By 2012, the reactor on the U.S. Navy's only deep-diving research submarine will be exhausted, making it necessary to either refuel the reactor or replace the submarine. If the Navy opts for a new submarine, what capabilities should it retain and what capabilities should be added? What would be its most important missions and what would be required for it to perform those missions? This executive summary of the full report of the same title (MR-1395-NAVY) encapsulates the authors' work with panels of qualified scientists, defense experts, and naval officers to develop a concept of operation for a possible replacement platform, analyzing which military and scientific missions should have the highest priorities. The authors conclude by offering a list of the highest-priority missions and two design concepts that would best be able to achieve them.
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