In 1959, the US Navy put into service the Skipjack nuclear attack submarines (SSN) class, in which two newly conceived concepts joined. In this class was joined the installation of one S5W nuclear reactor in a teardrop shaped hull, in the style of the experimental USS Albacore submarine, which resulted in an exceptionally fast and maneuverable submarine when submerged. They had a sail of enormous dimensions and the forward hull hydroplanes were installed on it, in such a way that greatly reduced the flow noise that disturbed the bow mounted sonar. The shape of the hull made the sonar much more effective at high speed, although unfortunately they were very noisy boats. They only had one screw, which was not very popular, but it had been shown that this maximized the speed under water thanks to the smoothness of the hull lines and its fat and shorter design. The class was composed by six boats that were: SSN-585 Skipjack, SSN-588 Scamp, SSN-589 Scorpion, SSN-590 Sculpin, SSN-591 Shark and SSN-592 Snook. On May 22, 1968, the SS-589 Scorpion was lost with all its crew in an unfortunate accident, but the rest of the class offered useful services for many years until they were finally decommissioned between 1986 and 1990.

SKIPJACK class gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

United States


General Dynamics Electric Boat


Nuclear-powered attack submarine

Entered service




Displacement, (full load)

Surfaced: 3,119 tonnes – Submerged: 3,556 tonnes

Dimensions (length x beam x draught)

76.60 x 9.65 x 8.50 meters

Power plant

1 x Westinghouse S5W PWR reactor, 2 geared steam turbines

Power, (total)

15,000 shp

Shafts - Screws

1 shaft – 1 screw


Surfaced: 15 knots (27 km/h) – Submerged: 29 knots (53 km/h)

Diving depth, (maximum)

213 meters


6 x 533mm torpedo tubes (bow), (with Mk.14 – Mk.16 – Mk.37 and Mk.48 or Mk.45 ASTOR (nuclear) torpedoes)


6 boats: Scamp – Scorpion – Sculpin – Shark – Skipjack – Snook