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 US Navy 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 The first US submarines with a deck gun. 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 (built by Lake Torpedo Boat Company) also known as the "modified O-class". Modified boats proved to be disappointing and were scrapped in 1930.
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. A poor tandem engine design caused the boats to be decommissioned by 1923 and scrapped in 1930.

World War I[edit]

World War I
Class name No. Laid down Last comm. Notes
R[27][28] 20 1917 1918 Larger conning tower to serve as commanding officer's battle station. Fired Mark 10 torpedoes and traveled 5,000 miles (8,000 km) at 10 knots (5.1 m/s).
R-21[29] 7 1917 1919 Designed by Simon Lake. Generally similar to R-class, but reverted to 18" torpedo tubes. Scrapped in 1930.
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 Porpoise (SS-172)
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
USS-Drum was only boat actually commissioned before US Entry to WWII

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
51 cancelled

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 nuclear submarine; hull design enlarged from 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 (replaced with a pressurized-water reactor in 1959)
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
First combat submarine class with teardrop hull form. USS Scorpion lost at sea 1968.
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
First class with bow sonar sphere. Known as Thresher class until the loss of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) in 1963
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
Redesign of Thresher/Permit class using lessons learned from loss of Thresher.
Benjamin Franklin 12 USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640)
25 May 1963
USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659)
1 April 1967
Redesigned using lessons learned from loss of Thresher.
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
11 commissioned as of Oct, 2014

See also[edit]

List of submarines of the United States Navy

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. ^ John Pike. "SS-10 B-1 Viper". 
  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]