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Evolution of Subs

U.S. and Soviet Submarine Milestones of the Cold War

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Terminology


Definitions of “beam,” “draft,” “displacement”

1954: Nautilus (U.S.)
First Nuclear-Powered Sub


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Nautilus
Nautilus in June 1965
Photograph courtesy U.S. Navy







Nuclear power allowed the world’s first nuclear sub, Nautilus, to break all former submerged speed and distance records.

During the top secret mission Operation Sunshine in 1958, the original Nautilus completed the first ever submerged North Pole crossing. Decommissioned in 1980, the historic submarine is now on display in Groton, Connecticut.


Next: Power + Streamlining = Speed >>




Length: 324 ft (99 m)

Beam: 28 ft (9 m)

Draft: 22 ft (7 m)

Displacement: 4,092 tons

Propulsion: 1 nuclear reactor, 2 propellers

Crew: 105

Armament: 6 21-in (533-mm) torpedo tubes

Commissioned: September 30, 1954

Maximum Speed: 25 knots (29 mph/46 kph)







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