Talk:Los Angeles-class submarine

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Arnament question[edit]

I thought all US Submarines do not carry Harpoon missiles anymore. Can anyone verify that? WikiphyteMk1 (talk) 11:52, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Bow Planes[edit]

The dive planes were not relocated to the bow for under ice performance... this is a common misperception. Many 688-Is did not have reinforced sails for under ice... Deleted this sentence from the intro. Macboots (talk) 00:05, 7 August 2014 (UTC)


I removed a factual inaccuracy about San Francisco's speed at the time of her seamount allision. Given that the claimed "public acknowledgement" by the Navy 1) would have acknowledged a classified parameter and 2) was unsourced, I thought it better to remove it immediately rather than adding a "citation needed" tag. I think it probably came from a confusion between "in excess of 35 knots" and "in excess of 35 miles per hour," but I'm just guessing.

On a related topic, is there any reason not to delete the claim that LA-class boats are "widely believed" to have a top speed of greater than 35 kts? Who believes that? Is that documented somewhere? Somehow I think this supposition was based on the mythical "acknowledgement" of SF's speed. Rem01 19:04, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I removed this claim in a reworking of the section's language. Rem01 16:58, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm fully prepared to replace this section of text. I don't think that it is unsourced. First off, the figure quoted by various newswires was never repudiated by government sources. Second, it accords with the figure from Running Critical (see speed edit wars below). If you can think of a good reason to make the section something other than this:

LA-class submarines have a publicly acknowledged top speed in excess of 25 knots (46 km/h, 29 mph); the precise speed is classified. Informed sources estimate the maximum speed of this class of submarine as 30–32 knots while the San Fransisco (SSN-711) was reported to have been traveling at approximately 33 knots at the time of her grounding.

(with appropriate inline links and references, of course)
then let me know. Protonk (talk) 19:26, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

"Popular culture" section[edit]

I removed the "popular culture" section, as I don't think it's particularly relevant, useful, or interesting. Was anyone particularly attached to it (and if so, why)? Rem01 16:28, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I restored it, if only because such sections are common on Wikipedia. My understanding is their in place for the cross-linking they provide, so a user can surf from one article to another in no particular order. One of the advantages of a hyperlinked web-based -pedia oknazevad 20:28, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying, and I acknowledge that such sections are not uncommon, but I don't think it adds any value to the article. I've looked around for some style guidance regarding this type of section or anything indicating whether it's a broadly-used or -accepted part of an article. I just think about what would happen if you added a section like this to most or all articles.
I can see MAYBE having some reference to The Hunt for Red October, if we acknowledge that the book/movie has had a (or the most) significant impact on most of the general public's knowledge of LA class submarines. For example, I can see a "popular culture" section of the F-14 Tomcat article referencing Top Gun. That's probably the criteria I would use... and I don't think either of these references really meets that description. Anyway, does anyone else out there have any useful input on this? I would prefer to see it deleted, barring any compelling argument in its favor more convincing than "links make it easy to read other articles." Rem01 03:24, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Edit war over speed[edit]

Can we do what should have been done weeks ago and actually open up a talk page discussion about this idiotic edit war over speed? Unnamed contributor who is so sure that the speed of this class of submarine is so ridiculously much greater than that cited in the article (and by the Federation of American Scientists and any number of other informed sources), why do you think that? Why do you keep changing that and editorializing in the text of the article when others correct you?

What's really great about this is that it is fundamentally unresolvable by appealing to facts, because it's classified. So anyone that actually KNOWS the speed can't say, and nobody can definitively disabuse this guy of his notion of submarines that are faster than hydrofoils. Honestly,, go ahead and do some hydrodynamic calculations for us, and figure out how much horsepower you would need to push a 7,000-ton pile of steel through water (which is incidentally denser than air, if you were wondering). Once you've done that, figure out how big the nuclear reactor and engines needed to power that would be, then come back to us and argue that these boats go 100 miles per hour.

Honestly, man, can't you see that you're asserting a logical impossibility?

For what it's worth, what can be done about this if it doesn't stop? What's the process for locking an article against unregistered edits? It looks like we're talking about,,,, and

If I had to guess, seems simply uninformed and well-intentioned, as opposed to the 69s, who appear to be malicious tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorists.

Thank you for initially catching this joker and making a good edit.

--Rem01 06:40, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

My info. comes from firsthand sources. Don't tell me the physics of this are impossible. What is a logical impossibility? I don't want to go into a long discussion of my references and basis for this. Informed sources do say the speed range I gave. Do your own research. Do you work for the military? Is that why you trying to sell the ridiculous 30-32 knot speed on this sub? A fast freighter or container vessel can do 30 knots. Give me a break. When I have time, I'll come back. Go to the Defense Talk forum and read accounts from ranking Naval personnel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Assuming all of what you say is true, the info cannot be used in Wikipedia, as forums and even direct first-hand knowledge do not qualify as reliable sources on Wikipeida. So please, if you continue to add information contrary to policy, it WILL CONTINUE to be removed. - BillCJ 05:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
If being a submarine officer who has served onboard a 688-class boat counts as "work[ing] for the military," then yes, I "work for the military." Outside of fact-less assertion, you never really responded to my suggestion that what you're claiming would require a power plant far larger than could be feasibly carried on a submarine. Honestly... I'm pretty sure the rough megawatt and horsepower ratings for the power plant(s) are available in the public domain. You should really calculate the power necessary to push something that big through water at 100 miles per hour. I promise that you'll give up the conspiracy theory once you've done that.
In any case, the fact remains: what BillCJ said. Believe me if you want; don't believe me if you don't want to. But unless you can provide a valid source for your claims, they'll keep getting reverted. - Rem01 14:25, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I almost forgot: the only reason you're here discussing this almost civilly, as people do for this sort of thing, is that you've been prevented from editing with an anonymous account. So I guess you won't have any more edits that need to be reverted. - Rem01 14:28, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

First, you might as well lock this thing down forever because I will always be back.

Rem01, if you are indeed military, then you already know you are lying and have clear motive to discourage any real dissemination of this information. That's a big conflict of interest. Wikipedia isn't really useful in discussing or posting this info. because of the nature of my sources, however there are many references that point to what I am saying. For example, the Discovery Channel aired a special around year 2000 on the history of U.S. nuclear subs. When the Triton was discussed, it clearly stated that it was capable of 55 m.p.h. That is a fact. When I heard that I was shocked. That started my interest in this topic. Is it possible that the L.A. class is slower? Probably not.

I actually believe 75 m.p.h. is quite realistic. Few people on earth can do an accurate derivation of the performance capability of such a sub, and that includes you and I. Power ratings in the public domain are not reliable enough and the claimed 35,000 shp is certainly not trustworthy. Why would you even suggest that I use those figures when you know this? Also coefficients of drag, optimum operating depth and pressure, and other stuff is certainly not available. I know that subs require far less power for a given speed than equivalent sized surface vessels.

REM, I'm being civil because I want to. Are you challenging me to cause site problems? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

For the record, you have not begun to be civil. You are not allowed to add privately-sourced information to Wikipedia, as it is not verifiable. You've been told this several times several ways by several ediros, and yet here you are, still being what you are being. If you choose "to cause site problems", that's your choice - no one is challenging you to do that. What we are challenging you to play by the rules, and follow Wikipeida policy. - BillCJ 07:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, suit yourself. If you'd rather believe a Discovery Channel TV show you saw once than the Federation of American Scientists and an active duty submariner, then knock yourself out. Incidentally, I dispute your claim that "few people on earth can do an accurate derivation ... blah blah blah." But all of this is beside the point. Provide verifiable sources or you lose. - Rem01 13:31, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Anyway, I think you are a lying piece of crap, Rem01. Of course I would believe a documentary over you. 30-32 knots? Do you think anyone believes that really? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:44, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I sure do. But, fortunately for both of us, belief doesn't matter, and sources do. -Rem01 (talk) 01:22, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually, we have some leeway to revert garbage comments like that, but if you're OK with it, so be it. However, for the record, I consider the user a troll, esp given his previous threats "to cause site problems". As such, we should just ignore his comments from this point on. If he modifies the article page in any non-productive way, we can have it semi- or full-protected as needed. I'll ask an admin to keep on eye this too. - BillCJ (talk) 01:30, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a great idea. I really shouldn't have carried on for this long, but sometimes I just can't help myself. Thanks. -Rem01 (talk) 05:23, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
It's OK, I wasn't being critical. I like to argue at length also, but in this case, we gave him enough rope to hang himself with any admin that needs to intervene. - BillCJ (talk) 05:53, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I noticed you removed my previous reference to the reactor power info. published by Dr. Ragheb at the Univ. of Chicago? Why?

The reason 30 knots is not believable is because commercial freight vessels can achieve that speed already. Ocean liners and cruise liners can also achieve that speed. L.A. class subs must be able to have a speed advantage over those vessels. The role of the L.A. class is to be able to escort the fastest ships, and an aircraft carrier is able to exceed 40 knots. This comes from an officer.

I don't like liars, regardless of information sources. Look Rem, working in the mess hall of a sub. does not make you knowledgeable in sub. capability. Any time you want to meet to talk about this let me know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:03, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

This is infuriating. No reliable source = you lose. Get it? Along with your 9 November and 9 December posts, this now makes three personal attacks and zero substantive, supported arguments. Please go bother someone else. Rem01 (talk) 14:15, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

OK, I'll go away. I have other stuff to do. However, it is common knowledge that the WWII battleship, the Bismark, was capable of exceeding 32 knots. Do you mean to tell me that a modern, frontline Los Angeles class attack sub. cannot outperform a WWII battleship?

Anyway, the source of my info. are former members of the military with firsthand experience on the vessels in question. I did not make up the figures I claim here. Good bye.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The question has never been whether or not you made up your figures, but where they came from. US militray personnel are not verifiable published sources, so we can't use there information, especially second-hand. Find a reliable published source with the info, and then add it. That's WP policy. - BillCJ (talk) 05:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

OK. You know it is difficult to find that info. for obvious reasons. Figures on power output from Dr. Ragheb indicate much higher available power than official figures. I understand your policy. I will post published sources if I get them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:01, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


Ok. I'm gonna end this right now.

  • The argument "LA Class has to chase down X so it needs to be as fast as X" is not valid. That is a design goal, assuming the designers chose to include it. It can not support a factual claim about speed of the submarine. Likewise with the argument "The sturgeon went X knots, so LA HAS to be faster". That can't support a factual claim about speed. Ditto for any claim about past speed on warships.
  • The max speed of the LA class, or at least the first flight of them, has been divulged in the aftermath of the USS San Fransisco incident. Give or take age, sea growth and what not, that speed seems to be accurate. CNN
  • there was a major book written by a reliable source in the early 80's that dealt, in some sense, with the speed and depth question. In that book, the "unofficial" (or real) figures were quoted. My copy is on loan but I'll probably get another from the library. The basic idea was that design considerations (speed, type of reactor, loadout) and limitations restricted the capabilities of the 688 class. Running Critical

The IP edits made above asserting that the speed of the LA class is ~75 mph are out of this world. I can't prove that I know the limitations of the 688 class and I can't divulge what has not been publicly divulged (officially or otherwise, see the two references), but I can say that 75 mph is insane. In all fairness, the correct response isn't to suggest that wiki editors run off and do some hydrodynamic modeling (a proposition that would require us to know both the form drag profile and the Cd of the hull, along with the propulsion system details), but to refer to reliable sources. Those sources show that the official figures given do not differ greatly from the unofficial leaked figures.

That said, I intend (sometime this weekend) to modify the speed section to reflect the unofficial disclosure of the San Fransisco's speed at the time of the grounding. thoughts? Protonk (talk) 18:52, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

If you know of a reliable, and verifiable, source for the speed then cite it. The US Navy says of USS San Francisco (SSN 711)[1]
  • "Speed: Surfaced: approx. 15 knots Submerged: approx. 32 knots"
  • "while traveling at high speed about 500 ft below surface" and "while transiting at flank (maximum) speed and submerged to 525 feet."
The actual speed at the time of the collision is not cited and all we learn from this is that the submarine USS San Francisco can operate at flank speed while submerged to 525 feet. Presumably this is true of all Los Angeles class submarines. I believe 32 knots is accurate or even on the high side as it was reported that SSN 711 was traveling at maximum speed when it collided and yet only one person was reported killed. Inspection of the photos[2][3] shows that while it was a glancing collision it's likely the submarine was brought to a halt (no scrapes visible up the port side) or that it glanced and bounced off the seamount. Thus whoever was not seat belted in at the time got slammed against a bulkhead but only one person was killed? Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 22:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I intend to, once I can find a copy of running critical again. there is already (in the CNN article) an admission that the san fran was doing 33 kts. I can also tell you from speaking to survivors and seeing the damage that a CONSIDERABLE number of people were hurt. the one guy unlucky enough to be died to a head injury. For what it is worth, very few people are 'belted in' at any given time on a submarine. usually just the control and maneuvering watchstanders (those w/ regular chairs), and that is if they are following procedure. Protonk (talk) 23:10, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
BTW - the site I cited earlier may not be canonical. The US Navy reports[4][5] "Speed: 20+ knots (23+ miles per hour, 36.8 +kph)" meaning that's the verifiable number from a reliable source. Thus in terms of the wikipedia article I'd use that number and then also cite the CNN article where they seem to disclose a speed that's much faster than the "official" speed. I just found a page[6] that says "flank speed to less than 4 knots in less than 4 seconds" and overall has lots of interesting detail though of course, little of it is verifiable/reliable. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 23:32, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
One more and I'm done for the day! has
  • "the speed indicator was stuck on 25 knots as a result of the crash"
  • "The San Francisco used the dive to pick up speed, and was soon running at flank speed, something in excess of 30 knots"
  • "... ran into an underwater mountain at a speed greater than 25 knots, just as the crew was finishing lunch."
  • "In an instant, the submarine's speed dropped from almost 33 knots horizontal to 4 knots almost straight up as the bow whipped up and the ship tried to go over the obstacle — without success."
The "almost 33 knots horizontal" seems to tie in with "Submerged: approx. 32 knots" from the There seem to be a number of independant sources available for ~33 knots though even there I'm concerned as the CNN article's quoting of "officials" may well be a source that was not at the press conference about the collision. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 23:47, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you are right to be wary of the CNN source. You've got a good concensus going for ~32-33 knots. The reason I say 33 (really, give or take, it doesn't matter that much) is specifically because it is mentioned (almost as an aside) in the book, Running Critical. Once I can find that passage I'll be happy, as that book is (in my mind, at least) a pretty authoritative source.
As for the speed indication. I can tell you that the speed indicator being stuck at 25 kts may not have had to do with being at 35 kts during the crash. I'd tell you more but I can't find a website to say it for me.  :) Protonk (talk) 02:54, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, consensus is not what I'm looking for but rather it's reliable/verifiable references that can then be cited. I updated the article using the U.S. Navy and CNN as sources. Ideally, CNN's 33+kts gets corroborated by other newspapers from the time but I re-read the article and it seems they are quoting from the press conference. The book Running Critical looks interesting. Unfortunately, my local library does not have a copy but I'll keep an eye out for it. From what's written above it seems the author derived the possible speed based on known data about the power plant, etc. I'm not sure where that falls in terms of reliable as far as Wikipedia goes but it's certainly another data point that can be cited. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 08:33, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've read running critical before, it's just that I loaned my copy and now it has vanished. The number, if I recall correctly, is quoted from the ship design guys. Part of the book is based on LOTS of tape recorded conversations (the chief of shipbuilding at the time was paranoid about past embezzlement problems so he tape recorded everything) and so there is a lot of information in the book that seems like it should be classified. At the very least, the operating depth (which is never officially disclosed) quoted in that book is considerably more than what is given officially. I would say that the book itself is pretty reliable as a source, but that is something you either have to "know" (i.e. the book confirms knowledge previously held by submariners) or you have to read it. It's too bad that it didn't do well commercially. I think it has to do with the author getting bogged down in the details near the middle. Thanks for updating the page, though. I have Running Critical coming to me on inter-library loan so once I get it I'll add another data point.
P.S. I think what I meant to say was that there was a consensus of sources, not of random wikipedians.  :) Protonk (talk) 14:11, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed - There does seem to be a consensus in random people using 32 or 33 knots that do not seem to be based on other people and I was a little surprised last night when doing the edit to the main article that the CNN quote is "in excess of 33 knots" where other sources are using "just under 33 kts," 32 kts, etc. One thought is that the USS SF had just finished its dive to depth meaning it could have been going faster than its sustained flank speed. If that's the case we'd need to hunt down a reliable/verifiable source for 32 or 33 kts rather than the current 33+ kts that's in the article. Even 33 kts seems slow for a military attack ship given the publicized speed of ships such as RMS Queen Elizabeth 2. Of course, the surface ship is mostly pushing through air and not water. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 19:23, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Of course. I think that they probably weren't doing TOO much more than thirty kts. Also, I would submit that they weren't just finishing their dive. guys I talked to said that it was much later than the initial dive. As for the speed comparisons, don't assume that past submarines (like the albacore) or other ships place a lower limit on the speed of the 688 class. Remember that we THINK (here at wikipedia) that subs must be faster than X, but there isn't always a good reason for that to be the case. BTW, Military Affairs, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 102-103 is a good review of running critical. The reviewer comes to pretty much the same conclusions I do, but stands by the work in general. Protonk (talk) 03:44, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Just how quiet is LA class compared to Diesel-powered subs?[edit]

I've always heard that Diesel submarines ran quieter than (most) nuclear subs. Can anyone verify this? (talk) 01:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Sure. It's not very useful information. check the yearly testimony of the head of naval ships--nuclear (NAVSEA 08). That's always good for some truth mixed in with scare tactics. I wouldn't consider it a reliable source, because the guy is testifying in order to keep getting money for submarines, but it is an august source, a reliable SOUNDING source. My favorite is the part where they get the chart of "enemy" submarines and fail to note that the list includes Germany, France, England, Israel, S. Africa, and Japan. Also you might try some popular books written by (or about) former sub drivers. Blind Mans' Bluff might be a good place to start. And, as odd as it may sound, check out The complete idiot's guide to submarines. It actually is pretty well put together. Protonk (talk) 19:14, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


The "Range" infobox entry states "unlimited except by food supplies." A wikiuser removed this with the comment "Nuclear powered ships do not have unlimited range, reactors must be refueled every 5-10 years, barring actual schedule."

I reverted this as Nuclear marine propulsion says "... U.S. submarines (no refuelings are necessary during the submarine's service life)."

It's not clear what limits the range though it probably is not "unlimited." Scott Waddle's book The Right Thing mentions going into port every few weeks to give the crew a break and there are many references available about submarine tenders that presumably restock food, oil, and other consumables. I don't have a copy of The Right Thing handy but I recall the author mentioned how often a submarine gets dry-docked for major tune-ups. They were fairly frequent (every 6 months?) and so that and the food/supplies may be the "range" of a Los Angeles class submarine. The Nuclear navy article has a reference that reads "Submarine Range Called Unlimited; Rickover Says Atomic Craft Can Cruise Under Ice To North Pole and Beyond", The New York Times, December 6, 1957, p.33. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 00:37, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

A follow-up as I was thinking about this. The "range" of a vehicle is generally defined as how far it can go before it's fuel/battery runs out. Wikipedia has Range (aircraft) which uses this and for "range" has "8. the distance that can be covered by an aircraft, ship, or other vehicle, carrying a normal load without refueling." That said, the infobox for "Range" should be changed to "unlimited" or perhaps "unlimited - no refuelings are necessary during the submarine's service life." The qualifier "except by food supplies" is not part of a standard definition for "range." I don't know if is a citable reference but it mentions the Los Angeles class submarines can go for 30 to 33 years on a refueling. Incidentally, on the food, says "The ship carries enough food to feed a crew of over one hundred for as long as 90 days" plus provides data on the depth, speed, etc. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 01:59, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I made the change, and I plan to remove your change which claims reactors don't require refueling because as you pointed out 688 boats can go 30-33 years. (In my edit summary I was referring to inefficient older reactors with 5 - 10 year range, like 1st generation Soviet ships.)
    • Comment. The original lifetime of the 688 class did not include a refueling. in that case, range would be described as the life of the vessel. The expecation was that use and replacement would allow for a core to last until a new sub was rolled into the water. That turned out to not be the case and an expensive procedurte for refueling had to be devised and implemented. Now the expectation is that a submarine is refueled once in its service life.Protonk (talk) 18:56, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Range is strictly how far(or in this case how long) a vehicle can travel before needing more fuel. Food/water/etc. does not factor into that, instead how long the crew can stay aboard is called endurance.
(PS FAS is indeed a reliable source, check out how many links to it there are on Wikipedia. Anynobody 22:52, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
I really like the new wording you added. Thank you for showing me the Special:Linksearch function - that'll be handy. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 08:44, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

subs can dive over 650 feet. thanlks for letting my know i am doing a scavenger hunt soo i need it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

No problem, found it on Special pages :) Anynobody 23:28, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Yet another speed thread[edit]

Sorry to break in. I am looking for my friend REM01. Hey Rem, it appears that a far less powerful sub. than the LA Class with similar dimensions was able to achieve a verifed 37 knots in the 1950s. It was smaller, but again had only a small fraction of the power of an LA Class sub. This makes the LA Class max. speed of 32 knots, even more dubious. See my edit for the U.S.S. Albacore.

Also, you implied the physics of sub. performance prevented much more than the 32 knots claimed here for the LA Class. Well, the Soviet designers, who know far more than you or I, began Project 696 with the technical feasibility of 5500-6800 ton displacement, 100,000 s.h.p., and attainable speeds of 45 knots, and well over 50 knots with polymer ejection. Looks like physics isn't on your side. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Except the top speed on the albacore has NOTHING to do with anything on the LA Class. That's like saying that a 2000 Ford Focus hatchback can do 135 mph, so therefore a 2003 escort wagon can do 145. There isn't a connection. They are two different types of submarines. two different power plants, different hulls, different design constraints and goals. And besides, if you KNEW the answer (and you claim to have some experience), then why would you argue what isn't true? And also remember that you are (as are we) extrapolating not DIRECTLY from the designs or designers but instead from interpretations of those thoughts. I presume you haven't found blueprints from the Severodonetsk shipbuilding Bureau. Instead you probably gleaned that fact from an English language interpretation. Also, how does a soviet project w/ 100k shp relate to the 688?Protonk (talk) 19:33, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


If someone wants the text from running critical to support the depth changes (or has any particular question about the source in general), let me know before next month, because I need to return it to the library. I'll hand on to it until then. Protonk (talk) 01:35, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, please include a quote if it's not too long. Running Critical is long out of print and thus not widely available. Thank you.

Rickover's high speed prototype was going to have trouble breaking thirty knots--even with increased horsepower--because it would have to be a much heavier submarine to accommodate the larger propulsion plant. The S6G reactor compartment weighed in at 1,050 tons compared to the 650 tons in the current fleet [Here I presume he refers to the 637's]. That was a lot of extra weight, and the ship was going to be 60 feet longer to balance out the weight in the engine room. The first big task of the panel was to look for excess baggage they could cut out of the ship to make her lighter. They considered taking out the auxiliary diesel [WHY?] and the extra air conditioning unit Rickover had insisted on carrying over the years, but Rickover sent word that these backup systems were non-negotiable [Thank god].

That left only one place where they could get the kind of weight reduction they needed: the hull itself.

And so a panel of seven submarine commanders made the fundamental and fateful compromise that would haunt the 688 class until the end of the century [and longer, as the author didn't foresee the end of the cold war stopping sub production]. They gave up what U.S. Submarines had had since 1961--the ability to dive to 1300 feet...

From page 66

By shaving the thickness of the hull...they substantially narrowed the band of ocean in which the submarine could operate--to no deeper than 950 feet

Again from page 66

Comments in brackets are mine. All spelling errors are mine. Protonk (talk) 18:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

One issue I have with the current wording is that there's a lot of stuff about Running Critical in the body text. This should be in the references. The use of "Informed sources" is weasel words. I'd use "The estimated maximum speed of this class of submarine is 30–32 knots[ref] and can operate...[ref]" and let the references speak for themselves. I'm not sure how to deal with that "30–32 knots" conflicts with "33+ knots" quoted in the CNN article and used in the sidebar.
Feel free to fix/update it as you see fit. I don't think the informed sources bit is my wording.  :) Protonk (talk) 18:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
The Underwater speed record article mentions (without references) a 31 knots speed for the Soviet November class and how the incident regarding this factored into the design of the Los Angeles class submarine. This incident is mention in The Right Thing but I had not used it as a reference as the author did not mention the speed involved nor the date when occurred. Instead in his recounting he mentions that their had been an ongoing discussion within the Navy about "slow, stealthy and deep" vs. "fast" for the proposed LA class. Rickover was a proponent of "fast." The book them mentions the incident with the US fleet fleet speeding up to outrun the Russians and their surprise the that submarine was able to keep up with them. Rickover used this as an example to prove his point and the LA class was engineered towards "fast." I forget if it was immediately afterwards or later in the book but it was then discovered that the Russian submarine involved had very little shielding on its reactor which saved weight and had allowed for it to go faster. Anyway, it's an interesting back-story but someone will need to pull up a copy of The Right Thing again to make an accurate citation. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 18:05, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
That timeline pretty much accords with what is in running critical. But remember what I said before, we should be cautious when making assumptions about design realities based on our perceived notions of the design goals. ONE of Rickover's goals was fast. Another primary, probably paramount, goal was safety. Safety (in this case) meant using a proven reactor design that might not have had the horsepower to push the boat through the water that fast. The November incident is covered in lavish detail in Running Critical as well. I won't excerpt it because it is pages 38-49, but the story itself is a good one. Protonk (talk) 18:44, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
re "Feel free to fix/update it as you see fit." - I'm running critical on available time at the moment and may not be on wikipedia this weekend at all. No hurry on the edits though. Those sections you quoted sounds great. I'll need to get the book. I'm also thinking a lot of what you quotes could be used in the main article. The quote sections are small enough that they should qualify as fair-use while providing excellent background material for the Los Angeles class. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 07:53, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

A considerable number of personal testimonies from French submariners mention that the Daphne class subs regularly dove to 500m. I'd be very much surprised that the Los Angeles couldn't do as well as those diesel-electric subs from the 1950's.Leridan (talk) 02:24, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Apples and oranges. Anecdotal design specifications for mid-century French diesel-electric submarines are immaterial to the design of the 688-class.  Cjmclark (Contact) 20:15, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Other sources to be used in the future[edit]

just bare links for now.Protonk (talk) 04:07, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Here's some more potential references I had on a crib sheet.
  • The book Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship by Tom Clancy - non-fiction work that focuses on the Los Angeles (SSN-688I) class submarine and specifically the USS Miami.
  • - One tidbit is this states the speed of the Los Angeles class as "Speed: 25+ knots (46 +kph)" which is 5 knots faster than the current "official" source. I'd make the change now but need to figure out if {{cite web ...}} should be used for PDF files or if there's a better citation template. The author is listed as "EngleFC". Does a Navy person recognize this? Is FC a job title? Here's some metadata that'll eventually be used in the citation regardless of the specific template that's used:
    • Title: Fast Attack Submarines (The PDF metadata lists the title as "SSNs final")
    • Author: EngleFC
    • Publisher: United States Navy
    • Document created: 2000-02-09 05:44
    • Document last revised: 2000-04-19 08:03
    • File date on web server: 2005-04-21 12:32 (this may be the date/time it was uploaded to the web server as some FTP apps don't preserve the file date/time)
    • File Size: 119,713 bytes.
  • - General Dynamics Electric Boat's page on Los Angles class - Reports "Diving Depth: 800+ feet" which can be used as a reliable/official/verifiable source as the U.S. Navy does not report depth metrics on their site. Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 05:23, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
    • I wouldn't bother changing the official speed, if only because we would have to change the official speed for each 688 out there. As for the name, engleFC may be initials. there is a rate (kind of like a job title) called FT (FC on surface ships), but no FT would be writing that article and if they had, they would have signed it differently, probably including rank. I had forgotten about the Clancy book. If you have it, dig around for some discussion that might be useful.
    • I'm specifically looking for:
  1. Names and descriptions of tech used on LA class, like the sonar suite and the Fire control computers.
  2. Description of how the control surfaces work (stern planes and fairwater planes). There isn't anything like that in the submarine article.
  3. Description of crew living spaces.
    • Thanks for any help you can render. Protonk (talk) 16:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a copy of Clancy's book but see that copies are available at the local library. I have a list of books I intend to get from the library but try to process it FIFO meaning it'll be a while before I get to that one. As far as the crew area goes, GDEB calls it the Habitability Module[7] though I don't know if that's the name the Navy uses once it takes ownership. Regarding the fairwater planes - are you asking what they are for or how they are actuated on LA class ships? Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 19:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • A few things. NSSN is the production name for the virginia class, so most of that stuff relates to it, not the LA class. I think we are both in the same situation with books, I've got a large backlog too. I used to own "Submarine" back in the day but it has been lost for some time now. IIRC, it isn't really that helpful, but it does give some interesting details. In regard to fairwater/stern plane config and control, it would be nice to have anything on wikipedia. the submarine article has one line. the planes article is an unreferenced stub. If you go to the google books preview for the complete idiots guide to submarines (should be able to get there through the ISBN link), there is some stuff about control surface casualties and some other stuff about the submerged operating envelope. I'd rather not put up the submerged operating envelope stuff, because that is a little too close to material that ought to be secret. Protonk (talk) 19:46, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The business of fairwater vs. bow planes and why the switch for the 688I and then Seawolf/Virginia is apparently a secret. I was thinking of making it clearer in the article that the 688 and 688I are different as right now the photos show one sub with planes on the sail and another without. Someone's bound to notice and at present the only explanation is buried in the Variations and follow-on boats section. I was also thinking of updating the main Submarine article to at least explain the trade-offs of sail vs. bow planes, both from an operational and maintenance viewpoint. Finding reliable references be a challenge. Can't I just say it's plain plane physics with a little fluid dynamics stirred in?  :-) Marc Kupper (talk) (contribs) 23:41, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Hmmm. Well, one published reason is that non-improved 688's couldn't surface under ice as the fairwater planes couldn't turn vertical (unlike the 637's). Rather than change the fairwater planes to turn vertical (which has implications for hydraulic failures, look how big those things are!), they just moved them to the bow. You're probably on the right track for the other reasons. Not sure where I would find published info on that, but I'm looking. Interestingly enough, there are some cool thoughts on control surfaces and control surface casualties on the Albacore and Collins class articles (and respective talk pages). both the albacore (in later years) and all of the collins class subs have X shaped stern planes. They need to be computer controlled (rather than hydraulically), but no single hydraulic failure (or computer failure, for a properly segregated system) can cause a jam dive (sub goes down) or a jam rise (sub goes up). It is neat stuff. Protonk (talk) 23:59, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Broad reworking[edit]

Ok. I'm looking at this article and I'm going to change a few things:

First, there needs to be separate sections (unless no sourcing can be found) for the various characteristics of the submarine. this will help description from "creeping"--bleeding from engineering to weapons, etc.

Second, there needs to be a 'history'/politics section. This can be covered from extant source material. This section is a great place for the November chase story that got the La class started in the first place and for a mention of the death of CONFORM.

Third, I removed (temporarily) the "in the press section". When I (or someone else) thinks of a way to return that with more than 2 valuable sentences to say, then we should return it.

Fourth, there is no fourth, good lists come in threes.  :) Protonk (talk) 04:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

More possible references[edit]

I've got finals coming up, so I probably won't work too much on this article over the next week or so. Here are some more sources for general info:

From "Seapower Magazine", a publication of the Navy League. They are technically independent of the military but as you can kind of guess from the tone, they might as well be a civilian arm. Seapower is like a softball version of "Proceedings", the USNI magazine. Proceedings has been known to write articles highly critical of the navy, but I've never known the Navy League to be anything but boosterish. However, for factual information, they can be used as a source:

more on ASDS

the rest is pretty much alphabet soup or too parochial to note. I don't think the controversy over eliminating torpedo tube launch (TTL) tomahawks needs to be in WP, but I can be corrected.

Also, those appeared in print on some date but the online archive doesn't really note that date. Probably need some digging to find out.

Protonk (talk) 19:49, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

The 'Retired' count[edit]

I started at the Navy's Submarine Fact File page and got the list of all the active submarines with their hull numbers. Went to the Naval Vessel Register and looked up all the missing hull numbers. The Navy haven't updated their fact file yet to show that USS Augusta retired in 2008, but the NVR has it right. The list I came up with as of 22 May 2008 by hull number with stricken date and current location:

 1 USS BATON ROUGE (SSN 689) 1995, Puget Sound
 2 USS OMAHA (SSN 692) 1995, Puget Sound
 3 USS CINCINNATI (SSN 693) 1995, Puget Sound
 4 USS GROTON (SSN 694) 1997, Portsmouth
 5 USS BIRMINGHAM (SSN 695) 1997, Pearl Harbor
 6 USS NEW YORK CITY (SSN 696) 1997, Portsmouth
 7 USS INDIANAPOLIS (SSN 697) 1997, Pearl Harbor
 8 USS PHOENIX (SSN 702) 1998, Portsmouth
 9 USS BOSTON (SSN 703) 1999, US Navy
10 USS BALTIMORE (SSN 704) 1998, US Navy
11 USS PORTSMOUTH (SSN 707) 2005, US Navy
13 USS HYMAN G. RICKOVER (SSN 709) 2006, US Navy Reserve
14 USS Augusta (SSN 710), Groton, Conn. 2008 US Navy
15 USS ATLANTA (SSN 712) 1999, Norfolk
16 USS SALT LAKE CITY (SSN 716) 2006, US Navy
17 USS HONOLULU (SSN 718) 2006, Bremerton Reserve

Buck (talk) 15:59, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Edit of description of internal construction of LA class Submarine[edit]

Article described three water proof compartments. Reference did not list three water proof compartments. Deleted description. Article discussed flooding limitations of the various waterproof compartments. Reference did not list these limitations. Deleted descriptions of flooding limitations.

Folks, we need to be careful about citing public domain, unclassified sources for what we put into these articles. We need to be careful to not discuss classified information. When I can picture the SSM that someone is attempting to not quote, we have crossed a boundary.

Thanks for all the hard work that is represented here.

ThomasH1966 (talk) 22:32, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

  • You sure the SSN for dummies book didn't say 3 watertight compartments? I used to have access to a copy (now at my father's) but now I have to rely on web-available texts. Also please be aware that a lot of what we might consider sensitive but unclassified info is in the Tyler book as well. I won't revert the edit because it seems like an improvement to the tone but I recall being pretty careful in inserting the material. Protonk (talk) 22:56, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I can't be sure about the SSN for Dummies book, not having read it, only lived it. <grin> I just followed the reference in the article and noted that it said two water tight compartments. Since this matched all the "open source" knowledge I have on the topic, I figured I would bring the article into compliance. BTW, good job on the speed discussion. I have stood a few Throttleman watches in my time and really had to laugh at some of the arguements being presented. It always comes down to verifiable, open source information, not what is guessed at based on some wacked out extrapolation based on a half baked set of data points. ThomasH1966 (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 21:03, 8 January 2009 (UTC).
  • It is 2 water tight compartments and I'm not sure if I should add this here or continue with the discussion up above as far with reference to maximum speed and depth. Speeds and depths are classified, so why even hazard an uneducated guess? I know as far as the operating depth listed in the article is wrong, so why put out bogus information? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
  • We just give the "official figures", >25kts and >650 feet, and then give the figures offered by reliable sources. No real speculation on our part here. Protonk (talk) 22:51, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Image of the inside?[edit]

Hi all, I've uploaded an image of the "command deck" or whatever it's called of the Jefferson City. Not a great picture, but I think it might add something to the article. See [8].

  • That's the aft end of the control room where the quartermaster sits w/ the plot. It's a good image to have only because most of the navy images are of the scope or the helmsman/planesman. Protonk (talk) 18:58, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
    • There are a few more here. I'd be happy to freely license them if any are useful. Most of my pictures sucked though. Hobit (talk) 20:19, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
      • That's a nice set of pictures. Don't be ashamed. I like pics of topside all messed up like that, shows what state they are normally in. this is a panel of screw in fuses. You were probably in the machinery room (or NAVIC room) when you took it. They "blow" and glow red after >10 amps goes through them. Technically you are correct as there is a resistor inside the fuse :). Protonk (talk) 20:44, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
        • Thanks, I had the "bad" camera and believe me, I had to toss out a fair number of pictures to get that. Hobit (talk) 00:32, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

"more boats than any other nuclear powered submarine"[edit]

"With 46 submarines, this class has more boats than any other nuclear powered submarine class in the world."

This citation is wrong. Victor class has 16 Victor I, 7 or more Victor II and 25 or 26 Victor III types produced. Which sums up to 48-49 or more submarines. If you say I, II, III subclasses, LA class has 688 and 688i subclass which still makes victor IIIs the most produced (talk) 17:47, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Well, LA has three sub-classes. 688, VLS and VLS/688i. Maybe 'operating' submarines would be better? Protonk (talk) 17:51, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
    • "With 45 submarines, this class has more operational boats than any other nuclear powered submarine class in the world" this should be good i think? (talk) 20:22, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Torpedo tube question[edit]

I've noticed that Wjl2 has gone through and edited all 688-class boat infoboxes to read that they have "4 x 21 in (533 mm) midships tubes." Is this an accepted naming convention? Last I checked, the tubes were bow tubes (located slightly aft of the bow, but not what I would consider to be midships).  Cjmclark  02:59, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Disregard, the issue has been resolved. His reference incorrectly designated them midships tubes, and he is fixing them.  Cjmclark  04:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

USS Dallas in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2"[edit]

Hello everyone. I recently added the notice that the USS Dallas was featured in the computer game Modern Warfare 2. I have played that game myself, so of course I know it is true, but I understand it would not be formal to list myself as a source. I could not find another proper source anywhere. This is material that is difficult to source, since the only one who could make a definite confirmation it was featured are the creators of the computer game, "Infinity Ward".

However, videos on of this computer game do confirm that the USS Dallas is indeed in MW2. I do not know if that is a valid source though. Should I add a link to a video?

On a small sidenote, the USS Dallas article on this wiki also confirms the Dallas was featured in MW2. But on that article no source is listed either, unfortunatly. T-Nod (talk) 19:13, 1 August 2011 (UTC)


Does anyone have any idea when the rest of the LAs will be retired? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

No main shaft[edit]

WTF? Really? Maybe I misunderstood that statement, but even after reading it a few times, it stills seems to say that there is no main shaft, "unlike diesel boats"....Yes, there is a main shaft. It spins the propeller.

I also saw a 'war on speed' going on....100MPH??? Seriously? — Preceding unsigned comment added by T1n0 (talkcontribs) 08:42, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Why 688?[edit]

The article makes use of the alternate (?) term "688-class" but doesn't explain why this class is also known as that. Why is it? --Golbez (talk) 04:35, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

It also is referred to as the 688-class because the USS Los Angeles, the first ship of the class (and also its namesake) bore the numeric designation SSN-688.  Cjmclark (Contact) 00:15, 30 October 2012 (UTC)