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SSN-637 Sturgeon class 

Overview 

Specifications
Ships
Images
Sources and Resources

STURGEON class submarines were built for anti-submarine warfare in the late 1960s and 1970s. Using the same propulsion system as their smaller predecessors of the SSN-585 Skipjack and SSN-594 Permit classes, the larger Sturgeons sacrificed speed for greater combat capabilities.

They are equipped to carry the HARPOON missile, the TOMAHAWK cruise missile,and the MK-48 and ADCAP torpedoes. Torpedo tubes are located amidships to accomodate the bow-mounted sonar. The sail-mounted dive planes rotate to a vertical position for breaking through the ice when surfacing in Arctic regions.

Beginning with SSN-678 Archerfish units of this class had a 10-foot longer hull, giving them more living and working space than previous submarines of the Sturgeon Class. 

A total of six Sturgeon-class boats were modified to carry the SEAL Dry Deck Shelter [DDS], one in 1982 and five between 1988 and 1991. The are SSN 678-680, 682, 684, 686 are listed as "DDS Capable" -- either permanently fitted with the DDS or trained with them. In this configuration they are primarily tasked with the covert insertion of special forces troops from an attached Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). The Dry Deck Shelter is a submersible launch hanger with a hyperbaric chamber that attaches to the ship's Weapon Shipping Hatch. The DDS provides the most tactically practical means of SEAL delivery due to its size, capabilities, and location on the ship. 

Rapidly being phased out in favor of the LOS ANGELES and SEAWOLF Classes of attack submarines, this venerable and flexible workhorse of the submarine attack fleet continues to operate in the forward areas of the world to this day. Attracting little publicity during its heyday, this class of ship was the platform of choice for many of the Cold War missions for which submarines are now famous. After a 5-year study was completed on the SSN-637 class submarine, the design life was extended from 20 years to 30 years, with a possible extension to 33 years on a case-by-case basis. However, many boats of this class were retired prior to this limit in order to avoid expensive reactor refueling operations. 

 

Specifications  Return to Top

Displacement 4,250 tons standard, except SSN 678-687 4,460 tons
4,780 tons submerged, except SSN 678-687 4,960 tons
Length 292 feet
302 feet SSN 678-687
Beam 32 feet
Draft 28.8 feet
Speed Official: 20-plus knots
Actual: 25 knots
Operating Depth official: "greater than 400 feet"
Actual: 1300 feet [400 meters] test depth
Actual: 1900 feet [600 meters] collapse depth
Power Plant One S5W nuclear reactor,
two steam turbines, 15,000 shp, one shaft
Armament MK 48 Torpedoes, four torpedo tubes
UUM-44A SUBROC
UGM-84A/C Harpoon
MK 57 deep water mines
MK 60 CAPTOR mines
Radars BPS-14/15 surface search
Sonars BQQ-5 multi-function bow mounted
BQR-7 passive in submarines with BQQ-2
BQR-26 in SSN 666
BQS-6 active in submarines with BQQ-2
BQS-12 active on SSN 637-664
BQS-13 active on SSN 665-687
TB-16 or TB-23 towed array
EW Systems WLQ-4(V)
WLR-4(V)
WLR-9
Unit Cost $320 million [1990 prices]
Unit Operating Cost
Annual Average
$11,000,000 [source: [FY1996 VAMOSC]
Builder SSNs 637, 650, 667, 669, 673-676, 678, 679, 681, 684, General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division; 638, 649, General Dynamics' Quincy Shipbuilding Division; 639, 647, 648, 652, 680, 682, 683, Ingalls Shipbuilding; 646, 660, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; 662, 665, 666, 672, 677, San Francisco Naval Shipyard; 651, 653, 661, 663, 664, 668, 670, 686, 687, Newport News Shipbuilding

Ships  Return to Top

Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
SHORT HULL
Sturgeon SSN-637 Electric Boat Charleston 30 Nov 1961 03 Mar 1967 01 Aug 1994
Whale SSN-638 Quincy Groton 30 Nov 1961 12 Oct 1968 25 Jun 1996
Tautog SSN-639 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 30 Nov 1961 17 Aug 1968 31 Mar 1997
Grayling SSN-646 Portsmouth NSY Charleston 05 Sep 1962 11 Oct 1969 18 Jul 1997
Pogy SSN 647 Ingalls San Diego 23 Mar 1963 15 May 1971 04 Jan 1999
Aspro SSN-648 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 26 Mar 1963 20 Feb 1969 31 Mar 1995
Sunfish SSN-649 Quincy Charleston 26 Mar 1963 15 Mar 1969 31 Mar 1997
Pargo SSN-650 Electric Boat Bremerton 26 Mar 1963 05 Jan 1968 14 Apr 1995
Queenfish SSN-651 Newport News Pearl Harbor 26 Mar 1963 06 Dec 1966 14 Apr 1992
Puffer SSN-652 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 26 Mar 1963 09 Aug 1969 12 Jul 1996
Ray SSN-653 Newport News Charleston 26 Mar 1963 12 Apr 1967 16 Mar 1993
Sand Lance SSN 660 Portsmouth NSY Groton 24 Oct 1963 25 Sep 1971 07 Aug 1998
Lapon SSN-661 Newport News Norfolk 24 Oct 1963 14 Dec 1967 08 Jun 1992
Gurnard SSN-662 San Francisco NSY San Diego 24 Oct 1963 06 Dec 1968 28 Apr 1995
Hammerhead SSN-663 Newport News Vallejo 28 May 1964 28 Jun 1968 05 Apr 1995
Sea Devil SSN-664 Newport News Charleston 28 May 1964 30 Jan 1969 16 Oct 1991
Guitarro SSN-665 Mare Island San Diego 18 Dec 1964 09 Sep 1972 29 May 1992
Hawkbill SSN 666 Mare Island Pearl Harbor 18 Dec 1964 04 Feb 1971 1999
Bergall SSN-667 Electric Boat New London 09 Mar 1965 13 Jun 1969 06 Jun 1996
Spadefish SSN-668 Newport News Norfolk 09 Mar 1965 14 Aug 1969 11 Apr 1997
Seahorse SSN-669 Electric Boat Charleston 09 Mar 1965 19 Sep 1969 17 Aug 1995
Finback SSN-670 Newport News Norfolk 09 Mar 1965 04 Feb 1970 28 Mar 1997
Pintado SSN-672 Mare Island San Diego 29 Dec 1965 11 Sep 1971 26 Feb 1998
Flying Fish SSN-673 Electric Boat Bremerton 15 Jul 1966 29 Apr 1970 16 May 1996
Trepang SSN 674 Electric Boat Groton 15 Jul 1966 14 Aug 1970 04 Jan 1999
Bluefish SSN-675 Electric Boat Norfolk 15 Jul 1966 08 Jan 1971 31 May 1996
Billfish SSN 676 Electric Boat Groton 15 Jul 1966 12 Mar 1971 04 Jan 1999
Drum SSN-677 Mare Island San Diego 15 Mar 1967 15 Apr 1972 30 Oct 1995
LONG HULL
Archerfish SSN-678 Electric Boat Groton 25 Jun 1968 17 Dec 1971 31 Mar 1998
Silversides SSN-679 Electric Boat Bremerton 25 Jun 1968 05 May 1972 21 Jul 1994
William H. Bates
[ex-Redfish]
SSN 680 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 25 Jun 1968 01 May 1973  
Batfish SSN 681 Electric Boat Groton 25 Jun 1968 01 Sep 1972 02 Nov 1998
Tunny SSN-682 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 25 Jun 1968 26 Jan 1974 13 Mar 1998
Parche SSN-683 Ingalls San Diego 25 Jun 1968 17 Aug 1974 ? 2003
Cavalla SSN-684 Electric Boat Pearl Harbor 24 Jul 1968 09 Feb 1973 30 Mar 1998
L. Mendel Rivers SSN 686 Newport News Norfolk 01 Jul 1969 01 Feb 1975 2001
Richard B. Russell SSN-687 Newport News Vallejo 25 Jul 1969 16 Aug 1975 24 Jun 1994
 
Images  Return to Top
 


credit: Ross Goodwin

Sources and Resources  Return to Top