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USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)

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USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)
USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) participates in a dockside ceremony. Note the former USN jack waving from the front of the sub.
USS Pittsburgh at a dockside ceremony in 1985.
United States
NameUSS Pittsburgh
NamesakeThe City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Awarded16 April 1979
BuilderGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat
Laid down15 April 1983
Launched8 December 1984
Commissioned23 November 1985
Decommissioned15 April 2020
Out of service6 August 2019
HomeportGroton, Connecticut
MottoHeart of Steel
General characteristics
Class and typeLos Angeles-class submarine
  • 5,802 long tons (5,895 t) light
  • 6,193 long tons (6,292 t) full
  • 391 long tons (397 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, 98 men
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), mine laying Mk67 mobile Mk60 captor mines

USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720) is a Los Angeles-class submarine and is the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



The contract to build Pittsburgh was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 16 April 1979, and her keel was laid down on 15 April 1983. She was launched on 8 December 1984 and commissioned on 23 November 1985.

On 2 April 1991 Pittsburgh and Louisville conducted submarine-launched Tomahawk missile attacks against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm.[3]

Pittsburgh departed in October 2002 for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. There, she again fired Tomahawk missiles into Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.[4] She returned on 27 April 2003.

On 25 February 2019, Pittsburgh returned to her homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London after completion of her final deployment.[5] The submarine then arrived at Bremerton, Washington on 28 May 2019, for a months-long inactivation and decommissioning process.[6]

USS Pittsburgh demonstrates an emergency main ballast tank blow in 1991.

Pittsburgh was officially deactivated on 17 January 2020 at the Undersea Warfare Museum in Keyport, Washington, and awaited the Submarine Recycling Program at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. She was later decommissioned on 15 April 2020 and the crew released, 37 years to the day of her keel was laid down.

Of interesting note, Pittsburgh's final Commanding Officer, was (at the time: Commander) Jason Deichler a native of Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh suburbs, and brought the "Yinzer" spirit to the SSN-720, as he said, "I wear Pittsburgh on my sleeve." [7]


  1. ^ "International Panel on Fissile Materials". fissilematerials.org. 10 April 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Validation of the Use of Low Enriched Uranium as a Replacement for Highly Enriched Uranium in US Submarine Reactors" (PDF). dspace.mit.edu. June 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Gulf War: April 1991." US Navy.
  4. ^ Affairs, This story was written by Journalist 1st Class (SW/AW) Mark A. Savage, Commander Navy Region Northeast Public. "Groton-Based Submarines Return to SUBASE After Deployments, Combat". Retrieved 16 July 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) Returns from Final Deployment". Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  6. ^ "USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) Arrives in Bremerton for Decommissioning". United States Navy. 30 May 2019. NNS190530-10. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Last captain of USS Pittsburgh comes home for a victory lap". Tribune Review. 13 March 2019.

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