Navy Donates Research Sub to San Diego Maritime Museum

Monday, September 22, 2008

From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

The U.S. Navy officially transferred the decommissioned research submarine ex-Dolphin (AGSS 555) to the Maritime Museum of San Diego (MMSD) during a donation contract signing ceremony Sept. 18 in Washington.

The ceremony took place in the Washington office of U.S. Rep. Susan Davis.

Ex-Dolphin was decommissioned in 2007 after more than 30 years of service supporting naval research activities from her homeport in San Diego.

"As a museum, Dolphin will highlight America's technical expertise and dedication to the advancement of science," said Capt. David Tungett, program manager for the Navy's inactive ships program. "Visitors to the museum will also learn more about the submarine's unique history and important scientific contributions to the country."

Ex-Dolphin was one of the world's deepest diving submarines with a maximum operating depth in excess of 3,000 feet. The 65-foot diesel-electric submarine was designed and used for research, development, test, and evaluation and was equipped with an extensive instrumentation suite that supported missions such as acoustic deep-water and littoral research, near-bottom and ocean surveys, weapons launches, sensor trials and engineering evaluations.

Employed by both civilian and Department of Defense agencies, ex-Dolphin provided tremendous benefit to the Navy and the nation. Since the boat's commissioning in 1968, the submarine amassed a significant record of scientific and military accomplishments. Examples of the ex-Dolphin's achievements include: the first successful submarine-to-aircraft optical communications; first successful submarine test of BQS-15 sonar system; deepest launching of a torpedo; and first successful submarine-to-aircraft two-way laser communication. She was the last operational diesel-electric submarine in the U.S. Navy.

The Navy donates ships to preserve naval history and tradition, educate the public and commemorate the men and women who built and sailed the vessels. There are currently 46 museum ships displayed in 21 states across the country.

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