USS Miami (SSN-755)
Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine
Commissioned in 1990, the USS Miami fell to a deliberate onboard fire in May of 2012, rendering her a complete loss to the USN and forcing her scrapping.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The USS Miami was part of the powerful Los Angeles-class of attack boats appearing in 1976 and onwards, the class numbering a total of 62 completed boats. Her building contract was awarded to General Dynamics Electric Boat on November 28th, 1983 and her keel laid down on October 24th, 1986. She was then launched on November 12th, 1988 and commissioned into US Naval service on June 30th, 1990, making her home port out of Groton, Connecticut.
As built, USS Miami displaced at 5,840 tons under light load and 6,245 tons under full load. She featured a running length of 362 feet with a beam of 32 feet, 10 inches and a draught of 30 feet, 10 inches. Her propulsion was centered around a General Electric GE PWR S6G nuclear reactor coupled to 2 x turbines developing 35,000 horsepower and an auxiliary motor generating 325 horsepower to a single shaft. Miami was manned by a crew of 110 including 12 officers.
As an attack submarine, the USS Miami carrier 4 x 21" (533mm) torpedo tubes at her bow for up to 37 x Mk 48 series torpedoes. She could also launch the Tomahawk cruise missile against land targets and the Harpoon anti-ship missile against surface warships. As with other submarines of this type, she could also be used for dispensing naval mines.
Outwardly, the boat sported the typical American submarine shape with a rounded nose bow cone and tapered stern shrouding the single propeller shaft. The sail was set near midships and contained the necessary communications and optics systems consistent with modern submarine designs. Sensors and processing systems included the BQQ-5 which encompassed the sonar systems, an ESM receiver, the WLR-9 acoustic receiver, the BRD-7 radio direction finder and the BPS-15 RADAR system. She also fielded the WLR-10 countermeasures suite for self-defense.
Active for some two decades of active service, USS Miami was ordered to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard of Kittery, Maine for a scheduled overhaul. She arrived there on March 1st, 2012. As work on the boat progressed, civilian contractor Casey Fury set an onboard fire on May 23rd which proceeded to severely damage the internals of the boat. Several were injured in the ensuing blaze which took some twelve hours to put out. Fury was handed a 17-year federal sentence and fined $400 million in damages. While there was high-level talk and lobbying to repair and reinstate the vessel, budget cuts swayed the Navy in favor of decommissioning the boat. USS Miami was then removed from active service and is set for scrapping once her critical systems are removed.
The USS Miami joins some 20+ Los Angeles-class submarines already out of service due to retirement. The class was officially succeeded by the Seawolf-class entering service in 1997. Twenty-nine of the type were originally planned with only three of class ever completed (all 26 were cancelled). This then begat the Virginia-class of which 30 are now planned and 10 completed.