Damage Pictures of USS Hartford (SSN 768) | USNI Blog

Damage Pictures of USS Hartford (SSN 768) | USNI Blog
The following images were released by the Navy today. Between these three one can see just about everything there is to see regarding the USS Hartford (SSN 768) damage.

Go and see.  I’m pleasantly surprised she didn’t sink.  The entire conning tower is not just bent front to rear but canted to one side.  I’d guess this means the periscopes don’t work.

I’d second the concerns of the commenters there that she’ll come home on the back of an ocean barge.

Thank goodness only minor injuries reported.


  1. I’d second the concerns of the commenters there that she’ll come home on the back of an ocean barge.

    Maybe. Maybe not. This is a nuke hull. Is there any precedent piggybacking one out of water that you know of?

  2. Good question. I dont know of a case of lifting one out of the water, though they go into drydock, so there must be a way to secure the reactor. I guess you could drive the Blue Mesa home submerged ( really slowly) or tow it home like a fish in an aquarium.

    Realistically I think it’ll come home very slowly under its own steam.

  3. My best guess (as an old nuc) is that a team from the nearest sub tender will spend a week or three making repairs, then a long, slow trip home.

    For the sub without planes in the sail, it is mostly just a fairing to hold various masts, and for hydronamics to keep the boat stable underwater. So it is a very light structure.

    While it might be possible to certify a heavy lift ship for nuclear work, it is very unlikely. Remember that even a shut down reactor plant has a significant electrical load, and requirement for 100% reliable source of cooling water. The heavy lift ships are not desinged to provide those services.

    Much cheaper and more practical to have a sub tender make a “house call”. Most likely it can be done with local equipment (cranes, etc) , with tender guys/gals flying in with the parts/tools to do the work.

  4. It may ride the surface back to a suitable shipyard in the South Pacific. They must have scopes and other masts that were damaged. Have fun going around the horn or into the cold water. On the Big N in 1966, we rode the surface coming back from Bermuda. That was only a day or so.

    The only booz damaged was what the officers had charge of. The electricians had no casualties among the bottles. The wash machine spare parts locker worked well.


  5. Remember that the San Francisco traveled something like 350 miles on the surface with severely damaged ballast tanks before it made it to Guam. From there it traveled to Puget Sound, WA with a temporary patch over the ballast tanks and sonar dome. It had far more damage than the Hartford and it made both trips under its own power.

  6. Glen has some good comments. As an old nuc myself (8 ssbn patrols), the biggest issue will be the watertight security of the hull penetrations of the scopes. Looks like they took a good hit. Can you imagine having to sit on top of the sail like that when pulling into port? I would imagine they will stabilize the sail, then sail her back on the surface to a shipyard. You cant submerge without scopes because you cant surface without scopes.