33¢ U.S. Navy Submarines:
Los Angeles Class
Issue Date: March 27, 2000
City: Groton, CT
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Before nuclear-powered engines were built, American submarines were unable to remain underwater for long periods of time. This left the vessels vulnerable to attack. The idea of a true “underwater ship” didn’t become a reality until a more-efficient fuel source was found. Today, nuclear-powered submarines, like those of the Los Angeles class, can stay underwater for months.
Los Angeles is just one of several classes of United States submarines. These vessels form the backbone of the Navy’s nuclear-powered fleet. They hunt enemy subs and ships, initiate cruise-missile attacks on land-based targets, and gather intelligence. The ships transport military forces and conduct show-of-force missions, anti-sub warfare, search and rescue efforts, and lay mines.
Los Angeles subs can participate in a variety of situations. Some ships, like the USS Cheyenne, have hardened sails to break through ice during Arctic missions. In 1991, nine Los Angeles vessels were deployed in the Persian Gulf War. The U.S. Navy has about 60 Los Angeles submarines in its fleet at this time.
The USS Hyman G. Rickover is on the “Los Angeles class” postage stamp. Rickover’s efforts were instrumental in bringing nuclear power to U.S. subs. The hull number of the sub, 709, is seen below the flag on the sail.