The boats were heavily armed by American standards and easily surpassed all speed requirements. Sound silencing was at a premium. Oddly, the boats were not as rugged as the Permits and Sturgeons so those two classes would remain in the intelligence gathering and under ice operation role due to their deeper diving depth and sturdier sail construction. The key would be the role and the gear fitted to the role. The BSY-1 sensor suite put the LA's in a different ball park altogether. There was nothing at, under or above the water that couldn't be tracked, analysed, targeted and if necessary - killed - by the new 688 boats. As they left the shipyards, a handful were retained in Groton and added into a new squadron, Submarine Development Squadron Twelve or SUBDEVRON 12. This squadron was experimental and like Top Gun, trained the submarines in new tactics, weapons and equipment. "Bottom Gun" was the name given and in next to no time, the class would undergo radical changes including strengthened sails, vertical launch weapons and even quieter sensors.
The original twelve of the class, including "Philly" would be known as "Flight I" boats. As built, they had the basic BSY-1 SONAR suite and four angled 21 inch torpedo tubes. The room's interior held 28 weapons which included submarine launched Harpoon for anti-ship use, MK-48 torpedoes for anti-ship and anti-submarine use and an anti-submarine weapon called SUBROC. Submarine lauched Tomahawk could be carried as well which gave the boats a strategic role. The next group with vertical launch weapon tubes would be the Flight II. This mod took the Tomahawk missiles and mounted them outside of the torpedo room in twelve vertical tubes. This allowed the submarine to almost double it's weapon capacity. Vertical launch tubes, quiet hull coatings and bow planes would be on the Flight III boats. These would be the final versions of the Los Angeles Class submarines. Our kit is from Japanese company ARII who concentrates mainly on modern subjects. Their submarine kits normally have a full hull and also come with a waterline hull, so you effectively get two kits.
I didn't include my patented ruler in the photos but the "finished" kit is little more than three inches long. The color scheme is Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black all over. The non-skid top stripe is Testor's Acryllic Aircraft Interior Black. The kit comes with two sails but only one set of scopes and masts. So you have to decide which of your two kits is going to have scopes/masts up or down. Oddly though, the holes for the masts are open on both sail tops. The kit is really good for the price.