USS Memphis (SSN-691)
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|Namesake:||The City of Memphis, Tennessee|
|Awarded:||4 February 1971|
|Builder:||Newport News Shipbuilding|
|Laid down:||23 June 1973|
|Launched:||3 April 1976|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Cathy Beard|
|Commissioned:||17 December 1977|
|Decommissioned:||1 April 2011|
|Status:||Stricken, to be disposed of by submarine recycling|
|Class and type:||Los Angeles-class submarine|
|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, 2 turbines, 35,000 hp (26 MW), 1 auxiliary motor 325 hp (242 kW), 1 shaft|
|Test depth:||290 m (950 ft)|
|Complement:||12 Officers; 98 Enlisted|
|Armament:||4 × 21 in (533 mm) bow tubes|
USS Memphis (SSN-691), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Memphis, Tennessee. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia on 4 February 1971 and her keel was laid down on 23 June 1973. She was launched on 3 April 1976 sponsored by Mrs. Cathy Beard (née Rieniets), wife of Congressman Robin L. Beard, Jr., and commissioned on 17 December 1977, with Commander G. Dennis Hicks in command.
Memphis was redesignated an experimental submarine during 1989 to test composite hull structures, unmanned underwater vehicles, advanced sonars, hull friction reduction, and other advanced technologies for the Los Angeles and Seawolf classes, but remained combat-capable.
During a mid-1990s refit, Memphis received numerous modifications, which added about 50 tons to her displacement, most of it aft.
- a glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) turtleback abaft the sail to accommodate remotely operated vehicles
- a towing winch and drum for experimental towed sonar arrays
- 4.27 m-high by 1.37 m-wide vertical surfaces at the ends of the stern stabilizers to accommodate sonar transducer arrays
- a 54 mm towed array dispenser in the port fin leading to the new winch abaft the sail
- supports for the stern stabilizers
- new hydraulic systems
- a fiber-optic databus
- 58 standardized equipment racks to accommodate electronic test gear
In January 1994 Memphis entered Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for refueling, overhaul and modifications to support her research and development role. Upon completion of the shipyard availability she was assigned to Submarine Development Squadron 12 in Groton, Connecticut.
In 1998 Memphis tested the Lockheed Martin Undersea Systems Universal Gravity Module (UGM) passive bottom profiler navigational system.
On 3 May 2005, Memphis deployed conducting two polar transits, returning to New London on 3 November 2005.
On 6 May 2006, Memphis deployed against Iraqi insurgency, returning to New London, Connecticut, on 7 August.
On 27 June 2007, Memphis returned to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, for a Pre-Inactivation Restricted Availability. She returned to Groton on 8 May 2008.
After 33 years of service Memphis was taken out of service in a decommissioning ceremony at the Shepherd of the Sea Chapel located at the US Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut on 1 April 2011. Memphis went to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to begin the inactivation process.
In November 2010, Navy investigators discovered rampant cheating taking place on training exams among the sub's crew. The sub's skipper, Commander Charles Maher was removed. Thirteen other crewmembers were also removed. Navy officers interviewed by the Associated Press stated that training exam cheating was widespread within the Navy's submarine force.
- "USS Memphis". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "USS Memphis to Decommission". Navy News Service. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- McDermott, Jennifer (1 April 2011). "'Mighty Memphis' retires". The Day. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Associated Press, "Retired Submarine USS Memphis Arrives", Boston Globe, 9 April 2011.
- Memphis parts to Miami - Defenseindustrydaily.com, 2 October 2012
- Melia, Michael, "AP Enterprise: Exam-cheating scandal hits navy sub", Yahoo! News, 16 August 2011.