USS Michigan rejoins the fleet

USS Michigan Returns to Service

The former ballistic missile boat USS Michigan (SSBN 727) is now the newest guided missile sub in the fleet. The refit Michigan (now SSGN 727) returns after two years in the yard.

Michigan became the third of four ballistic-missile submarines to be converted to a guided-missile platform. With the change, the ship’s mission capabilities are more sophisticated and will be able to perform more tasks than before.

“The difference between an SSBN ballistic missile submarine and an SSGN guided missile submarine is the SSBN goes out to patrol,” said Gale. “One of the SSGN specialties is going out and dropping off special operation forces insertion and support.”

The guided missile submarine program first mentioned on MO at Deuces wild for SSGN conversion

Pic of the new Michigan below.

uss michigan ssgn 727

USS Michigan (SSGN 727) Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Christian Williams looks on as his crew boards Michigan toward the end of a return to service ceremony. The ceremony marked the end of Michigan’s conversion process from a ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) to a guided missile submarine (SSGN). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Dagendesh

Pic from Navy NewsStand.


  1. While the Navy worries over the LCS and frets about its shrinking fleet, these giant underwater battleships have quietly been reentering service under this new guise. They are the Iowa class of the 21st century only vastly more survivable and lethal.

  2. How is a sub more survivable than a BB? It already sinks on its own, and a BB can shrug off anything except a direct nuke strike.

  3. Like everything, the SSGNs have their role to play. I certainly wouldn’t call them a replacement for BBs, but they can provide some of the firepower. I wouldn’t call them a replacement for LCSs, except they can get in close for special ops and such. I wouldn’t call them replacements for the DD(X)s, though they can fill some of those roles as well. (Mainly the sinking part? – ed) More than anything, subs are true stealth ships. I don’t have a problem with trying to reduce radar cross-sections and such on surface ships, but to go overboard on it or to pretend that you’re going to make a DD(X) invisible to the enemy is ludicrous. Stop radiating and you might have a chance. Of course, you can’t see, navigate, communicate, or shoot. I can see purpose-built (AIP?) special ops subs being part of the plan. The size of the Ohios has a lot of advantages for this sort of thing, but it also works against you in a lot of ways as well. I don’t know how much of the SSGN concept was Military-Industrial Complex driven and how much of it was truly mission/needs driven, but I like it. Particularly because it keeps boats with a lot of service left in them in service.