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Evolution of Subs

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Terminology


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

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


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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)







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