Portsmouth Naval Shipyard - A Proud Navy Tradition Since 1800
"From Sails to Atoms"
Established by the Federal Government in 1800, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) launched its first product, the 74-gun warship USS WASHINGTON, in 1815. During World War I, the PNS workforce expanded to nearly 5,000. At this time, PNS took on a new and important role -- the construction of submarines -- in addition to the overhaul and repair of surface vessels. World War II saw the ranks of civilian workers at the Yard swell to over 25,000. Over the course of World War II over 70 submarines were constructed at PNS, with a record four submarines launched on one day.
Following World War II, PNS became the Navy's center for submarine design and development. The research submarine, USS ALBACORE, with its revolutionary tear drop-shaped hull and round cross section, set the standard for all subsequent submarine hull design world-wide. PNS continued to build submarines until 1969, when the last submarine built in a public shipyard, the nuclear powered USS SAND LANCE, was launched.
Today the Shipyard continues the tradition of excellence and service to the Navy and the nation by supplying the Submarine Fleet with high quality, affordable, overhaul, refueling and modernization work. (From the PNSY site)
The Shipyard has a particularly long, proud record in the history of the United States Navy submarine fleet. Some of the highlights in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard's contributions:
1917 - First submarine ever built in a U.S. Naval Shipyard -- the L-8 (above).
1937 - First U.S. Submarine built with an all-welded steel hull -- SNAPPER.
1937 - First live underwater explosion tests in the Shipyard.
1941 - First live underwater explosion tests, using operational submarines TAMBOR and TROUT as targets.
1942 - First U.S. Submarine construction of high tensile steel -- BALAO
1944 - Established a record for building the greatest number of submarines during a calendar year -- 31 during 1944. Building time per submarine was reduced from 469 calendar days in 1941 to 173 days in 1944.
1947 - Pioneered in design of 20 submarines to GUPPY types. First completed was ODAX.
1948 - First snorkel installed in a U.S. Submarine -- IREX.
1951 - First new submarine after World War II incorporating lessons learned during the War -- TANG.
1953 - First truly submersible hull developed using dirigible form, a breakthrough in hydrodynamic design -- ALBACORE (above).
The world's fastest submarine when built, . It included the first remotely operated ballast control system and the first pilot control console. The ALBACORE is now the heart of a submarine museum in Portsmouth, a National Historic Landmark, located in Albacore Park. In addition to the sub, which is open for tours, the Park includes a Memorial Garden with several granite monuments commemorating submarines lost during World War II and the Cold War.
1958 - First nuclear powered submarine built in a government Shipyard -- SWORDFISH.
1961 - First Polaris missile submarine built at the Shipyard - ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
1967 - Engineering innovations in JACK to reduce operating noises and to increase power efficiency.
1968 - Launched deep diving submarine DOLPHIN.
1971 - Commissioned last new submarine constructed at the Shipyard -- SANDLANCE.
1971 - Took on new mission to overhaul, repair and refuel nuclear powered submarines.
2007 - Selected as site for Ship Availability Planning Engineering Center SHAPEC to prepare for maintaining the Virginia-class submarine 2010.
2008 - Selected as Commissioning Site for 5th Virginia-class submarine - USS NEW HAMPSHIRE
For a short slideshow of historic images from 208 years of service to the United State Navy, click here.
10/19 USS New Hampshire arrived in Portsmouth 11:15 am
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Thru 11/2 Scarecrows of the Port Festival
Downtown merchants present first annual "Scarecrows in the Port" harvest festival, commissioning celebration and welcome to the crew and their families.
10/25/2008 US Navy Commissioning Ceremony, 10 am
10/27/2008 USS New Hampshire departs, 12:20 pm