Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Philadelphia VI (SSN-690)


The city in Pennsylvania where the Continental Congress met during much of the American Revolution.


(SSN-690: displacement 6,075; length 362'; beam 33'; draft 32'; speed 25 knots; complement 110; armament UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and Mk 48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes; class Los Angeles)

The sixth Philadelphia (SSN-690) was laid down on 12 August 1972 at General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Ct.; launched on 19 October 1974; sponsored by Mrs. Marian H. C. Scott, wife of Senate Minority Leader Hugh D. Scott, Jr.; and commissioned at Pier 32N, Naval Submarine Base New London, Ct., on 25 June 1977, Cmdr. Robert B. Osborne in command.

While two Navy tugs eased attack submarine Archerfish (SSN-678), Cmdr. Sibley L. Ward, III, in command, toward State Pier at New London, her stern planes struck those of Philadelphia (which lay moored), at about 0930 on 28 September 1977. Both boats sustained minor damage but did not report casualties. Navy divers inspected Philadelphia and she was then towed to Electric Boat for repairs. Archerfish subsequently completed repairs.

Philadelphia underwent conversion to carry a Dry Deck Shelter (12 June–6 October 1998), a platform capable of carrying Special Operations Forces. In addition, she was fitted to provide Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) mother ship support.

Philadelphia (SSN-690) VI 1977-2011-050505-N-3093M-004
Men of Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) Delivery Vehicle Team 2 prepare to launch one of the team’s vehicles from Philadelphia during a training exercise in the Atlantic Ocean, 5 May 2005. (Chief Photographer’s Mate Andrew McKaskle, U.S. Navy Photograph 050505-N-3093M-004, Navy NewsStand)
Philadelphia (SSN-690) VI 1977-2011-050708-N-2198V-001
Sailors manning the rails on board aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70) observe Philadelphia as the two vessels pass each other while sailing through the Suez Canal, 8 July 2005. (Photographer’s Mate Airman Crystal Vigil, U.S. Navy Photograph 050708-N-2198V-001, Navy NewsStand)

Philadelphia collided with Turkish merchant ship Yaso Aysen while the boat steamed on the surface toward Bahrain, about 30 nautical miles northeast of that port, at approximately 0200 on 5 September 2005. Neither vessel reported casualties in the mid watch mishap. The Navy evaluated the damage to Philadelphia as “superficial.” The Turkish ship sustained minor damage to her hull above the waterline, but the U.S. Coast Guard inspected Yaso Aysen and declared her seaworthy. Cmdr. Steven M. Oxholm, Philadelphia’s commanding officer, was relieved.

Philadelphia (SSN-690) VI 1977-2011-070126-N-8467N-001
Sailors battle strong winds and low temperatures that cause ice to engulf Philadelphia, while they moor their boat and hoist the colors at Naval Submarine Base New London, Ct., 26 January 2006. (John Narewski, U.S. Navy Photograph 070126-N-8467N-001, Navy NewsStand)

Philadelphia was decommissioned on 29 June 2011, fittingly, alongside Pier 32N at New London, where she had been placed in commission.

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

6 February 2014

Published: Thu Aug 20 09:13:47 EDT 2015