USS Norfolk (SSN-714)
|Awarded:||20 February 1976|
|Builder:||Newport News Shipbuilding|
|Laid down:||1 August 1979|
|Launched:||31 October 1981|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Caspar Weinberger|
|Commissioned:||21 May 1983|
|Motto:||Vi per Concordiam
(Latin: "Strength through Unity")
|Status:||in active service, as of 2014[update]|
|Class & type:||Los Angeles class submarine|
|Displacement:||5,751 tons light, 6,126 tons full, 375 tons dead|
|Length:||110.3 m (361 ft 11 in)|
|Beam:||10 m (32 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||9.7 m (31 ft 10 in)|
|Propulsion:||S6G nuclear reactor|
|Complement:||12 officers, 98 men|
|Armament:||4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes|
USS Norfolk (SSN-714), a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Norfolk, Virginia. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 20 February 1976 and her keel was laid down on 1 August 1979. She was launched on 31 October 1981 sponsored by Mrs. Caspar Weinberger, and commissioned on 21 May 1983, with Commander Kenneth R. Karr in command (Commander Karr was promoted to the Pentagon later that year and retired from the NPEB as a Captain in 1988).
With the second Commanding Officer, Alfred Ponessa, Norfolk conducted extensive trials of the next-generation torpedo, ADCAP, as well as advanced and secret acoustic experiments. The ship also made an active deployment during one of the final spurts of activity from the declining Soviet navy. On 23 July 1988 the USS Norfolk fired the first ADCAP torpedo, sinking the USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938). Commander Ponessa was succeeded by Commander Harrop in 1988.
On 17 January 1989, Norfolk was involved in a collision with the combat stores ship USS San Diego (AFS-6) off Cape Charles Light, VA as both vessels were headed to sea. Norfolk was outbound for an engineering inspection, an event which occupied all of the ships most experienced officers. The Officer of the Deck was the ship's most junior officer, a non-nuclear-trained Lieutenant Junior-Grade, and the Commanding Officer himself was new to the ship, sick and hoarse that day. While trying to pass the San Diego in a turn in the channel, the current set Norfolk towards an outer buoy on the port side. Overcorrecting for this event, Norfolk delivered a glancing blow to the ship on her starboard side, San Diego. There were no injuries, and neither ship suffered significant structural damage. Upon returning to dockside later that day, Norfolk's commanding officer was relieved, and the sub proceeded on the surface to Kings Bay, Georgia, for inspection and repairs. As a result of this collision, COMSUBLANT issued orders limiting submarine speed and passing activities while in the restricted waters of the Hampton Roads channels.
On 30 May 2014, the U.S. Navy announced, that Norfolk will be decommissioned in 2015. After returning to her homeport of Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia (USA), Norfolk will transit to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, to undergo inactivation.
- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
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