USS Sand Lance (SSN-660)
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|Name:||USS Sand Lance (SSN-660)|
|Namesake:||The sand lance|
|Ordered:||24 October 1963|
|Builder:||Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine|
|Laid down:||15 January 1965|
|Launched:||11 November 1969|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Thomas J. McIntyre|
|Commissioned:||25 September 1971|
|Decommissioned:||7 August 1998|
|Struck:||7 August 1998|
|Awarded Navy Unit Commendation and Navy Expeditionary Medal in 1979 for Special Operations conducted that same year.|
|Fate:||Scrapping via Ship and Submarine Recycling Program begun 1 April 1998, completed 30 August 1999|
|Class and type:||Sturgeon-class attack submarine|
|Length:||292 ft (89 m)|
|Beam:||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Draft:||29 ft 10 in (9.09 m)|
|Installed power:||15,000 shaft horsepower (11.2 megawatts)|
|Propulsion:||One S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one screw|
|Test depth:||1,300 ft (400 m)|
|Complement:||107 (12 officers, 95 enlisted men)|
|Armament:||4 × 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes|
Construction and commissioning
The contract to build Sand Lance was awarded to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard at Kittery, Maine, on 24 October 1963 and her keel was laid down there on 15 January 1965. She was launched on 11 November 1969, sponsored by Mrs. Thomas J. McIntyre, and commissioned on 25 September 1971 with Commander William A. Kennington in command. Sand Lance was the last ship to be constructed for the Navy at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
On the day of her commissioning, Sand Lance's home port was changed from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Charleston, South Carolina. She spent the remainder of 1971 on shakedown. She operated in the Charleston area for the whole of 1972, then, in February 1973, stood out of Charleston for special operations. She returned to Charleston on 21 April 1973, remained in port until 11 June 1973, and then departed again on special operations. She completed these operations in August 1973 and put in at Faslane Naval Base, Scotland, on 13 August 1973. Sand Lance left Faslane on 20 August 1973 and arrived in Charleston on 5 September 1973. Sand Lance was sent to the Mediterranean to monitor shipping going through the Straits of Gibraltar during the October 1973 War (known in Israel as the Yom Kippur War). She then operated out of Charleston in the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea through at least June 1974. She went through overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1975 and 1976 (15 months).
This section needs expansion with: history from 1976 to 1987. You can help by adding to it. (August 2017)
In 1987, Sand Lance completed Law Enforcement Operations in the Caribbean Sea and was transferred to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery Maine for a refueling overhaul, replacement of propeller (screw), and upgrades to hull coatings. She underwent sea trials in 1990 and returned to active service out of Charleston, SC.
This section needs expansion with: history from 1990 to 1994. You can help by adding to it. (August 2017)
In 1994 Sand Lance, while moored at Charleston, almost sank next to the pier ahead of one of her sister ships, the attack submarine USS Grayling (SSN-646), due to flooding in the engine room's lower level when a main seawater hull valve was being removed for maintenance. Plates, called blanks, had been placed over her hull penetrations by divers to avoid flooding during removal of the valve but had been placed over the wrong main seawater openings. The flooding was stopped, but not before most of the engine room's lower level was flooded.
This section needs expansion with: history from 1994 to 1998. You can help by adding to it. (January 2010)
Decommissioning and disposal
Sand Lance was decommissioned on 7 August 1998 and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same day. Her scrapping via the Nuclear-Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, began on 1 April 1998 and was completed on 30 August 1999.
Sand Lance's Maneuvering Room Consoles, which were used to control the engines, electrical systems and nuclear reactor were displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and are now stored there in the event of future exhibits involving nuclear submarines.
- "Submarine Power and Propulsion". American History. Smithsonian Institution.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- 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.
- NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive Sand Lance (SSN-660)