USN Sturgeon Class SSN
SSN-637 USS Sturgeon

1/350th scale model kit
By Blue Water Navy

In-box review by: John Sheridan

The Ship:

STURGEON class submarines were built for anti-submarine warfare in the late 1960s and 1970s. Using the same propulsion system as their smaller predecessors of the SSN-585 Skipjack and SSN-594 Permit classes, the larger Sturgeons sacrificed speed for greater combat capabilities.

They are equipped to carry the HARPOON missile, the TOMAHAWK cruise missile, and the MK-48 and ADCAP torpedoes. Torpedo tubes are located amidships to accomodate the bow-mounted sonar. The sail-mounted dive planes rotate to a vertical position for breaking through the ice when surfacing in Arctic regions.

Beginning with SSN-678 Archerfish units of this class had a 10-foot longer hull, giving them more living and working space than previous submarines of the Sturgeon Class.

A total of six Sturgeon-class boats were modified to carry the SEAL Dry Deck Shelter [DDS], one in 1982 and five between 1988 and 1991. The are SSN 678-680, 682, 684, 686 are listed as "DDS Capable" -- either permanently fitted with the DDS or trained with them. In this configuration they are primarily tasked with the covert insertion of special forces troops from an attached Dry Deck Shelter (DDS). The Dry Deck Shelter is a submersible launch hanger with a hyperbolic chamber that attaches to the ship's Weapon Shipping Hatch. The DDS provides the most tactically practical means of SEAL delivery due to its size, capabilities, and location on the ship.

Rapidly being phased out in favor of the LOS ANGELES and SEAWOLF Classes of attack submarines, this venerable and flexible workhorse of the submarine attack fleet continues to operate in the forward areas of the world to this day. Attracting little publicity during its heyday, this class of ship was the platform of choice for many of the Cold War missions for which submarines are now famous. After a 5-year study was completed on the SSN-637 class submarine, the design life was extended from 20 years to 30 years, with a possible extension to 33 years on a case-by-case basis. However, many boats of this class were retired prior to this limit in order to avoid expensive reactor refueling operations.
Sturgeon Class SSN Data

4250 tons (surf.), 4780 tons (submerged)

Max Speed
20 kts (surface) 25 kts (submerged)
Length 292 feet
Crew 14 officers 126 Enlisted
28.8 feet 
Test Depth 400+ feet
Power Plant   

S5W Pressurized Water Nuclear Reactor,
2 geared turbines at 15,000 shp to one shaft 

Armament 4 Torpedo Tubes

Recommended Reading

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The Kit:

The 1:350th scale Blue Water Navy kit of the SSN-637 USS Sturgeon is a multimedia kit consisting of Resin, White Metal, and Photo-etched parts. 

The resin parts consist of the hull which a solid one-piece chunk of resin with all the detail cast in. Hatches, access-ports, and other openings are scribed into the hull. The hull has a large casting plug on the keel that will have to be removed and sanded smooth. The dive planes and scopes  are made of White Metal and require a light sanding to fit in their place. Several choices of propellers are offered in photoetch brass. The propeller you use is determined by the time period you wish to display the model.  The instruction sheet is a one-page two-sided affair that clearly shows where the parts go. A decal sheet with hull numbers, pennants, and rescue markings round out this kit. 


This is a great kit for a person who is looking for a simple, yet very detailed resin kit to build. Those who have never built a resin kit would find this kit to be an excellent first-time kit to build. I would highly recommend this, or any other Blue Water Navy submarine kit to anyone

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