USS Topeka (SSN-754)

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The USS Topeka (SSN-754) prepares to dock with the assistance of a tugboat.
United States
Name: USS Topeka
Namesake: The City of Topeka, Kansas
Awarded: 28 November 1983
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down: 13 May 1986
Launched: 23 January 1988
Sponsored by: Elizabeth Dole
Commissioned: 21 October 1989
Homeport: Naval Base Guam
Motto: Defender of the Heartland
Fate: in active service
Badge: 754insig.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Los Angeles-class submarine
  • 5,726 long tons (5,818 t) light
  • 6,131 long tons (6,229 t) full
  • 405 long tons (411 t) dead
Length: 110.3 m (361 ft 11 in)
Beam: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Draft: 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: S6G nuclear reactor
Test depth: 400 m (1,312 ft)
Complement: 12 officers, 98 men
  • 4 × 21 in (533 mm) bow tubes
  • 12 × vertical launch Tomahawk missiles

USS Topeka (SSN-754), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Topeka, Kansas. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 28 November 1983 and her keel was laid down on 13 May 1986. She was launched on 23 January 1988, sponsored by Elizabeth Dole, and commissioned on 21 October 1989, with Commander Timothy Reichert in command.[1]

The Topeka and USS Albany form a unique sub-class among Los Angeles class submarines. The pressure hulls of both ships were partially manufactured using stronger HY-100, instead of the HY-80 steel used in the manufacturing of all other Los Angeles class submarines. This was done to test construction methods using this steel, which would later be employed in the assembly of the new Seawolf-class submarines. In theory, this permits the Albany and Topeka to dive to a slightly greater depth than any other member of the Los Angeles class, though it remains unclear if this ability has ever been tested by either vessel.[2]


In 1993 the mini series Submarines: Sharks of Steel used the Topeka to produce segments of their program. During New Year's Eve 2000 the USS Topeka straddled the international dateline, thus was famously "in two millenniums at once".[3]

In October 2002, after completing a Modernization Period in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Topeka shifted homeport to San Diego, California, from Pearl Harbor.

In December 2012, the submarine began an overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Earlier that same year the submarine completed a six-month-long deployment in the Western Pacific, covering around 35,000 nautical miles.[4]

In May 2015, after miscellaneous repairs at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, the Topeka shifted homeport to Naval Base Guam as part of the U.S. Navy's rebalance of force into the Pacific.[5]


COMSUBRON 11 Battle "E" - 1993/1995 In August 2004, Topeka returned to San Diego after six months of operations with the Seventh Fleet, including three missions significant to national security that earned the boat the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Navy Unit Commendation Medal. The ship and crew earned the Battle Efficiency "E" Award for 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Popular Culture[edit]

In the 2009 live-action movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, USS Topeka was part of a Carrier Battle Group stationed permanently in the Laurentian Abyss to guard the dumping site of Megatron. When several Decepticons arrived and dived to reach Megatron, the submarine spotted them and set off in pursuit.

USS Topeka is also featured in TV series 24 in season 5 when terrorists intend to use her weapons against civilians in Los Angeles, and as the "lost" submarine in the series "Surface"

This Naval vessel was also featured in the documentary series "SUBMARINES: SHARKS OF STEEL".


  • Miller, David (2002). The Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World. Motor Books International. ISBN 0-7603-1345-8. 
  1. ^ "Elizabeth Dole refers to sponsoring USS Topeka in a speech."
  2. ^ "The Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World" 2002, p. 377.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Joint Region Mariana Public Affairs (28 May 2015). "USS Topeka Arrives in Guam Homeport". Retrieved 5 June 2015. 

This article includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register.