USS Alabama (SSBN 731)

Submarine Squadron 17

Bangor, WA
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USS Alabama (SSBN 731)

USS Alabama (SSBN 731) is the sixth submarine of the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name.

The keel of Alabama was laid on Oct. 14, 1980, and the first crew was formed in July 1983. Alabama was christened on May 19, 1984 at Groton, Conn., by Mrs. Barbara Dickinson, wife of U.S. Rep. William L. Dickinson.

Following successful sea trials in April 1985, USS Alabama was commissioned on May 25, 1985, at Naval Underwater Systems Center in New London, Conn., by Vice Adm. B.M. Kauderer. Guest speakers at the ceremony were Rep. Dickinson, U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton, Adm. Kinnaird McKee, and Adm. (ret.) Thomas H. Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Originally equipped with the Trident C4 ballistic missile, Alabama was later converted to carry the Trident II D5 missile.

On Sept. 1, 1988, Alabama completed its ninth strategic deterrent patrol, which also marked the 100th deterrent patrol by a Trident submarine. An official ceremony commemorating the event was held pierside, with a greeting party led by Under Secretary of the Navy J. Lawrence Garrett III.

Boat Characteristics

Class  Ohio-class ballistic missile
Displacement 16,764 metric tons surfaced
18,750 metric tons submerged
Length 560 ft (170 m)
Beam  42 ft (13 m)
Draft 38 ft (12 m)
Propulsion 1 x S8G PWR nuclear reactor
2 x geared turbines
1 x 325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
1 x shaft @ 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)
Speed Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) 
Test depth Greater than 800 feet (240 m)
Complement 15 officers, 140 enlisted
Armament MK-48 torpedoes
Up to 20 Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles