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Z-38

DML 1/350 USS Florida SSGN 728 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2014 Manufacturer DML
Subject USS Florida SSGN 728 Scale 1/350
Kit Number 1056 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy Build Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $52.95

First Look

Z-38
Z-38

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine was developed as the current generation of guardians that serve as the submerged and mobile arm of the nuclear deterrence triad. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the reduced threat of a catastrophic nuclear attack, the US Navy looked at retiring a number of older Ohio boats to help the nation meet its nuclear arms reduction objectives. In the meantime, US Navy SEALS were using the Los Angeles class attack submarines as forward deployment platforms to covertly ingress and egress into various parts of the world. The problem with using the Los Angeles class was the limited number of SEALS and associated equipment that can be embarked and the limited facilities (space) aboard for those SEALS to exercise and train.

To provide a more flexible special operations platform, four Ohio SSBNs were modified to remove the Trident missiles and their support equipment from these boats. In their place, each launch tube was reconfigured to support a variety of roles including a seven-shot vertical launch system armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles. Two of the forward tubes were turned into airlocks which allow SEALS access to the two dry deck shelters that are mounted behind the conning tower without surfacing or going outside the boat. Larger SEAL teams can be embarked aboard the larger Ohio boats and some of the former missile tubes can be used as storage lockers which leave more space for training and exercise. These reconfigured boats were redesignated as SSGNs and include USS Ohio, USS Michigan, USS Florida, and USS Georgia.

DML has reissued the Ohio-class SSBN kit with new parts to render the SSGN variants. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees plus upper and lower hull halves. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Positionable periscopes and masts on conning tower
  • Positionable forward torpedo outer doors
  • A pair of torpedoes can be displayed outside the submarine
  • Movable forward dive planes
  • Movable rear dive planes
  • Movable rudders
  • Positionable missile tube doors
  • Two new dry deck shelters
  • Display stand included

The kit provides markings for USS Florida SSGN 728.

This is another nice release from DML and offers another distinctive submarine configuration to your scale fleet.

My sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for this review sample!

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