SKATE USS (SSN-578)

Built as a nuclear submarine under yard no 147 by Electric Boat Co, Groton for the USA Navy.
18 July 1955 ordered.
21 July 1955 laid down.
16 May 1957 launched as the USS SKATE (SSN-578)
Displacement 2,590 ton surfaced, 2,894 ton submerged, dim. 81.56 x 7.6 m,
Powered by S3W nuclear reactor, geared steam turbines, two shafts, 6,600 shp (4,900 kW)., twin shafts, speed 15.5 knots surfaced, 18 knots submerged.
Armament: 8 – 21 inch torpedo tubes, 6 forward and 2 aft.
Crew 84.
23 December 1957 commissioned.

USS SKATE (SSN-578), the third submarine of the United States Navy named for the SKATE, a type of ray, was the lead ship of the Skate class of nuclear submarines. She was the third nuclear submarine commissioned, the first to make a completely submerged trans-Atlantic crossing, and the second submarine to reach the North Pole and the first to surface there.

The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics on 18 July 1955, and her keel was laid in Groton, Connecticut on 21 July 1955. She was launched on 16 May 1957 sponsored by Mrs. Lewis L. Strauss, and commissioned on 23 December 1957 with Commander James F. Calvert in command.

Operational history
SKATE conducted shakedown training out of New London, Connecticut until 29 January 1958, when she cruised to the Bermuda operating area, then returned to her home port on 8 February. Sixteen days later, the nuclear powered submarine set a course for the Isle of Portland, England. Before returning home, she had also visited ports in France and the Netherlands.
On 30 July, SKATE sought the Arctic where she operated under the ice for 10 days. During this time, she surfaced nine times through the ice, navigated over 2,400 miles (3,900 km) under it, and on 11 August, 9:47 pm EDT (the week after USS NAUTILUS ) became the second sea ship to reach the North Pole. SKATE was unable to surface precisely at the Pole on the August voyage due to dangerous ice conditions as noted in the captain's 1960 book, Surface at the Pole: The Extraordinary Voyages of the USS SKATE, where Calvert said, "Seldom had the ice seemed so heavy and so thick as it did in the immediate vicinity of the pole. For days we had searched in vain for a suitable opening to surface in." The closest was to make radio contact at the surface from a polynya around 30 nm away, but not to surface fully owing to the risk of damage from ice. SKATE did manage to surface and make contact with Drifting Ice Station Alpha at 85ºN, 300 nm away.
After being denied access to visit Copenhagen in Denmark, she sailed into Bergen, Norway on 23 August. There she was inspected by king Olav V of Norway, US ambassador Frances E. Willis and minister of defence Nils Handal. The submarine made port calls in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France before returning to New London on 25 September 1958. In recognition of the dangerous and historic feat, the SKATE and its crew was given the Navy Unit Commendation award for "... braving the hazards of the polar ice pack...."
While the SKATE was unable to surface on its first voyage to the pole, on 17 March 1959, she became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole with Calvert describing the historic moment in his book, saying, "Slowly we blew the tanks and the SKATE moved reluctantly upward. It was apparent we were under heavier ice here than any we had experienced before." While at the pole, Calvert and the crew planted an American Flag in a cairn they built out of ice blocks and put a waterproof container in the cairn with a note commemorating the event. The crew also held a ceremony for the late Arctic explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins and committed his ashes at the pole. In 1931, Sir Hubert had conducted an Arctic expedition in the disarmed research submarine NAUTILUS (ex-USS O-12). After reaching the Pole, the SKATE continued its mission to pioneer arctic operations during periods of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating "... for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter...." In the fall of 1959 and in 1960, SKATE participated in exercises designed to strengthen American antisubmarine defenses.

SKATE returned to General Dynamics in January 1961 for a regular overhaul and to have her reactor refueled for the first time. She put to sea in August and, for the next 11 months, conducted exercises to increase the operational readiness of her crew.
On 7 July 1962, SKATE again set course towards the North Pole. Five days later, USS SEADRAGON , did likewise from Pearl Harbor. The two submarines made their rendezvous on 31 July. After meeting, they operated together for over a week. Both submarines surfaced at the North Pole on 2 August and official greetings and insignia of Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet and Submarine Force Pacific Fleet were exchanged.
SKATE returned to New London and performed fleet and local operations for the next several years. She entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 28 April 1965, the first nuclear submarine overhauled there, for nuclear refueling and installation of the SUBSAFE package. SKATE was the first submarine to finish this major conversion program, which was instituted after the loss of USS THRESHER in 1963. The process was not completed until September 1967.

After sea trials and a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean, the submarine returned to New London and participated in exercises involved in the development of new undersea tactics and equipment.
In October 1968, SKATE was deployed to the Mediterranean where she operated with the Sixth Fleet for two months. The polar veteran operated under the Arctic ice again in March and April 1969, in October 1970, and in February 1971 . The remainder of her at sea time was spent in various Atlantic Fleet and NATO exercises. In July 1971, she began her third regular overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and did not return to New London until 17 November 1973. In August 1974, SKATE operated as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.

In late 1977, SKATE transferred to Pearl Harbor, where she joined the other three SKATE class submarines as a member of Submarine Squadron 7.

Decommissioning
SKATE was decommissioned on 12 September 1986, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 October 1986, and disposed of by submarine recycling at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 6 March 1995.

Awards
SKATE received two Navy Unit Commendations and three Meritorious Unit Commendations during her career. The first Navy Unit Commendation was for the period 9–12 August 1958 and the second for the period 4 March through 6 April 1959. The Meritorious Unit Commendations were for the periods 24 March through 15 April 1969, 12 October through 18 November 1970 and 26 February through 9 March 1971. (Source – US Navy Unit Awards Webpage.)

Popular culture
SKATE appears in Tom Clancy's 1993 novel Without Remorse.
SKATE appears in the 1961 film, Parrish as the submarine upon which the title character is stationed.
The 1978 disaster film Gray Lady Down features a fictional SKATE-class submarine USS NEPTUNE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_SKATE_(SSN-578)
Djibouti 2019 240FD sg?, scott?
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T-class INS DAKAR (77)

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T-class INS DAKAR (77)

Postby D. v. Nieuwenhuijzen » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:43 pm

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Built by H.M. Dockyard Devonport as HMS TOTEM (P 352) for the Royal Navy, laid down:22 October 1942, launched:28 September 1943.
Displacement:1,290 tons surfaced, 1,560 tons submerged, length:276’ 6” (84.28 m.) beam:25’ 6” (7.77 m.) draught: 12’ 9” (3.89 m.) forward, 14’ 7” (4.45 m.) aft.
Twin diesel engines:2,500 hp. (1.86 MW) each, Twin electric motors:1,450 hp. (1.08 MW) each, 2 shafts, 15.5 kn. surfaced, 9 kn. submerged, range:4,500 nm. at 11 kn. surfaced
Test depth:300’ (91 m.) max. Complement:61.
Armament:6 internal forward-facing torpedo tubes, 2 external forward-facing torpedo tubes, 2 external amidships rear-facing torpedo tubes, 1 external rear-facing torpedo tubes
6 reload torpedoes, 1-QF 4” (100 mm.) deck gun, 3 anti-aircraft machine guns.

HMS TOTEM was built to the group 3 variant of the T class design at HM Dockyard Devonport and launched on 28 September 1943. The submarine was completed and commissioned in early 1945. After the end of World War II, TOTEM and the other surviving group 3 boats were equipped with submarine snorkels to allow longer periods of operation underwater. Between 1951 and 1953, TOTEM was one of eight boats converted to the "Super T" design, which allowed the vessel higher speed and quieter underwater operation.

In 1965, TOTEM was purchased by Israel, along with two of her T-class sister boats, TRUNCHEON and TURPIN. The former TOTEM was commissioned into the Israeli Navy on 10 November 1967 as INS DAKAR (דקר), (English: Swordfish), under the command of Major Ya'acov Ra'anan.

DAKAR left the shipyard for Scotland to conduct her sea and dive trials. Late in 1967, after two successful months of trials, DAKAR returned to Portsmouth, England and left for Israel on 9 January 1968.

After leaving England, DAKAR put into Gibraltar on the morning of 15 January, departing at midnight and proceeded across the Mediterranean Sea on snorkel. She reported her position by radio to submarine headquarters in Haifa and was expected to enter her home base on Friday, 2 February, but as she was making excellent time, averaging over eight knots, Ra'anan requested permission to enter port earlier. He was ordered to enter on 29 January. Later, Ra'anan requested to enter a day earlier, on 28 January. This request was denied, the scheduled welcoming ceremony could not be moved.

At 06:10 on 24 January DAKAR transmitted her position, 34.16°N 26.26°E, just east of Crete. Over the next 18 hours she sent three control transmissions, which did not include her position, the last at 00:02 25 January 1968. No further transmissions were received.

On 26 January the British Admiralty reported the submarine was missing and gave the last known position as 100 miles (160 km) west of Cyprus. An international search and rescue operation began, including units from Israel, the United States, Greece, Turkey, Britain and Lebanon. Although Haifa Navy radio began broadcasting calls to commercial vessels to be on the look out for the DAKAR, Israeli officials would not admit the submarine was missing. On 27 January, a radio station in Nicosia, Cyprus, received a distress call on the frequency of DAKAR's emergency buoy, apparently from south-east of Cyprus, but no further traces of the submarine were found. On 31 January, all non-Israeli forces abandoned their search at sunset. Israeli forces continued the search for another four days, giving up at sundown on 4 February 1968.

Israel denied that the DAKAR sank as the result of hostile action and stated that the DAKAR was involved in crash diving exercises on its return voyage and was lost, probably as a result of a mechanical failure. On 25 April 1968, Vice Admiral Abraham Botzer, commander of the Israeli Navy, stated that the DAKAR sank on 24 January 1968, two days before being reported missing, due to "technical or human malfunctioning" ruled out "foul play".

On 9 February 1969, over a year after DAKAR went missing, a fisherman found her stern emergency buoy marker washed up on the coast of Khan Yunis, a town southwest of Gaza. British T-class submarines had two such buoy markers, bow and stern, secured behind wooden doors in cages under the deck and attached to the submarine with metal cables 200 meters (650 ft) long. Experts examining the 65 cm (two feet) of cable still attached to the buoy determined that the buoy had remained attached to the submarine for most of the preceding year until the cable broke completely, that DAKAR rested in depth between 150 and 326 meters, and that she was 50–70 nmi (93–130 km) off her planned route. All of these determinations were wrong, and misled searchers for decades. It was not until April 1999 and some 25 failed expeditions later that a search effort was concentrated along the path of the original route.

On 1 January 1970, the Egyptian newspaper Al Akhbar reported that the DAKAR had been sunk by an Egyptian warship with depth charges. The Egyptian story was told in a 2 July 2005 interview by Asharq Al-Awsat with General Mohamed Azab (major at that time):
On 23 January 1968, the Egyptian frigate, ASSYOUT, left Alexandria base in a training mission for the naval academy. After completing the training assignment and during the return journey to the base; students noticed the periscope of an alien submarine roaming in Egyptian waters, about two miles (3 km) off Alexandria. The Egyptian commander was informed and the decision was taken to attack the unknown submarine. However, the submarine made a very quick and hasty dive and the Egyptian ship lost its trace. General Azab reported the story to his commanders and mentioned that there is a probability that the submarine had crashed into the seabed. However, the story was not believed by the higher Egyptian commanders and there was no sufficient evidence to start a search process. General Azab mentioned that the submarine may have crashed into the seabed due to the shallow depth of water in that region, about 36 meters, while it needed at least 40 meters to dive, however, it appears that the submarine commander decided to take the risk.
The Israeli government stated there was no evidence to substantiate the Egyptian unofficial charges.

During the 1980's the Israelis, using a salvage vessel with Egyptian liaison officers, conducted three searches to look for the DAKAR in waters north of Sinai and another search off the Greek island of Rhodes. In August 1986, the U.S. Navy committed a P-3 Orion marine reconnaissance and a S-3 anti-submarine warfare aircraft for a search of Egyptian waters near al-Arish. In October 1998, Israel began running advertisements in newspapers in Turkey, Egypt, France, Greece and Russia offering rewards of up to $300,000 for any information on the fate of the DAKAR.

On 24 May 1999 a joint U.S.–Israeli search team using information received from U.S. intelligence sources and led by subcontractor Thomas Kent Dettweiler of the American Nauticos Corporation, detected a large body on the seabed between Crete and Cyprus, at a depth of some 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). On 28 May the first video pictures were taken by the remote operated vehicle REMORA II, making it clear that DAKAR had been found. She rests on her keel, bow to the northwest. Her conning tower was snapped off and fallen over the side. The stern of the submarine, with the propellers and dive planes, broke off aft of the engine room and rests beside the main hull.

During October 2000 a survey of the DAKAR wreckage and the wreckage site was undertaken by Nauticos corporation and the Israeli navy; some artifacts were recovered, including the submarine's bridge, the boat's gyrocompass and many small items.

The exact cause of the loss is unknown, but it appears that no emergency measures had been taken before DAKAR dove rapidly through her maximum depth, suffered a catastrophic hull rupture, and continued her plunge to the bottom. The emergency buoy was released by the violence of the hull collapse, and drifted for a year before washing ashore.

Sisterships: INS DOLPHIN (ex HMS TRUNCHEON P 353)
Built by Devonport Dockyard, laid down:5 November 1942, launched:22 February 1944, commissioned:25 May 1945,same specifications, sold to Israeli Navy in 1968, scrapped in 1977.

INS LEVIATHAN (ex HMS TURPIN P 354)
Built by Chatham Dockyard, laid down:24 May 1943, launched:5 August 1943, commissioned:18 December 1944, same specifications, sold to Israeli Navy in 1965, scrapped in 1978.

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