USS FLORIDA is the third ship in the TRIDENT class. She is the first submarine and the sixth U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name of the state and on January 14, 2003, the FLORIDA became the first OHIO -class submarine to launch a Tomahawk cruise missile.
In April 2004, conversion started to modify the USS FLORIDA to carry 154 conventional cruise missiles instead of 24 Trident missiles. After completion of the conversion, the FLORIDA is now designated SSGN 728. As an SSGN, the FLORIDA is also able to support operations of up to 66 Special Forces Personnel for up to 90 days. The submarine reentered service on May 25, 2006.
|General Characteristics:||Keel Laid: July 4, 1976|
|Launched: November 14, 1981|
|Commissioned: June 18, 1983|
|Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division, Groton, Conn.|
|Propulsion system: one nuclear reactor|
|Length: 560 feet (171 meters)|
|Beam: 42 feet (12.8 meters)|
|Draft: 36,5 feet (11.1 meters)|
|Speed: 20+ knots|
|Armament: Tomahawk missiles, Mk-48 torpedoes, four torpedo tubes|
|Homeport: Kings Bay, Ga.|
|Crew: 17 Officers, 15 Chief Petty Officers and 122 Enlisted (2 crews)|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS FLORIDA. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
Accidents aboard USS FLORIDA:
|December 19, 1983||Long Island Sound||USS FLORIDA is slightly damaged when it hits an unidentified object while submerged during sea trials in Long Island Sound. No one is injured.|
|August 27, 2003||Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Norfolk, Va.||USS FLORIDA experiences a fire above the reactor compartment while undergoing major overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. There were no personnel casualties but minor injuries to four personnel as a result of the fire.|
About the Submarine's Guided Missile Submarine Conversion:
On June 27, 2003, USS FLORIDA arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard for the start of a process that will change the submarine from a ballistic missile carrier into a guided-missile submarine (SSGN).
In September 2002, FLORIDA completed her 61st and final deterrent patrol, marking the end of an era which began with her first patrol in July 1984. After offloading Trident I ballistic missiles, FLORIDA departed for her new home in the Atlantic Ocean. Stopping along the way for port visits in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Kings Bay, Georgia, Florida arrived at Naval Station Norfolk in December 2002.
Getting underway again in January, FLORIDA participated in some highly successful experiments, including the launching of two Tomahawk missiles, the first ever for a Trident submarine, and a combined forces exercise called Giant Shadow, which demonstrated the feasibility of the SSGN concept.
The SSGNs will have the capability to support and launch up to 154 Tomahawk missiles, a significant increase in capacity as compared to other platforms. The 22 missile tubes will also provide the capability to carry other payloads, such as unmanned underwater vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and special forces equipment.
This new platform will also have the capability to carry and support more than 66 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) and insert them clandestinely into potential conflict areas.
The overhaul itself has two parallel phases. One is the engineering refueling overhaul (ERO) and the other is the SSGN conversion. FLORIDA’s S8G reactor, after more than 20 years of operation, will be getting a refueling that will be good for the remainder of the ship’s operational life.
The SSGN conversion will involve modifying the 40-foot-long Trident launch tubes to carry 154 Tomahawk or new generation cruise missiles, installing diver lock-out chambers and landing pads for dry deck shelters and advanced SEAL delivery system, and extra berthing and storage for 66 special forces personnel. In addition, the ship’s communications and sensor capabilities will be upgraded.
The ERO and conversion process was completed in April 2006.
USS FLORIDA Image Gallery: