Submarine Technology Overview PDF Print E-mail

Submarine Technology Overview

Come aboard and step into the exciting world of submarine technology.  Learn the transformation from crude containers designed to keep the water out to the nuclear powered steel underwater sharks of today!

Capture the leaps of technology including:

Image of the TurtleRevolutionary War

David Bushnell created the Turtle that delivered his new, improved underwater bomb against the British warships in New York Harbor with surprising effects in the American War of Independence.


Hunley Submarine PhotoCivil War

The human powered Confederate submarine Hunley sunk the Union warship Housatonic, one and a half miles at sea off Charleston harbor in February 1864. Lost for over a hundred thirty years, this submersible was discovered and raised in 2000 from her resting place in the sand where she sank after her attack.

World Wars One and Twobowfin-pearl-harbor

With the battle fleet on the bottom of Pearl Harbor, the modern high speed surface raider, the Fleet submarine, one exampe of which is the USS Bowfin, destroyed the bulk of Imperial Japanese shipping. Walk through the submarine in the steps of those heroes who scored the amazing victories as a small team while suffering devastating losses.


Ohio Class SubmarineCold War to Present

Capable of electronically picking your pocket or destroying an enemy's submarines, these sleek, neuclear powered sharks of steel are currently our front line of defense.

Understand the need for stealth and quiet as these submarines accomplish their missions around the sometimes hostile world while surviving deep underwater.

USS Ohio

USS Hawaii



Secrets of the Sub

Hawaii Themed Submarines

Hawaii Themed Submarines


USS Kamehameha (SSBN-642) was launched on 16 January 1965 and commissioned on 10 December 1965.  This submarine holds the name for King Kamehameha the Great.  It is fitting that one of our submarines bear the name of this striking figure in Hawaiian history.  His people were intrepid seafarers and knowledge of stars, winds and currents still arouse wonder and admiration.  For much of USS Kamehameha's service, she was based in Rota, Spain conducting deterrence patrols during the Cold War.  Commissioning gifts to the submarine are on display at the museum.

USS Honolulu

USS Honolulu (SSN-718), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the third ship of the United States to be named for Honolulu, Hawaii. She was launched on 24 September 1983 and commissioned on 6 July 1985.  Honolulu’s patrols are commemorated by ten surfboards signed by the crews aboard her at the time. One of the four surfboards held at Bowfin Park is on display in the museum.

USS Hawaii

The USS Hawaii (SSN 776) is the first commissioned vessel of its name. Launched June 17, 2006 and Commissioned May 5, 2007 she is fortunate to be homeported in her namesake state. The submarine was named to recognize the tremendous support the Navy has enjoyed from the people and state of Hawaii, and in honor of the rich heritage of submarines in the Pacific.

Hawaii is the third of the Virginia Class submarines.  The Virginia-class of attack submarines surpasses the performance of any current projected threat submarine, ensuring U.S. undersea dominance well into the next century.

Bowfin Museum collections include models of all three submarines.