Groton — From one to 70.
That’s one measure of how far the submarine force has come.
Tuesday marked 117 years since the Navy purchased its first submarine, the USS Holland (SS-1), a 64-ton, 53-foot-long, 10¼-foot-diameter experimental submarine from John P. Holland and the Holland Torpedo Boat Co.
Since then, submarines have become larger, faster and considerably more capable, said Lt. Cmdr. Reginald Preston, officer in charge of the Historic Ship Nautilus, where Tuesday’s celebration took place.
“I might add that they cost quite a lot more than the $150,000 that we spent to buy Holland 117 years ago,” Preston said.
An attack submarine today costs nearly $3 billion, and the new ballistic-missile submarines are expected to cost about $8 billion a pop.Today’s submarine force includes:
- 52 attack submarines; 15 of which are based in Groton.
- 14 ballistic-missile submarines.
- Four guided-missile submarines.
That’s a total of 70 submarines, which are manned by 88 submarine crews.
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