The third and final Seawolf (SSN-21)-class submarine, the Jimmy Carter (SSN-23) is expected to enter U.S. Navy service in December 2005. She differs from her two predecessors in having a 100-foot hull extension to enable enhanced operations by Naval Special Warfare operators and to allow the submarine to "accommodate advanced technology required to develop and test an entirely new generation of weapons." This hull lengthening has resulted in significant delays for the submarine's construction, though it will enable the Jimmy Carter to carry 50 SEALs and their equipment in addition to displays for remote-controlled minehunting submersibles and other remotely operated vehicles. Once commissioned, she will supplant capabilities previously offered by the USS Parche (SSN-683) and USS Kamehameha (SSN-642).
By Eric Wertheim, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World