July 22 (UPI) -- A top Navy admiral hinted this week that the service's next-generation attack submarine will have the strongest attributes of its predecessors -- including payload, speed, acoustics, sensors, operational availability and the service life of three submarines combined.
Adm. Bill Houston, director of the Navy's undersea warfare requirements office, said during a panel discussion that the service is "looking at the ultimate apex predator for the maritime domain" during a panel discussion, Breaking Defense and Seapower Magazine reported on Wednesday.
The discussion, part of a prerecorded webinar, was published by the Navy League ahead of the annual Sea-Air-Space exposition.
Houston said SSN(X) will combine the payload and speed of a Seawolf-class submarine, the acoustics and sensors found on a Virginia-class submarine and the operational availability and service life capability of a Columbia-class submarine.
Details on the SSN(X), however, remain scarce.
In this year's defense budget, there was a $98 million request for the development of the SSN(X). In the previous fiscal year, the Navy said it would begin buying 42 new submarines in fiscal year 2034.
The Navy also plans to continue building two Virginia-class attack submarines, ramp up the pace of building the Columbia-class submarine, and build and design the SSN(X) while restarting a submarine repair capability.