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ASR 21 Pigeon

ASR 21 Pigeon class vehicles serve as surface support ships for deep submergence rescue vehicles (DSRV's) during submarine rescue operations. They conduct these operations using the McCann rescue chamber, and also support deep sea diving operations. These ships can transport, service, lower and raise two Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles and support diving operations to depths of 850 feet. They can support divers indefinitely, lowering them to the ocean floor in pressurized transfer chambers for open-sea work periods. These vessels also serve as operational control ships to conduct deep-sea salvage operations. No new ASRs are included in the Navy's long range shipbuilding plans.

The two Pigeon class ships are the first in the world to be built specifically for the submarine rescue mission and, except for one Military Sealift Command ship, are the first catamaran hull ships built for the Navy since Robert Fulton's Demologos in 1812.


Builder Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding
Power Plant Four diesels, two shafts
LengthOverall Length: 251 ft
Waterline Length: 230 ft
Beam86 feet
Draft Maximum Navigational Draft: 26 ft
Draft Limit: 26 ft
Displacement Light Displacement: 4119 tons
Full Displacement: 4954 tons
Dead Weight: 835 tons
Speed 15 knots
Crew Ship's Company, 240;
submersible operations, 24
Aircraftnone / helipad for landing


Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Pigeon ASR-21 Alabama DD & SBSan Diego15 Nov 196728 Apr 197331 Aug 1992
Ortolan ASR-22 Alabama DD & SB Norfolk15 Nov 196714 Jul 197330 Mar 1995

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Thursday, February 25, 1999 6:35:06 AM