Attack Submarines – SSN – Los Angeles Class

Named after the U.S. city, the Los Angeles-class family of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines represents two generations and nearly half-a-century of the U.S. Navy’s attack submarine (SSN) fleet. The U.S. Navy has three classes of attack submarines deployed in the world’s oceans-Los Angeles-class, Virginia-class, and Seawolf-class. The Los Angeles-class SSN forms the backbone of the Naval submarine force, with 51 vessels currently deployed in the world’s oceans-16 boats in the Pacific Fleet and 32 in the Atlantic Fleet. This class is equipped for anti-submarine combat, reconnaissance, show-of-force missions, insertion of special forces, strike missions, mining, and search and rescue.

The first submarine of this class was commissioned in 1976, and the latest-the USS Cheyenne-was commissioned in 1996. The production work on the vessels are split up by a number of industry teams. Manufacturing of the boats are undertaken by Pascagoula, Mississippi-based Northrup Grumman Ship Systems (formerly Newport News Shipbuilding) and Groton, Connecticut-based General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.

Fitted with a vertical launch missile system with twelve launch tubes, the Los Angeles-class submarine has impressive missile capabilities. Initially equipped with a Raytheon CCS Mark 2 combat data system, the SSNs upgraded to the Raytheon AN/BYG-1 Combat Control System (also integrated on the Virginia and Seawolf classes) in 2005. Armed with both the land-attack and anti-ship versions of Raytheon’s Tomahawk missile, the Los Angeles-class most recently saw battle in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Two of the nine Los Angeles-class SSNs deployed in the 1991 Gulf War used their Tomahawks. All twelve of the SSNs supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom launched their Tomahawk TLAM missiles.

In 2003, the first launch of the new Raytheon Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile integrated with a live warhead took place from the USS Tucson(SSN-770). The new Block IV missile has a two-way satellite linking system that is able to reprogram the Tomahawk while in midflight and transmit Battle Damage Indication (BDI) imagery in real-time. The Los Angeles-class SSNs also carries Boeing’s subsonic Harpoon anti-ship missile which utilizes active radar homing to deliver a 225-kg warhead to its target.

The propulsion system of the Los Angeles-class SSN consists of a General Electric-produced 26-MW nuclear pressure water reactor-the model GE PWR S6G. The 242-kW auxiliary prop motor is manufactured by Wisconsin-based Magnatek.

The following are the Los Angeles-class submarines currently deployed and their respective homeports:

  • USS Bremerton (SSN 698), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Dallas (SSN 700), Groton, CT
  • USS La Jolla (SSN 701), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), San Diego, CA
  • USS San Francisco (SSN 711), San Diego, CA
  • USS Houston (SSN 713), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Norfolk (SSN 714), Norfolk, VA
  • USS Buffalo (SSN 715), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Olympia (SSN 717), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Providence (SSN 719), Groton, CT
  • USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), Groton, CT
  • USS Chicago (SSN 721), Guam
  • USS Key West (SSN 722), Guam
  • USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), Guam
  • USS Louisville (SSN 724), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Newport News (SSN 750), Norfolk, VA
  • USS San Juan (SSN 751), Groton, CT
  • USS Pasadena (SSN 752), San Diego, CA
  • USS Albany (SSN 753), Norfolk, VA
  • USS Topeka (SSN 754), Portsmouth, NH
  • USS Scranton (SSN 756), Norfolk, VA
  • USS Alexandria (SSN 757), Portsmouth, NH
  • USS Asheville (SSN 758), San Diego, CA
  • USS Jefferson City (SSN 759), San Diego, CA
  • USS Annapolis (SSN 760), Groton, CT
  • USS Springfield (SSN 761), Groton, CT
  • USS Columbus (SSN 762), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Boise (SSN 764), Norfolk, VA
  • USS Montpelier (SSN 765), Norfolk, VA
  • USS Charlotte (SSN 766), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Hampton (SSN 767), San Diego, CA
  • USS Hartford (SSN 768), Groton, CT
  • USS Toledo (SSN 769), Groton, CT
  • USS Tucson (SSN 770), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Columbia (SSN 771), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Greeneville (SSN 772), Pearl Harbor, HI
  • USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), Pearl Harbor, HI

The general characteristics of the Los Angeles-class submarine are as follows:

Builder Newport News Shipbuilding Co.; General Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Date Deployed Nov 13, 1976 (USS Los Angeles)
Propulsion One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length 360 feet (109.73 meters)
Beam 33 feet (10.06 meters)
Displacement Approximately 6,900 tons (7011 metric tons) submerged
Speed 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3 +kph)
Crew 16 Officers; 127 Enlisted
Armament Tomahawk missiles, VLS tubes (SSN 719 and later), MK48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes.

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