According to some reports Narwhal was employed for intelligence collection, and was fitted with a structure, called a "turtleback" -- just forward of her rudder that some have suggested may possibly be for remote-controlled underwater vehicles. However, a more prosaic explanation suggest that the big bulge on her stern is a casing for TB-23 towed array fitted with the new BQQ-5D sonar.During her career, Narwhal was highly decorated, receiving the Navy Unit Commendation, three Meritorious Unit Commendations and five Battle Efficiency "E" awards. She has conducted 17 deployments to all corners of the world. Most recently, during her 1998 deployment to the Mediterranean, Narwhal was underway 86 percent of the time, conducting numerous international exercises and two extended operations of vital importance to national security.
After commissioning, NARWHAL was assigned to Submarine Detachment TWO in New London CT. She made her first deployment in the summer of 1970 and was eventually assigned to Submarine Squadron TWO in New London. In November 1979, NARWHAL was reassigned to Submarine Squadron FOUR in Charleston SC which was her home until she was transferred to Submarine Squadron SIX in Hampton Roads during October 1994. USS Narwhal was inactivated on 16 January 1999 at Naval Station Norfolk, and She will began the decommissioning process at Newport News Shipbuilding later in the month. Newport News Shipbuilding is the only private source with the knowledge, experience, and facilities required to prepare for and accomplish the defueling and inactivation of SSN 671.
|Displacement||5,350 tons submerged|
|Power Plant|| One S5G nuclear reactor, |
two steam turbines, one shaft, 17,000 shp
|Armament|| Torpedoes, four torpedo tubes|
|Unit Operating Cost|
|~$17,000,000 [source: [FY1996 VAMOSC]|
|Builder||General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division|
|Narwhal||SSN-671||Electric Boat||Norfolk||27 Jul 1964||12 July 1969||16 Jan 1999|