USS Louisville (SSN-724)

USS Louisville (SSN-724), a Los Angeles-class submarine, is the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Louisville, Kentucky. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut, on 11 February 1982 and her keel was laid on 24 September 1984. She was launched on 14 December 1985—sponsored by Mrs. Betty Ann McKee (née Harris), wife of Admiral Kinnaird McKee, Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion —and commissioned on 8 November 1986 with Captain Charles E. Ellis in command.

The crew of the Los Angeles class submarine USS Louisville (SSN-724) pose for a picture with their submarine.
The crew of USS Louisville
United States
NameUSS Louisville
NamesakeThe City of Louisville, Kentucky
Awarded11 February 1982
BuilderGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down24 September 1984
Launched14 December 1985
Commissioned8 November 1986
Decommissioned9 March 2021
Out of service6 August 2020
HomeportNaval Station Bremerton
MottoBest of the Breed
StatusStricken, to be disposed of by submarine recycling
General characteristics
Class and type Los Angeles-class submarine
  • 5,789 long tons (5,882 t) light
  • 6,185 long tons (6,284 t) full
  • 396 long tons (402 t) dead
Length110.3 m (361 ft 11 in)
Beam10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Draft9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
  • 1 × S6G PWR nuclear reactor with D2W core (165 MW), HEU 93.5%[1][2]
  • 2 × steam turbines (33,500) shp
  • 1 × shaft
  • 1 × secondary propulsion motor 325 hp (242 kW)
  • Surfaced: 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h)
  • Submerged: +20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h) (official)
Complement12 officers, 150 enlisted (including 20 CPOs)
Sensors and
processing systems
BQQ-5 passive sonar, BQS-15 detecting and ranging sonar, WLR-8 fire control radar receiver, WLR-9 acoustic receiver for detection of active search sonar and acoustic homing torpedoes, BRD-7 radio direction finder
Armament4 × 21 in (533 mm) bow tubes, 10 Mk48 ADCAP torpedo reloads, Tomahawk land attack missile block 3 SLCM range 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km), Harpoon anti–surface ship missile range 70 nautical miles (130 km), minelaying Mk 67 mobile Mk 60 captor mines

Louisville serves as a trial platform for the prototype BQQ-10 ARCI sonars, which incorporate off-the-shelf computer components, allowing easy introduction of modular upgrades.

Service historyEdit

Louisville transited the Panama Canal in January 1987 to make her home base at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego as a part of Submarine Squadron 11.

During her stay at San Diego, Louisville conducted several WestPac deployments. During her 1988–1989 Westpac deployment, Louisville visited Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Guam.

In January and February 1991, as Operation Desert Storm began, Louisville carried out the first war patrol conducted by an American submarine since World War II. The patrol began with a 14,000-mile submerged, high-speed transit across the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Shortly after noon on 19 January, she launched Tomahawk cruise missiles against targets in Iraq, becoming the first submarine to launch Tomahawks in combat.[3] For this war patrol, Louisville was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

In 2003, Louisville participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, launching 16 Tomahawk missiles from the Red Sea against targets in Iraq. Her deployment was extended to eight and a half months in support of the campaign. She was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for her role in the operation.

Louisville completed an extensive overhaul in Portsmouth, NH, at the end of 2008. She returned to her homeport of Pearl Harbor in the spring of 2009 as a part of CSS-3.

Louisville received Meritorious Unit Commendations for both her 2014-15 and 2016-17 Western Pacific deployments. In 2017, she completed a surge U.S. Southern Command deployment to participate in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Chile's submarine force. In so doing, she made history as the first nuclear-powered warship to call at Talcahuano, Chile.

Following a final U.S. Central Command deployment from 2018-19, Louisville changed homeport in October 2019 to Bremerton, Washington for decommissioning.[4] She was placed out of service on 6 August 2020, and scheduled for formal decommissioning on 9 March 2021. Like all other recent U.S. submarines, the vessel will be recycled via the Navy's Ship-Submarine Recycling Program.

Louisville was decommissioned on 9 March 2021 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Gulf War: January 1991." US Navy.
  4. ^ "USS Louisville Arrives in Bremerton for Inactivation". DVIDS. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. ^ "USS Louisville (SSN 717) Decommissioned". DVIDS. Retrieved 12 March 2021.

This article includes information collected from the public domain sources Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships and Naval Vessel Register.