Military Wiki
Skate-class submarine
USS Skate
USS Skate
Class overview
Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Preceded by: USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
USS Seawolf (SSN-575)
Succeeded by: Skipjack-class submarine
Built: 1955–1959
In commission: 1957–1989
Completed: 4
Retired: 4
General characteristics
Type: Fast attack submarine
Displacement: 2,250 long tons (2,290 t) surfaced
2,850 long tons (2,900 t) submerged
Length: 267 ft 7 in (81.56 m)
Beam: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Draft: 21 ft 3 in (6.48 m)
Propulsion: Nuclear reactor
Speed: 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h) surfaced
22 knots (25 mph; 41 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 700 ft (210 m)
Complement: 84 officers and men
Armament: 8 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes (6 forward, 2 aft)

The Skate-class submarines were the United States Navy's first production run of nuclear-powered submarines. They were an evolution of the Tang class in everything but their propulsion plants, which were based on the experimental USS Nautilus. The four Skate class boats re-introduced stern torpedo tubes. Although among the smallest nuclear-powered attack submarines ever built, the Skate class served for several decades, with the last being decommissioned in 1989. USS Skate was the first submarine to surface at the North Pole, on March 17, 1959.

Skate and Sargo were built with the S3W reactor,[1][2] Swordfish and Seadragon also had the S3W reactor in the S4W reactor plant (same machinery in an alternate arrangement).[3][4]



  1. "USS Skate (SSN 578)". Unofficial U.S. Navy Site. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  2. "USS Sargo (SSN 583)". Unofficial U.S. Navy Site. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  3. "USS Swordfish (SSN 579)". Unofficial U.S. Navy Site. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  4. "USS Seadragon (SSN 584)". Unofficial U.S. Navy Site. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 


  • Miller, David. The Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World. Pg 366. ISBN 0-7603-1345-8.

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