USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)

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USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)
USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) participates in a dockside ceremony. Note the former USN jack waving from the front of the sub.
USS Pittsburgh at a dockside ceremony in 1985.
United States
Name: USS Pittsburgh
Namesake: The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Awarded: 16 April 1979
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down: 15 April 1983
Launched: 8 December 1984
Commissioned: 23 November 1985
Homeport: Groton, Connecticut
Motto: Heart of Steel
Status: in active service
Badge: 720insig.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Los Angeles-class submarine
  • 5,802 long tons (5,895 t) light
  • 6,193 long tons (6,292 t) full
  • 391 long tons (397 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
  • Surfaced:20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h)
  • Submerged: +20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h) (official)
Complement: 12 officers, 98 men
Sensors and
processing systems:
BQQ-5 passive sonar, BQS-15 detecting and ranging sonar, WLR-8 fire control radar receiver, WLR-9 acoustic receiver for detection of active search sonar and acoustic homing torpedoes, BRD-7 radio direction finder
Armament: 4 × 21 in (533 mm) bow tubes, 10 Mk48 ADCAP torpedo reloads, Tomahawk land attack missile block 3 SLCM range 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km), Harpoon anti–surface ship missile range 70 nautical miles (130 km), mine laying Mk67 mobile Mk60 captor mines

USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) is a Los Angeles-class submarine and is the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


USS Pittsburgh demonstrates an emergency main ballast tank blow in 1991.

The contract to build Pittsburgh was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 16 April 1979 and her keel was laid down on 15 April 1983. She was launched on 8 December 1984 sponsored by Dr. Carol Sawyer, and commissioned on 23 November 1985, with Commander Raymond Setser in command.

On 2 April 1991 Pittsburgh and Louisville conducted submarine-launched Tomahawk missile attacks against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm.[1]

USS Pittsburgh departed in October 2002 to deploy in the Mediterranean Sea. There, she again fired Tomahawk missiles into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.[2] She returned from that deployment on 27 April 2003.

On 3 August 2012, Commander Michael Ward II was relieved of command of the ship after "allegations of personal misconduct" surfaced in the media.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Gulf War: April 1991." US Navy.
  2. ^ Affairs, This story was written by Journalist 1st Class (SW/AW) Mark A. Savage, Commander Navy Region Northeast Public. "Groton-Based Submarines Return to SUBASE After Deployments, Combat". Retrieved 2017-07-16. 
  3. ^ "Sub commander relieved of duty after woman alleges he faked death to end affair." The Day Publishing Company, 12 August 2012.
  4. ^ Black, Jeff. "Report: Ex-Navy sub commander Michael Ward II faked death to get out of affair with Virginia woman." NBC News, 13 August 2012.

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