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Research Submarine USS Dolphin (AGSS 555)

Description: USS Dolphin (AGSS 555) is the Navy's only operational, diesel-electric, deep-diving, research and development submarine.

Background: Shortly after her commisioning in 1968, USS Dolphin established an unmatched world depth record for operational submarines. The submarine has since amassed an impressive record of scientific and military accomplishments, and now serves as a unit of the U.S. Naval Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, under Commander, Submarine Development Squadron Five. Dolphin is home ported in San Diego and berthed at NCCOSC RDTE Division (NRaD) Pier 160.

Employed by both civilian and Navy activities, the research submarine is equipped with an extensive instrumentation suite that supports missions such as acoustic deep-water and littoral research, near-bottom and ocean surveys, weapons launches, sensor trials, and engineering evaluations.

Features: Because she was designed as a test platform, USS Dolphin can be modified both internally and externally to allow installation of up to 12 tons of special research and test equipment. The submarine has internal and external mounting points, multiple electronic hull connectors, and up to 10 equipment racks for project use.

Point of Contact: Formal requests for use of USS Dolphin should be submitted to the chairman of the USS Dolphin Advisory Group (DAG) at the following address:

Attention: PMS-395A62
Naval Sea Systems Command
2531 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Arlington, VA 22242-5160
(703) 602-6688

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Deep submergence research and development submarine
Hull Number: AGSS-555
Class: No class; this is a one-of-a-kind ship
Builder: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Power Plant: Diesel/Electric; Two GM 12-cylinder, 425 HP engines
Length: 165 feet (50.3 meters)
Displacement: 950 tons (965.25 metric tons) full load
Diameter: 18 feet (5.5 meters)
Operating Depth: 3,000 feet (915 meters)
Crew: 5 officer, 46 enlisted, and up to 5 scientists
Armament: None
Date Deployed: 17 August 1968


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