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

1959: Skipjack Class (U.S.)
Power + Streamlining = Speed


US Skipjack Class
Skipjack in the 1960s
Photograph courtesy U.S. Navy

The Skipjack class of attack submarines was the first to combine nuclear power with the extraordinary speed enabled by a new, more hydrodynamic teardrop hull design that was first tested on a conventionally powered sub. All U.S. nuclear subs since have used this basic combination.

Read about the explosion aboard the Skipjack-Class Scorpion.

Next: First Nuclear Powered, Ballistic Missile Subs >>

Length: 252 feet (77 m)

Beam: 32 ft (10 m)

Draft: 29 ft (9 m)

Displacement: 3,513 tons

Propulsion: 1 pressurized-water nuclear reactor, 1 propeller

Crew: 118

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

First Sub Commissioned: April 15, 1959

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