over a hundred SEALs are able to be embarked.
Although the Tomahawks carried are the "land attack" variant with submunitions, bunker busting warheads, etc, any variant of Tomahawk can be employed. So technically, nuclear tipped Tomahawks could be carried should America find itself short of strategic delivery platforms. The completed ship is pretty much an enemie's worst nightmare. Over a hundred SEALs with over a hundred Tomahawk's sitting right off of any coast at any time. The four were completed ahead of schedule and the first two were assigned to the Pacific Fleet at Bangor, Washington (USS Ohio and USS Michegan). The other two, USS Florida and USS Georgia, were assigned to the Atlantic Fleet at Kings' Bay, Georgia. Since completion, all four have taken part in the operations in Iraq and also in Afghanistan.
Our kit is one of the famous DML USS Ohio versus Soviet Alpha kits. The kits are full hull and come with a load of extras and options. The kits are separated at the waterline so it's easy to leave the bottom hull half off of the kit and have a perfect waterline ship (which is what I've done). The SEAL shelter/hangar on the back of the sub is actually a 72nd scale aircraft bomb sanded and shaped to the exact dimensions. In tiny 1/700th scale you can get away with that. In larger scale like 1/350th (which I also plan to do) I'll have to come up with something different. The kit builds pretty quickly having at most, ten parts. And the color scheme is pretty easy - Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black for the all-over color and Testors Modelmaster Acrylic Aircraft Interior Black for the anti-skid/missile deck path down the middle.
The kits build great with no fit problems and they are about as accurate as you're going to get. Even the fancy resin boys don't have the correct number of vents and ports so any protestations from the accuracy nazi's fall on deaf ears. The hatch detail for the missiles and the safety track are pretty accurate and their are loads of real-life photos of these ships in port and at sea so no company should be excused for getting that wrong. The sale is in two pieces and you get a handful of masts and scopes to use but if you choose not to use the scopes, you must cover over the holes in the top of the sail. No ruler in the photo, but when built, they are pretty large for 1/700th scale submarines. The DML kit is out of production but occassionally shows up in bargain bins. The kit has markings for all eighteen of the class.