The United States Navy

Attack Submarines - SSN

Updated: December 6, 2001
Virtual Tour of USS Springfield (SSN 761)
from PBS's Nova web site Description: Attack submarine, designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships.
Background: The concept of technical superiority over numerical superiority was and still is the driving force in American submarine development. A number of Third World countries are acquiring modern state-of-the-art non-nuclear submarines. Countering this threat is the primary mission of U.S. nuclear attack submarines.
Their other missions range from intelligence collection and special forces delivery to anti-ship and strike warfare. The Navy began construction of Seawolf class submarines in 1989. Seawolf is designed to be exceptionally quiet, fast well-armed with advanced sensors. It is a multi-mission vessel, capable of deploying to forward ocean areas to search out and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships and to fire missiles in support of other forces.
The first of the class, Seawolf (SSN 21), completed its initial sea trials in July 1996. Attack submarines also carry the Tomahawk cruise missile. Tomahawk launches from attack submarines were successfully conducted during Operation Desert Storm. In late 1998, the contract was let for building the first of the New Attack Submarine. This class, the Virginia-class fully embraces the new strategic concept in ... From the Sea and Forward... From the Sea. It is the first U.S. submarine to be designed for battlespace dominance across a broad spectrum of regional and littoral missions as well as open-ocean, "blue water" missions. The Virginia-class achieves the right balance of core military capabilities and affordability.
The Benjamin Franklin-class were converted from Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines and carry drydeck shelters. They are equipped for special operations and support SEALs. The former missile spaces have been converted to accommodations, storage, and recreation spaces.
Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Naval Sea Systems Command (OOD)
Washington, DC 20362

General Characteristics, Virginia class

Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Newport News Shipbuilding.
Power Plant: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 377 feet (114.91 meters)
Beam: 34 feet (10.36 meters)
Displacement: Approx. 7,800 tons (7,925.18 metric tons)
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph)
Cost: about $1.65 billion each (based on FY95 dollars and 30-ship class)
Virginia (SSN 774), under construction; delivery in 2004
Texas (SSN 775), under construction; delivery in 2005
Hawaii (SSN 776), under construction; delivery in 2007
North Carolina (SSN 777), named 11 December 2000; delivery in 2006
Crew: 134 Officers and Enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, VLS tubes, MK-48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes, advanced mobile mines, and unmanned undersea vehicles.

General Characteristics, Seawolf class

Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Power Plant: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 353 feet (107.6 meters)
Draft: 35 feet (10.67 meters)
Beam: 40 feet (12.2 meters)
Displacement: 8,060 tons (8,189.35 metric tons) surfaced; 9,150 tons (9,296.84 metric tons) submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph)
Cost: about $2.1 billion each
USS Seawolf (SSN 21), Groton, Ct.
USS Connecticut (SSN 22), Groton, Ct.
Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), (under construction)
Crew: 13 Officers; 121 Enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, MK-48 torpedoes, eight torpedo tubes.

General Characteristics, Los Angeles class

Builders: Newport News Shipbuilding Co.; General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Power Plant: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 360 feet (109.73 meters)
Beam: 33 feet (10.06 meters)
Displacement: Approx. 6,900 tons (7010.73 metric tons) submerged
Speed: 20+ knots (23+ miles per hour, 36.8 +kph)
USS Los Angeles (SSN 688), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Philadelphia (SSN 690), Groton, Conn.
USS Memphis (SSN 691), Groton, Conn.
USS Bremerton (SSN 698), San Diego, Calif.
USS Jacksonville (SSN 699), Norfolk, Va.
USS Dallas (SSN 700), Groton, Conn.
USS La Jolla (SSN 701), Pearl Harbor, Hi.
USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), Groton, Conn.
USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), Portsmouth, NH
USS Portsmouth (SSN 707), San Diego, Calif.
USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (SSN 708), Norfolk, Va.
USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709), Norfolk, Va.
USS Augusta (SSN 710), Groton, Conn.
USS San Francisco (SSN 711), Norfolk, Va.
USS Houston (SSN 713), San Diego, Calif.
USS Norfolk (SSN 714), Norfolk, Va.
USS Buffalo (SSN 715), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), San Diego, Calif.
USS Olympia (SSN 717), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Honolulu (SSN 718), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Providence (SSN 719), Groton, Conn.
USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), Groton, Conn.
USS Chicago (SSN 721), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Key West (SSN 722), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), Norfolk, Va.
USS Louisville (SSN 724), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Helena (SSN 725), San Diego, Calif.
USS Newport News (SSN 750), Norfolk, Va.
USS San Juan (SSN 751), Groton, Conn.
USS Pasadena (SSN 752), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Albany (SSN 753), Norfolk, Va.
USS Topeka (SSN 754), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Miami (SSN 755), Portsmouth, NH.
USS Scranton (SSN 756), Norfolk, Va.
USS Alexandria (SSN 757), Groton, Conn.
USS Asheville (SSN 758), Bremerton, Wa.
USS Jefferson City (SSN 759), San Diego, Calif.
USS Annapolis (SSN 760), Groton, Conn.
USS Springfield (SSN 761), Groton, Conn.
USS Columbus (SSN 762), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Boise (SSN 764), Norfolk, Va.
USS Montpelier (SSN 765), Norfolk, Va.
USS Charlotte (SSN 766), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
USS Hampton (SSN 767), Norfolk, Va.
USS Hartford (SSN 768), Groton, Conn.
USS Toledo (SSN 769), Groton, Conn.
USS Tucson (SSN 770), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Columbia (SSN 771), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Greeneville (SSN 772), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Crew: 13 Officers, 121 Enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, VLS tubes (SSN 719 and later), MK-48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes (Seawolf has 8).
Date deployed: November 13, 1976 (USS Los Angeles)

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