USS Michigan (SSGN 727)

Submarine Squadron 19

Bangor, WA
Home : SUBPAC Commands : Submarine Squadrons : Submarine Squadron 19 : Submarines : USS Michigan : About

USS Michigan (SSGN 727)

USS Michigan (SSGN 727) is the second submarine of the Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided missile submarines (SSGNs), and the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name.

Michigan was launched on April 26, 1980, christened by Margaret Nedzi, the wife of Rep. Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), and was commissioned nearly 30 months later on Sept. 11, 1982. Capt. W.E. Rickman (Blue Crew) and Capt. F.M. Conway III (Gold Crew) were Michigan's first commanding officers.

Michigan was built to carry the Navy's third generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the Trident C-4. After arriving in Bangor in March 1983, Michigan would carry out her primary mission of deterrence for nearly 20 years, conducting more than 60 strategic deterrent patrols.

At the conclusion of the Cold War, Michigan, Ohio and two sister ships - USS Florida (SSBN 728) and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) - were considered for decommissioning. Instead, the Navy chose to convert the Ohio-class seaframe to carry Tomahawk land attack missiles (TLAMs) or other payloads in lieu of ballistic missiles.

Following more than three years of reconfiguration at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Michigan rejoined the fleet as a guided-missile submarine on June 11, 2007, following in the footsteps of Ohio. Florida and Georgia  would also be converted into SSGNs in the following years.

In addition to their makeovers, Michigan and Ohio began forward-deployed operations out of Polaris Point, Guam - much as their SSBN forerunners did throughout the Cold War. Similarly, the Kings Bay, Ga. -based Florida and Georgia operate out of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

In their current role, Michigan and her fellow SSGNs stand ready to support U.S. operations around the world, as Florida did by launching Tomahawks during Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya in 2011.

And Michigan has continued to prove her readiness to defend the nation by capturing the prestigious Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle "E", for Submarine Squadron 19 in back-to-back years - the Blue Crew won in 2010, while the Gold Crew took home the 2011 award.


First USS Michigan (1843-1922)

The USS MICHIGAN, renamed the USS WOLVERINE, was the first iron warship in the U.S. Navy and probably the first iron or steel warship of her size in the world. She was originally designed as a "three-mast, topsail schooner" with auxiliary steam power. 

The MICHIGAN was on duty on the Great Lakes during the Civil War but never engaged in battle. In 1905 a new USS MICHIGAN (BB27) was to be commissioned by the U.S. Navy. The original MICHIGAN was renamed the WOLVERINE, after the MICHIGAN state animal. About 1910 she was turned over to the Naval Reserve as a Training Ship and remained active in this capacity until 1922 when one of her engines broke down.

Second USS Michigan (BB27) (1910-1922)

The second MICHIGAN (BB27) was laid down 17 December 1906 by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ; launched 26 May 1908 and commissioned 4 January 1910. 

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, MICHIGAN, with sister ship SOUTH CAROLINA, were the U.S. Navy's first class of dreadnoughts or all big-gun battleships. The layering of her main armament 12" guns and placement of all turrets on the centerline was a novel arrangement which spread as a universal battleship arrangement.

Prior to 1914 the battleship MICHIGAN operated in the North Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and along the Atlantic Coast. During World War I, the warship escorted convoys, trained recruits, and engaged in fleet maneuvers. On 6 August 1919, the MICHIGAN was placed in limited commission and conducted various training cruises.

MICHIGAN was decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 11 February 1922 and was stricken from the Navy list 10 November 1923 in accordance with the treaty limiting naval armaments.

Boat Characteristics

Class Ohio-class SSGN
Displacement 16,764 metric tons surfaced
18,750 metric tons submerged
Length 560 ft (170 m)
Beam 42 ft (13 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 12 knots (14 mph; 22 km/h) surfaced
+20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h) submerged
Range Unlimited
Endurance Approximately 60 days with food supplies
Test depth +800 ft (240 m)
Crew 15 officers, 140 enlisted
Sensors and processing systems BQQ-6 Bow mounted Sonar
BQR-19 Navigation
BQS-13 Active Sonar
TB-16 towed array
Armament 22 tubes, each with 7 Tomahawk cruise missiles