Designed
for Submariners

by Hamilton 1:1 Communications, LLC

Sturgeon Class
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SSN-637 Sturgeon class

Overview

STURGEON class submarines were built for anti-submarine warfare in the late 1960s and 1970s. Using the same propulsion system as their smaller predecessors of the SSN-585 Skipjack and SSN-594 Permit classes, the larger Sturgeons sacrificed speed for greater combat capabilities.

They are equipped to carry the HARPOON missile, the TOMAHAWK cruise missile, and the MK-48 and ADCAP torpedoes. Torpedo tubes are located amidships to accommodate the bow-mounted sonar. The sail-mounted dive planes rotate to a vertical position for breaking through the ice when surfacing in Arctic regions.

Beginning with SSN-678 Archerfish units of this class had a 10-foot longer hull, giving them more living and working space than previous submarines of the Sturgeon Class.

A total of six Sturgeon-class boats were modified to carry the SEAL Dry Deck Shelter [DDS], one in 1982 and five between 1988 and 1991. They are; SSN 678-680, 682, 684, 686 are listed as "DDS Capable" -- either permanently fitted with the DDS or trained with them. In this configuration they are primarily tasked with the covert insertion of Special Forces troops from an attached Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). The Dry Deck Shelter is a submersible launch hanger with a hyperbaric chamber that attaches to the ship's Weapon Shipping Hatch. The DDS provides the most tactically practical means of SEAL delivery due to its size, capabilities, and location on the ship.

Rapidly being phased out in favor of the LOS ANGELES and SEAWOLF Classes of attack submarines, this venerable and flexible workhorse of the submarine attack fleet continues to operate in the forward areas of the world to this day. Attracting little publicity during its heyday, this class of ship was the platform of choice for many of the Cold War missions for which submarines are now famous. After a 5-year study was completed on the SSN-637 class submarine, the design life was extended from 20 years to 30 years, with a possible extension to 33 years on a case-by-case basis. However, many boats of this class were retired prior to this limit in order to avoid expensive reactor refueling operations
.


Boats Built

USS Sturgeon (SSN-637)
USS Whale (SSN-638)

USS Tautog (SSN-639)
USS Grayling (SSN-646)
USS Pogy (SSN-647)
USS Aspro (SSN-648)
USS Sunfish (SSN-649)
USS Pargo (SSN-650)
USS Queenfish (SSN-651)
USS Puffer (SSN-652)
USS Ray (SSN-653)
USS Sand Lance (SSN-660)
USS Lapon (SSN-661)
USS Gurnard (SSN-662)
USS Hammerhead (SSN-663)
USS Sea Devil (SSN-664)
USS Guitarro (SSN-665)
USS Hawkbill (SSN-666)
USS Bergall (SSN-667)
USS Spadefish (SSN-668)

USS Seahorse (SSN-669)
USS Finback (SN-670)
USS Finback (SSN-670) Aerial
USS Pintado (SSN-672)
USS Flying Fish (SSN-673)
USS Trepang (SSN-674)
USS Bluefish (SSN-675)

USS Billfish (SSN-676)
USS Drum (SSN-677)
USS Archerfish (SSN-678)
USS Silversides (SSN-679)
USS William Bates (SSN-680)
USS Batfish (SSN-681)
USS Tunny (SSN-682)
USS Tunny (SSN-682)2
USS Parche (SSN-683)
USS Cavalla (SSN-684)
USS Glen Lipscomb (SSN-685)
USS l. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686)
USS Richard Russell (SSN-687)

Specifications:

Builder:
General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division;
Quincy Shipbuilding Division;
Ingalls Shipbuilding;
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard;
New York Shipbuilding;
Newport News Shipbuilding;
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Built:
1963-1975
Displacement:
4,250 tons standard, except SSN 678-687 4,460 tons
4,780 tons submerged, except SSN 678-687 4,960 tons
Length:
292 feet,
302 feet SSN 678-687
Beam:
32 feet
Draft:
28.8 feet
Speed:
Official: 20-plus knots,
Actual: 25 knots
Operating Depth official:
"Greater than 400 feet"
Actual: 1300 feet (400 meters) test depth
Actual: 1900 feet (600 meters) collapse depth
Power Plant:
One S5W nuclear reactor,
Two steam turbines, 15,000 shp,
One shaft
Armament:
MK 48 Torpedoes, four torpedo tubes
UUM-44A SUBROC
UGM-84A/C Harpoon
MK 57 deep water mines
MK 60 CAPTOR mines
Radars:
BPS-14/15 surface search
Sonars:
BQQ-5 multi-function bow mounted
BQR-7 passive in submarines withh BQQ-2
BQR-26 in SSN 666
BQS-6 active in submarines with BQQ-2
BQS-12 active on SSN 637-664
BQS-13 active on SSN 665-687
TB-16 or TB-23 towed array
EW Systems:
WLQ-4(V)
WLR-4 (V)
WLR-9
Unit Cost:
$320 million [1990 prices]
Unit Operating Cost Annual Average:
$11,000,000 Source (FY1996 VAMOSC)