List of submarine classes of the United States Navy

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Submarines of the United States Navy are built in classes, using a single design for a number of boats. Minor variations occur as improvements are incorporated into the design, so later boats of a class may be more capable than earlier. Also, boats are modified, sometimes extensively, while in service, creating departures from the class standard. However, in general, all boats of a class are noticeably similar.

Experimental use: an example is USS Albacore (AGSS-569), which used an unprecedented hull design. In this list such single boat "classes" are marked with "(unique)".

Pre–World War I[edit]

Pre–World War I
Class name No. Laid down Last comm. Notes
Alligator[1] 1 1861 1862 First submarine in the U.S. Navy. Purpose was to protect wooden ships against ironclads.
Holland[2][3] 1 1896 1900 5 others were made; only Holland (SS-1) entered the U.S. Navy as it was the first officially commissioned submarine purchased on 11 April 1900.
Plunger[4] 7 1900 1903 Later renamed A class in November 1911, when Navy stopped naming submarines. Essentially enlarged, more powerful Holland.
B[5][6][7][8] 3 1905 1907 Last in series of Holland-like submarines. Originally known as Viper class.
C[9] 5 1905 1910 Designed by Lawrence York Spear. Originally known as the Octopus class.
D[10] 3 1908 1910 Originally known as the Narwhal class. Designed to survive flooding in one compartment.
E[11] 2 1909 1912 First diesel-powered submarine. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape.
F[12] 4 1909 1913 In 1920, the class was designated SS-20–SS-23.
G[13][14][15][16] 4 1909 1914 Used gasoline engine. G-1 (SS-19½) set the submerged depth record in 1915, 256 feet (78 m). G-1 (SS-19½) was given the number 19½ because SS- numbers were given after her decommissioning; she was between SS-19 & SS-20.
H[17][18] 9 1911 1918 Three originally ordered by U.S. Navy. 18 ordered by the Imperial Russian Navy, 12 delivered. Other 6 bought by U.S. Navy. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape.
K[19][20] 8 1912 1912 Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36), K-6 (SS-37) were the first U.S. submarines to see action in World War I.
L[21] 11 1914 1918 Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. Designed for coastal defense.
M-1[22] 1 1914 1918 Double-hull design. Twenty percent larger than the K class. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. Considered failure by the submarine community.
N[23] 7 1915 1918 Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. Used for coastal patrol.
O[24][25] 16 1916 1918 Each cost $550,000. First submarines with reliable diesel engines. Every man had his own berth and locker. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. O-11 through O-16 also known as the "modified O-class". Modified boats proved to be disappointing.
AA-1[26] 3 1916 1922 Later renamed T class. Designed for 5,540 miles (8,920 km) at 14 knots (7.2 m/s), but performed 3,000 miles (4,800 km) at 11 knots (5.7 m/s). Prototype "fleet submarines"—submarines fast enough (21 knots (11 m/s)) to travel with battleships. Twice the size of any concurrent or past U.S. submarine.

World War I[edit]

World War I
Class name No. Laid down Last comm. Notes
R[27][28] 20 1917 1918 Known as a "pig boat", or "boat", due to foul living conditions and unusual hull shape. Designed by Simon Lake. Larger conning tower to serve as commanding officer's battle station. Fired Mk10 torpedoes and traveled 5,000 miles (8,000 km) at 10 knots (5.1 m/s).
R-21[29] 7 1917 1919 Similar to R-class. Known as a "pig boat", or "boat", due to foul living conditions and unusual hull shape.
S 51 1917 1922 The S class is subdivided into four groups of different designs.

Between the world wars[edit]

Between the world wars
Class name No. First ship laid down Last ship commissioned Notes
Barracuda 3 USS Barracuda (SS-163) and
USS Bass (SS-164)
20 October 1921
USS Bonita (SS-165)
22 May 1926
Argonaut 1 1 May 1925 2 April 1928 Unique submarine; mine-laying submarine
Narwhal 2 USS Narwhal (SS-167)
10 May 1927
USS Nautilus (SS-168)
1 July 1930
Dolphin 1 14 June 1930 1 June 1932 Unique submarine
Cachalot 2 USS Cuttlefish (SS-171)
7 October 1931
USS Cuttlefish (SS-171)
8 June 1934
Porpoise 10 USS Shark (SS-174)
24 October 1933
USS Pompano (SS-181)
12 June 1937
Salmon 6 USS Salmon (SS-182)
15 April 1936
USS Skipjack (SS-184)
30 June 1938
Sargo 10 USS Sargo (SS-188)
12 May 1937
USS Seawolf (SS-197)
1 December 1939
Tambor 12 USS Tambor (SS-198)
16 January 1939
USS Grayback (SS-208)
30 June 1941
Mackerel 2 USS Mackerel (SS-204)
6 October 1939
USS Marlin (SS-205)
1 August 1941
Gato 77 USS Drum (SS-228)
11 September 1940
USS Croaker (SS-246)
21 April 1944

World War II[edit]

World War II
Class name No. First ship laid down Last ship commissioned Notes
Balao 128 USS Devilfish (SS-292)
31 March 1942
USS Tiru (SS-416)
1 September 1948
Tench 29 USS Amberjack (SS-522), USS Grampus (SS-523), USS Pickerel (SS-524), and USS Grenadier (SS-525)
8 February 1944
USS Grenadier (SS-525)
10 February 1951

Cold War[edit]

Cold War
Class name No. First ship laid down Last ship commissioned Notes
Barracuda 3 USS Barracuda (SSK-1)
1 July 1949
USS Bonita (SSK-3)
11 January 1952
Tang 6 USS Tang (SS-563)
18 April 1949
USS Gudgeon (SS-567)
21 November 1952
Albacore 1 15 March 1952 6 December 1953 Unique submarine; teardrop hull form
T-1 2 USS T-1, later USS Mackerel (SST-1)
1 April 1952
USS T-2, later USS Marlin (SST-2)
20 November 1953
Training and experimental submarines
Nautilus 1 14 June 1952 30 September 1954 First U.S. Navy nuclear submarine; Hull based on fleet boat
Sailfish 2 USS Sailfish (SSR-572)
8 December 1953
USS Salmon (SSR-573)
25 August 1956
Radar picket
Grayback 2 USS Grayback (SSG-574)
1 July 1954
USS Growler (SSG-577)
30 August 1958
Seawolf 1 7 December 1953 30 March 1957 Unique submarine; liquid metal cooled (sodium) S2G reactor
Darter 1 10 November 1954 20 October 1956 Unique submarine
Skate 4 USS Skate (SSN-578)
21 July 1955
USS Seadragon (SSN-584)
5 December 1959
Barbel 3 USS Barbel (SS-580)
18 May 1956
USS Blueback (SS-581)
15 October 1959
U.S. Navy's last conventionally powered submarines
Skipjack 6 USS Skipjack (SSN-585)
29 May 1956
USS Snook (SSN-592)
24 October 1961
USS Scorpion lost at sea
Triton 1 29 May 1956 10 November 1959 Unique submarine; Radar picket
Halibut 1 11 April 1957 4 January 1960 Unique submarine; cruise missile submarine
Thresher/Permit 14 USS Thresher (SSN-593)
28 May 1958
USS Gato (SSN-615)
25 January 1968
Known as Thresher class until the loss of the USS USS Thresher (SSN-593)
Tullibee 1 26 May 1958 9 November 1960 Unique submarine; turbo-electric transmission
George Washington 5 USS George Washington (SSBN-598)
1 November 1957
USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602)
11 March 1961
Ethan Allen 5 USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608)
14 September 1959
USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618)
4 January 1963
Lafayette 9 USS Lafayette (SSBN-616)
17 January 1961
USS John Adams (SSBN-620)
12 May 1964
James Madison 10 USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629)
6 February 1962
USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636)
19 December 1964
Dolphin 1 9 November 1962 17 August 1968 Unique submarine; research and development; last operational U.S. Navy diesel-electric submarine
Sturgeon 37 USS Sturgeon (SSN-637)
10 August 1963
USS Richard B. Russell (SSN-687)
16 August 1975
Benjamin Franklin 12 USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640)
25 May 1963
USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659)
1 April 1967
Narwhal 1 17 January 1966 12 July 1969 Unique submarine; natural circulation S5G reactor
Glenard P. Lipscomb 1 5 June 1971 21 December 1974 Unique submarine; turbo-electric transmission
Los Angeles 62 USS Los Angeles (SSN-688)
8 January 1972
USS Cheyenne (SSN-773)
13 September 1996
Ohio 18 USS Ohio (SSBN-726)
10 April 1976
USS Louisiana (SSBN-743)
6 September 1997
Seawolf 3 USS Seawolf (SSN-21)
25 October 1989
USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23)
19 February 2005

Post–Cold War[edit]

Post–Cold War
Class name Number of ships First ship laid down Last ship commissioned Notes
Virginia 30 (planned) USS Virginia (SSN-774)
2 September 2000

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alligator". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  2. ^ "USS Holland (Submarine # 1) -- Construction". USN Ships. Department of the Navy. 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  3. ^ "Holland". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  4. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-2 A-1 Plunger". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  5. ^ "B class - Navy Ships". Military Factory. 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  6. ^ "B-1". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  7. ^ "B-3". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  8. ^ Pike, John (205-04-27). "SS-10 B-1 Viper". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  9. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-9 C-1 Octopus". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  10. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-17 D-1 Narwhal". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  11. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-24 E-1 Skipjack". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  12. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-20 F-1 Carp". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  13. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-19(1/2) G-1 Seal". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  14. ^ "G-1". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  15. ^ "G-4". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  16. ^ "California Naval History: The City of Los Angeles . . . An Inland City with the First Submarine Base on the Pacific Coast". militarymuseum.org. 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  17. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-28 H-1 Seawolf". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  18. ^ "H-9". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  19. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-32 K-1 Haddock". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  20. ^ "USS K-1 (Submarine # 32)". USN Ships. Department of the Navy. 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  21. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-40 L-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  22. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-47 M-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  23. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-53 N-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  24. ^ Pike, John (2005-06-08). "SS-62 O-1". Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  25. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-72 O-11". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  26. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-52 T-1 Schley". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  27. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-78 R-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  28. ^ "R-20". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  29. ^ Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-98 R-21". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

General references[edit]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links[edit]