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Barbel-class Submarine

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The Barbel-class of submarines, the last diesel-electric propelled attack submarines built by the United States Navy, incorporated numerous, radical engineering improvements over previous classes. They were the first production warships built with the teardrop-shape hull first tested on Albacore (SS-569), and the first to use an "attack center" within the hull rather than a conning tower in the sail. This class of submarine became part of the United States Navy's fleet in 1958 and was taken out of service between 1988 and 1990, leaving the Navy with an entirely nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

The Barbel-class' design is considered to be very effective. The Zwaardvis-class submarine of the Netherlands and the Hai Lung-class submarine of the Republic of China (built and sold by the Netherlands) were based on the Barbel-class design.



  • Type: Diesel-Electric Hunter-Killer Submarine
  • Service Period:
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 218 feet 1 inch (66.47 meters)
    • Beam: 29 feet (8.84 meters)
    • Draft: 29 feet 3 inches (8.92 meters)
    • Displacement: 1,745 tons light, 2,316 tons full, 2,644 tons submerged
  • Crew: 85 officers and enlisted
  • Depth: 712 feet
  • Propulsion: 3 x Fairbanks-Morse 38d(8 1/8)×10 3150 shp (2.3 MW) diesel engines, 2 x General Electric motors, totaling 4800 shp (3.6 MW)
  • Range: 19,000 miles (30,577.5 kilometers)
  • Speed: 15 knots (27.78 km/h) surfaced; 12 knots 22.22 km/h) snorkeling; 25.1 knots (46.49 km/h) submerged
  • Sensor Suite:
  • Armament: 6 x 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes (bow), with 18 reload torpedoes

Unit Run[edit]

  • USS Barbel (SS-580)
  • USS Blueback (SS-581)
  • USS Bonefish (SS-582)

See Also[edit]

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