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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski
Radio Call Sign: November - Juliet - Victor - Echo

Silversides (SSN-679)


Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 28 November 1969, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.; Launched, 4 June 1971; Commissioned, USS Silversides (SSN-679), 5 May 1972; Decommissioned and simultaneously struck from the Naval Register, 22 July 1994; Final Disposition, disposed of through the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 1 October 2001.

Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 3,640 t., Submerged: 4,640 t.; Length 302'; Beam 31' 8"; Draft 28' 8"; Speed, Surfaced 15 kts, Submerged 25 kts; Depth limit 1,300'; Complement 108; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes amidships aft of bow, MK 48 Torpedoes, UUM-44A SUBROC, UGM-84A/C Harpoon, MK 57 deep water mines, MK 60 CAPTOR mines; Combat Sensors, Radar, BPS-14/15 surface search, Sonars, BQQ-5 multi-function bow mounted, BQR-7 passive in submarines with BQQ-2, BQS-12 active 7, TB-16 or TB-23 towed array, EW Systems, WLQ-4(V), WLR-4(V), WLR-9 ; Propulsion System, one S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one propeller, 15,000 shp.
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SizeImage DescriptionContributed By
Silversides7kMenidia menidia, the Atlantic Silverside, which spawned the Silversides (SSN-679).
Photo courtesy of fisheries.vims.edu, & submitted by Scott Estey.
Silversides1.64kMrs. John H. Chafee, wife of the then Secretary of the Navy, initials the keel laying of the Silversides (SSN-679), 28 November 1969, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 08/15/14.
Silversides82kThe crew of the Silversides (SSN-679) salute the flag as she slides down the launching ways at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT., 4 June 1971.General Dynamics Electric Boat photo.
Silversides1.04k9 page Launching PDF of the Silversides (SSN-679), 4 June 1971.USN photos courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PDF added 08/15/14.
Silversides222kThe Silversides (SSN-679) early in her career, perhaps on sea trials, with her sail painted gray. USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Silversides1.51kSilversides (SSN-679) on sea trials on 26 March 1972.USN photo # NPC 1151390, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 08/15/14.
Silversides1.04k Silversides (SSN-679) commissioning cachet, 5 May 1972.USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 08/15/14.
Silversides1.10k12 page Welcome Aboard PDF of the Silversides (SSN-679), circa 5 May 1972.USN photos courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PDF added 08/15/14.
Silversides64kThe Silversides (SSN-679) cuts through the sea, possibly during her seatrials off the New England coast, early 1970's. USN photo courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Silversides1.36kSurfaced starboard Silversides (SSN-679) on 3 January 1973.USN photo # NPC 1155474, courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 08/15/14.
Sturgeon Class43k Oil on canvas painting by the artist Jim Christley entitled "Trailing".
During the Cold War the US Naval Submarine Force was tasked with keeping tabs on Soviet Naval movements in particular, the Soviet Submarine Force. Submarines of the Sturgeon Class were well suited to this task and often trailed Soviet submarines for days reporting on their movements and recording noise signatures. In this image, such a trailing has turned into a close aboard encounter as a Soviet Viktor III Class has turned to port to check his baffles (to listen to see if anyone is immediately astern). A trailing Sturgeon has stopped his screw and gone quiet. Extending far behind the US submarine is its towed array sonar which assists in giving a clear picture of the ocean's acoustics.
Photo & text courtesy of subart.net.
Submerged submarines145kSubmerged submarines in tandem.U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Robert Hall.
Silversides31kCommemorative post mark of the Silversides (SSN-679), 1978.Courtesy of Jack Treutle.
Silversides822kA starboard view of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Silversides (SSN-679) departing Narragansett Bay, R.I., with Nautilus (SSN-571) in the background, 1978 or 1979.Photo i.d. courtesy of Rich Douglas, A Gang, SSN 679, Dec 1975 - Dec 1979.
USN photo # DN-ST-91-05707, by E.F. Capece, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Silversides151kThe Silversides (SSN-679) and ex-Tiru (SS-416) lie alongside each other circa July 1979. The Tiru was being prepared as a remote-controlled target for the Silversides. Volunteers from the Silversides (SS-236) preservation group also removed spare parts from the Tiru. USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Tiru 204k A collage of photos depicting the Tiru (SS-416) about to be hit, striking and then sinking after being used as a weapons test for the Mark 48 torpedo as a target off Norfolk, VA., 19 July 1979.
Stephen Alexander who was aboard Silversides (SSN-679) wrote the following about the Tiru's last dive when they fired the standard Mk 48 torpedo at Tiru after a Type IIB periscope approach in 1979.
The CO was the approach officer as you might imagine. I’ll never forget that day. We could hear her braking up over the WQC underwater telephone and in SONAR as she went down in about 2500 fathoms. It was, to say the least, an eery and sobering experience! May she rest in peace and I thank the Lord that it was a SINKEX, and nobody was aboard except a radio-controlled “Iron Mike!”
Your website said that Tiru was sunk with a Mark 48 ADCAP, but for the record, that’s not the case. It was a randomly selected, “off-the-shelf” so to speak, standard Mk 48 as required by the SINKEX opord. I don’t remember the mod if it was higher than zero, but it definitely wasn’t an ADCAP. In fact the ADCAP wasn't deployed to the fleet until after I left active duty in 1984.
BTW, the shoot was actually delayed by about 4 hours because as we were making our first approach, we spotted a merchant just coming over the horizon. The SRV Ortolan then tried to contact the merchant, but to no avail. We had already gotten a firing solution on him via SONAR long before we had a visual, and his projected track went right through the firing range, a 25-mile radius circle in the middle of the ocean. The merchant had wandered into it despite weeks of notices to mariners warning to stay out of that area for several days before and after the SINEX was scheduled. Maybe she was a spy, we wondered. Anyway Tiru had been towed to the range by the Ortolan, as I recall, ironically, and she didn’t have much fuel aboard. All but one engine had been unshipped. Ortolan's helo controlled Tiru by radio for her run across the firing range. We had only loaded enough fuel for her last run because we didn’t want an unnecessary oil spill in the ocean. So after the merchant finally steamed away, we had to turn Tiru around and send her back through harm's way one more time. This time it was for good.
Text contributed by Steve Alexander, LT, USNR, Ret.
Photo courtesy of Michael Staehle.
Silversides229kThe sail of the Silversides (SSN-679) churns up a mass of foam as she slices through the sea, early 1980's. Photo courtesy of Scott Estey.
Silversides150kThe Silversides (SSN-679) circa 1981. USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Silversides85kThe Silversides (SSN-679) surfaced at the North Pole on 11 October 1981. USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Silversides77kThe Silversides (SSN-679) underway off the Virginia coast on 15 July 1982. USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Silversides143kThe Silversides (SSN-679) cuts through the sea, with an experimental towed communications buoy housing (this housing was commonly referred to as the "bustle") immediately aft of the sail, circa 1984. It was removed in late 1986 at the pier of Sub Squadron 6, Norfolk, VA. Official US Navy photo courtesy of Wendell Royce McLaughlin Jr. Photo i.d. & text courtesy of Scott Estey.
Silversides130kA "Busseled" Silversides (SSN-679) from a starboard side perspective in 1984. USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Silversides240k10 page PDF Welcome to the the nuclear-powered attack submarine Silversides (SSN-679)," circa 1984.Courtesy of Scott Estey.
Silversides158kThe Silversides (SSN-679) following a refueling and overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, circa 1986.USN photo courtesy of Fred Tannenbaum collection.
Silversides29kSilversides (SSN-679) at St. Croix in December 1986. Photo courtesy of Scott Estey.
Silversides95kSea-Air-Land (SEAL) team members of Swimmer Delivery Team 2 prepare to launch a swimmer delivery vehicle from a dry deck shelter aboard thesubmerged nuclear-powered attack submarine Silversides (SSN-679). Members are taking part in lock-out procedures off the coast of Key West, Fla., during exercise Phantom Striker, 1 May 1992. USN photo # DN-SC-92-09758, by PH3 Tom Dolan, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Silversides182kSea-Air-Land (SEAL) team members of Swimmer Delivery Team 2 prepare a DM-8 minisub for launch from the deck of the submerged nuclear-powered attack submarine Silversides (SSN-679). Members are taking part in lock-out procedures off the coast of Key West, Fla., during exercise Phantom Striker, 1 May 1992. USN photo # DN-SC-92-09760, by PHC Reinhard, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Silversides90kMembers of the Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) team emerge from a dry deck shelter aboard the submerged nuclear-powered attack submarine Silversides (SSN-679) off the coast of Key West, Fla., during exercise Phantom Striker, 1 May 1992. USN photo # DN-SC-92-09762, by PH2(DV) D.M. Tilton, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Silversides240k A port quarter view of the of the nuclear-powered attack submarine Silversides (SSN-679) at Port Everglades FA, 7 March 1993. A dry deck shelter (DDS) is mounted on deck. USN photo # DN-SC-93-02933, by OS2 John Bouvia, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.
Silversides2.07k15 page Inactivation PDF of the Silversides (SSN-679), 17 December 1993.USN photos courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
PDF added 08/15/14.
Haddock31kHaddock (SSN-621), at top, followed by Ethan Allen (SSBN-608), Aspro (SSN-648), Bergal (SSN-667) and Silversides (SSN-679) at bottom, awaiting scrapping at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 1997.Photo courtesy of Don Shelton.

View the Silversides (SSN-679)
DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Web Site.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association

Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
FAS--SSN-637 Sturgeon class

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