USS Toledo (SSN-769)

USS Toledo (SSN-769), is a United States Navy, Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine and the third U.S. Naval vessel to be named for the city of Toledo, Ohio. The contract to build her was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Newport News, Virginia, on 10 June 1988, and her keel was laid down on 6 May 1991. She was launched on 28 August 1993, sponsored by Mrs. Sabra Smith, and commissioned on 24 February 1995.[1]

USS Toledo (SSN-769)
United States
NameUSS Toledo
NamesakeThe City of Toledo, Ohio
Awarded10 June 1988
BuilderNewport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
Laid down6 May 1991
Launched28 August 1993
Sponsored byMrs. Sabra Smith
Commissioned24 February 1995
HomeportPortsmouth, Virginia
Motto"Forged from Metal, Prepared for Battle"
Honors and
Naval Unit Commendation
StatusIn active service
General characteristics
Class and type Los Angeles-class submarine
  • 6,000 long tons (6,096 t) light
  • 6,927 long tons (7,038 t) full
  • 927 long tons (942 t) dead
Length110.3 m (361 ft 11 in)
Beam10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Draft9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
PropulsionS6G nuclear reactor
Complement12 officers, 98 men up to 180 crew sometimes
  • 4 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
  • 12 × vertical launch Tomahawk missiles


Her first deployment was to the Mediterranean with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group in 1997–1998, followed by a six-month tour of the North Atlantic.[2]

Kursk incidentEdit

Toledo and Memphis were observing Russian naval exercises in August 2000. There, the Russian cruise missile submarine Kursk suffered a catastrophic incident and sank. Russian Navy officials initially made numerous claims that the sinking of Kursk was caused by a collision with one of the US submarines, though evidence clearly disproved such a theory; the underwater seismic signals recorded matched those of an explosion and not a collision with another vessel,[3] and the US submarines were fully operational after the incident (there is a claim Toledo would have been severely damaged or sunk by a hypothetical collision, being less than half of Kursk's displacement).[4] However the actual risk of damage or sinking would be defined by the mechanical strength and location of impact points, not the size of the actual vessel. Also, the impact could have caused immediate internal explosion, which would explain the acoustic signature of the first explosion. Nevertheless, the loss of Kursk was officially attributed to a faulty dummy torpedo leaking highly volatile high-test peroxide, setting off a chain reaction that detonated five to seven combat-ready torpedo warheads.[5]

Size and mass comparison of Kursk and USS Toledo, which is less than half of Kursk's displacement

Nonetheless, French filmmaker Jean-Michel Carré, in an historical-fiction movie named Kursk: A Submarine in Troubled Waters,[6] which aired on 7 January 2005 on French TV channel France 2, alleged that Kursk sank because of a sequence of events triggered by a collision with Toledo. According to Carré, Kursk was performing tests with VA-111 Shkval torpedoes and the tests were being observed by two US submarines on duty in the region, Toledo and Memphis.

2001-2006 deploymentsEdit

Toledo deployed to the Mediterranean again in late 2001-early 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.[2]

Toledo returned to the Naval Submarine Base New London in mid-April 2003 after having taken part in the Iraq War.

On 7 December 2004, Toledo returned to Groton, Connecticut, after a six-month deployment in the Persian Gulf with the John F. Kennedy Carrier Strike Group that included port calls in Crete, Dubai, and Bahrain. Her route home from Bahrain was unusual, rounding the Cape of Good Hope rather than using the Suez Canal. Once back in the North Atlantic, she was diverted for a classified drug interdiction mission with the Joint Interagency Task Force–South in the Caribbean Sea.

On 31 January 2006, Toledo again departed for a six-month deployment to CENTCOM. Ports of call included Augusta Bay, Sicily, Dubai, the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia, and La Maddalena. She returned from this deployment on 31 July 2006.

Maintenance 2006–2009Edit

Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy for maintenance work, known as a depot modernization period, on Toledo. The initial planning contract was valued at about $34.7 million. The final value, including the actual execution, was $178.5 million. She arrived in December 2006 to Newport News, and the work was completed in March 2009. The project was delayed more than eight months because of more than 2,000 project changes. This was a competitive award under a Naval Sea Systems Command multiple award contract.

In July 2009 two hull cracks, including one in her pressure hull, were discovered during a routine inspection. Although the Navy and Northrop Grumman launched two investigations into welding practices at the yard while Toledo was under maintenance, the cracks do not appear to be related to welds.[7]

Return to serviceEdit

Toledo left for another six-month deployment on 23 July 2010. In December 2010, she made a port call in Haifa. Commander Reckamp was received by the Haifa City Mayor Yona Yahav in the City Hall as is customary for visiting commanders of warships making port calls in Haifa.

On 20 January 2011, Toledo returned to Groton, Connecticut, after a six-month deployment that included port calls in Cyprus, Bahrain, and Haifa.

On 12 September 2019, Toledo completed an eight-month EUCOM deployment that included port calls in Faslane, Scotland and Haakonsvern, Norway.

In May 2020, the crew of Toledo was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for an eight-month intelligence collection deployment.[8]

In 2020, YouTuber and science communicator Destin Sandlin visited Toledo as part of a video series profiling different features and functions of the submarine.[9]


  1. ^ "USS Toledo (SSN 769)".
  2. ^ a b "Toledo's namesake submarine at work after midlife rebuild". 18 May 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  3. ^ Reed, Christina (February 2001). "Sinking the Kursk". GeoTimes. American Geological Institute. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Cohen Press conference at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo". Archived from the original on 16 April 2007.
  5. ^ "AWE Blacknest". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.(registration required)
  6. ^ Koursk: un sous-marin en eaux troubles 70 mn documentary
  7. ^ Peter Frost (21 July 2009). "Cracks found in USS Toledo". Newport News, Va., Daily Press. Archived from the original on 23 July 2009.
  8. ^ "U.S.S. Toledo received Navy Unit Commendation". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  9. ^ Rogoway, Tyler. "This Explainer On How Wonderfully Complex Submarine Torpedo Tubes Are Is A Must Watch". The Drive. Retrieved 21 October 2020.

This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.