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The Seawolf: a first-rate sub

Regarding the article ''Deep Water Seawolf Sub Runs Silent,'' March 21: I understand Seawolf's capabilities because I work in the tactical analysis department on the staff of the commander of Submarine Development Squadron 12. Our job is to write the tactical procedures that Seawolf will use to dominate undersea warfare around the world.

The author lays out many compelling reasons for continuing new submarine construction, but a few of his points beg for correction. First, our nation does not have more submarines than we need. Each is productively employed conducting valuable missions worldwide.

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We have, however, determined that under today's fiscal conditions we have more submarines than our nation can afford.

Second, Seawolf is not only the world's finest deep water submarine, but also the best in shallow water as well. Designed to counter the cold-war threat, Seawolf is a true multi-mission submarine, also designed for great flexibility. Seawolf's tactical capabilities, both crew and ship, will keep the US as the world leader in undersea warfare in both deep and shallow water -- a superiority our future national security needs.

Alan M. Weigel, Groton, Conn.

Commander, United States Navy

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ''Readers Write'' and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet E-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM.

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