List of submarine classes of the United States Navy

Submarines of the United States Navy are built in classes, using a single design for a number of boats. Minor variations occur as improvements are incorporated into the design, so later boats of a class may be more capable than earlier. Also, boats are modified, sometimes extensively, while in service, creating departures from the class standard. However, in general, all boats of a class are noticeably similar.

Experimental use: an example is USS Albacore (AGSS-569), which used an unprecedented hull design. In this list such single boat "classes" are marked with "(unique)".

Pre–World War I

Pre–World War I
Class nameNo.Laid downLast comm.Notes
Alligator[1]118611862First submarine in the U.S. Navy. Purpose was to protect wooden ships against ironclads.
Holland[2][3]1189619005 others were made; only Holland (SS-1) entered the U.S. Navy as it was the first officially commissioned submarine purchased on 11 April 1900.
Plunger[4][5][6][7]719001903Later renamed A class in November 1911, when Navy stopped naming submarines. Essentially enlarged, more powerful Holland.
B[8][9][10][11]319051907Last in series of Holland-like submarines. Originally known as Viper class.
C[12]519051910Designed by Lawrence York Spear. Originally known as the Octopus class.
D[13]319081910Originally known as the Narwhal class. Designed to survive flooding in one compartment.
E[14]219091912First US Navy diesel-powered submarine. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape.
F[15]419091913In 1920, the class was designated SS-20SS-23.
G[16][17][18][19]419091914Used gasoline engine. G-1 (SS-19½) set the submerged depth record in 1915, 256 feet (78 m). G-1 (SS-19½) was given the number 19½ because SS- numbers were given after her decommissioning; she was between SS-19 & SS-20.
H[20][21]9191119183 originally ordered by U.S. Navy. 17 ordered by the Imperial Russian Navy, 11 delivered. Other 6 bought by U.S. Navy. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape.
K[22][23]819121912Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. K-1 (SS-32), K-2 (SS-33), K-5 (SS-36), K-6 (SS-37) were the first U.S. submarines to see action in World War I.
L[24]1119141918The first US submarines with a deck gun. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. Designed for coastal defense.
M-1[25]119141918Double-hull design. Twenty percent larger than the K class. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. Considered failure by the submarine community.
N[26]719151918Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. Used for coastal patrol.
O[27][28]1619161918Each cost $550,000. First submarines with reliable diesel engines. Every man had his own berth and locker. Known as "pig boats", or "boats", due to foul living quarters and unusual hull shape. O-11 through O-16 (built by Lake Torpedo Boat Company) also known as the "modified O-class". Modified boats proved to be disappointing and were scrapped in 1930; Lake went out of business in 1925.
AA-1[29]319161922Later renamed T class. Designed for 5,540 miles (8,920 km) at 14 knots (7.2 m/s), but performed 3,000 miles (4,800 km) at 11 knots (5.7 m/s). Prototype "fleet submarines"submarines fast enough (21 knots (11 m/s)) to travel with battleships. Twice the size of any concurrent or past U.S. submarine. A poor tandem engine design caused the boats to be decommissioned by 1923 and scrapped in 1930.

World War I

World War I
Class nameNo.Laid downLast comm.Notes
R[30][31]2019171918Larger conning tower to serve as commanding officer's battle station. Fired Mark 10 torpedoes and traveled 5,000 miles (8,000 km) at 10 knots (5.1 m/s).
R-21[32]719171919Designed by Simon Lake. Generally similar to R class, but smaller and reverted to 18-inch torpedo tubes. Scrapped in 1930; Lake went out of business in 1925.
S5119171922The S class is subdivided into four groups of different designs.

Between the world wars

Between the world wars
Class nameNo.First ship laid downLast ship commissionedNotes
Barracuda3USS Barracuda (SS-163) and
USS Bass (SS-164)
20 October 1921
USS Bonita (SS-165)
22 May 1926
Argonaut11 May 19252 April 1928Unique submarine; mine-laying submarine
Narwhal2USS Narwhal (SS-167)
10 May 1927
USS Nautilus (SS-168)
1 July 1930
Dolphin114 June 19301 June 1932Unique submarine
Cachalot2USS Cachalot (SS-170)
7 October 1931
USS Cuttlefish (SS-171)
8 June 1934
Porpoise10USS Porpoise (SS-172)
24 October 1933
USS Pompano (SS-181)
12 June 1937
Salmon6USS Salmon (SS-182)
15 April 1936
USS Skipjack (SS-184)
30 June 1938
Sargo10USS Sargo (SS-188)
12 May 1937
USS Seawolf (SS-197)
1 December 1939
Tambor12USS Tambor (SS-198)
16 January 1939
USS Grayback (SS-208)
30 June 1941
Mackerel2USS Mackerel (SS-204)
6 October 1939
USS Marlin (SS-205)
1 August 1941
Gato77USS Drum (SS-228)
11 September 1940
USS Croaker (SS-246)
21 April 1944
USS Drum was only boat actually commissioned before US Entry to WWII

World War II

World War II
Class nameNo.First ship laid downLast ship commissionedNotes
Balao120USS Devilfish (SS-292)
31 March 1942
USS Tiru (SS-416)
1 September 1948
62 cancelled
Tench29USS Amberjack (SS-522), USS Grampus (SS-523), USS Pickerel (SS-524), and USS Grenadier (SS-525)
8 February 1944
USS Grenadier (SS-525)
10 February 1951
51 cancelled

Cold War

Cold War
Class nameNo.First boat laid downLast boat commissionedNotes
Barracuda3USS Barracuda (SSK-1)
1 July 1949
USS Bonita (SSK-3)
11 January 1952
Tang6USS Tang (SS-563)
18 April 1949
USS Gudgeon (SS-567)
21 November 1952
Albacore115 March 19526 December 1953Unique submarine; teardrop hull form; no weapons
T-12USS T-1, later USS Mackerel (SST-1)
1 April 1952
USS T-2, later USS Marlin (SST-2)
20 November 1953
Training and experimental submarines
Nautilus114 June 195230 September 1954First nuclear submarine; hull design enlarged from fleet boat
Sailfish2USS Sailfish (SSR-572)
8 December 1953
USS Salmon (SSR-573)
25 August 1956
Radar picket
Grayback2USS Grayback (SSG-574)
1 July 1954
USS Growler (SSG-577)
30 August 1958
Regulus missile submarines
Seawolf17 December 195330 March 1957Unique submarine; liquid metal cooled (sodium) S2G reactor (replaced with a pressurized-water reactor in 1959)
Darter110 November 195420 October 1956Unique submarine
Skate4USS Skate (SSN-578)
21 July 1955
USS Seadragon (SSN-584)
5 December 1959
Barbel3USS Barbel (SS-580)
18 May 1956
USS Blueback (SS-581)
15 October 1959
U.S. Navy's last conventionally-powered submarines
Skipjack6USS Skipjack (SSN-585)
29 May 1956
USS Snook (SSN-592)
24 October 1961
First combat submarine class with teardrop hull form. USS Scorpion lost at sea 1968.
Triton129 May 195610 November 1959Unique submarine; Radar picket
Halibut111 April 19574 January 1960Unique submarine; Regulus missile submarine
Thresher/Permit14USS Thresher (SSN-593)
28 May 1958
USS Gato (SSN-615)
25 January 1968
First class with bow sonar sphere. Known as Thresher class until the loss of the USS Thresher (SSN-593) in 1963
Tullibee126 May 19589 November 1960Unique submarine; turbo-electric transmission
George Washington5USS George Washington (SSBN-598)
1 November 1957
USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602)
11 March 1961
Ethan Allen5USS Ethan Allen (SSBN-608)
14 September 1959
USS Thomas Jefferson (SSBN-618)
4 January 1963
Ethan Allen only SSBN to fire live missile and explode nuclear warhead at test range proving theory.
Lafayette9USS Lafayette (SSBN-616)
17 January 1961
USS John Adams (SSBN-620)
12 May 1964
James Madison10USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629)
6 February 1962
USS Nathanael Greene (SSBN-636)
19 December 1964
Dolphin19 November 196217 August 1968Unique submarine; research and development; last operational U.S. Navy diesel-electric submarine; Decommissioned 15 January 2007
Sturgeon37USS Sturgeon (SSN-637)
10 August 1963
USS Richard B. Russell (SSN-687)
16 August 1975
Redesign of Thresher/Permit class using lessons learned from loss of Thresher.
Benjamin Franklin12USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640)
25 May 1963
USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659)
1 April 1967
Redesigned using lessons learned from loss of Thresher.
Narwhal117 January 196612 July 1969Unique submarine; natural circulation S5G reactor
Glenard P. Lipscomb15 June 197121 December 1974Unique submarine; turbo-electric transmission
Los Angeles62USS Los Angeles (SSN-688)
8 January 1972
USS Cheyenne (SSN-773)
13 September 1996
Ohio18USS Ohio (SSBN-726)
10 April 1976
USS Louisiana (SSBN-743)
6 September 1997
Seawolf3USS Seawolf (SSN-21)
25 October 1989
USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23)
19 February 2005

Post–Cold War

Post–Cold War
Class nameNumber of boatsFirst boat laid downLast boat commissionedNotes
Virginia48 (planned)USS Virginia (SSN-774)
2 September 1999
USS South Dakota (SSN-790)
2 February 2019
17 commissioned as of October 2019
Columbia12 (planned)USS Columbia (SSBN-826)
(Planned)

See also

References

  1. "Alligator IV (Submarine)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  2. "USS Holland (Submarine # 1) -- Construction". USN Ships. Department of the Navy. 2004-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  3. "Holland I (SS-1)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  4. "A-1 I (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 2)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  5. "A-2 (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 3)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  6. "A-5 (Submarine Torpedo Boat No. 6)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  7. Friedman 1995, p. 28.
  8. "B class - Navy Ships". Military Factory. 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  9. "B-1". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  10. "B-3". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  11. John Pike. "SS-10 B-1 Viper".
  12. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-9 C-1 Octopus". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  13. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-17 D-1 Narwhal". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  14. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-24 E-1 Skipjack". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  15. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-20 F-1 Carp". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  16. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-19(1/2) G-1 Seal". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  17. "G-1". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  18. "G-4". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  19. "California Naval History: The City of Los Angeles . . . An Inland City with the First Submarine Base on the Pacific Coast". militarymuseum.org. 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  20. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-28 H-1 Seawolf". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  21. "H-9". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  22. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-32 K-1 Haddock". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  23. "USS K-1 (Submarine # 32)". USN Ships. Department of the Navy. 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  24. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-40 L-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  25. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-47 M-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  26. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-53 N-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  27. Pike, John (2005-06-08). "SS-62 O-1". Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  28. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-72 O-11". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  29. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-52 T-1 Schley". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  30. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-78 R-1". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  31. "R-20". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  32. Pike, John (2005-04-27). "SS-98 R-21". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  • Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.

General references

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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