From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life threatening injuries.
The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.
Naval News comments:
USS Connecticut went back in the U.S. Navy Fleet in September 2019 following maintenance & modernization work.
According to USNI News, the last known instance where a submerged U.S. submarine struck another underwater object was in 2005. Then, USS San Franciso (SSN -711) struck an underwater mountain at full speed near Guam. One sailor died in the incident.
According to USNI News the incident involving USS Connecticut took place in the South China Sea.
About the Seawolf-class SSN
The U.S. Navy has three Seawolf-class nuclear-powered attack submarines. USS Seawolf (SSN 21) was commissioned July 19, 1997, USS Connecticut (SSN 22) was commissioned on Dec. 11, 1998 and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) was commissioned February 19, 2005. The class is exceptionally quiet, fast, well-armed, and equipped with advanced sensors.
The Seawolf design was intended to combat the threat of advanced Soviet ballistic missile submarines such as the Typhoon class, and attack submarines such as the Akula class in a deep-ocean environment. Seawolf-class hulls are constructed from HY-100 steel, which is stronger than the HY-80 steel employed in previous classes, in order to withstand water pressure at greater depths.
Seawolf submarines are larger, faster, and significantly quieter than previous Los Angeles-class submarines; they also carry more weapons and have twice as many torpedo tubes. Though lacking VLS, the Seawolf-class has eight torpedo tubes and can hold up to 50 weapons (including UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles for attacking land targets) in its torpedo room. The boats also have extensive equipment to allow shallow water operations.
The third ship of the class, USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), has a 100-foot hull extension called the multi-mission platform (MMP). This hull section provides for additional payloads to accommodate advanced technology used to carry out classified research and development and for enhanced warfighting capabilities. MMP allows the launch and recovery of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Navy SEALs. The MMP may also be used as an underwater splicing chamber for tapping of undersea fiber optic cables. This role was formerly filled by the decommissioned USS Parche.