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The Barbel-class submarines (affectionately known in the United States Navy's submarine force as the 'B-Girls'), the last diesel-electric propelled attack submarines built by the United States Navy, incorporated numerous, radical engineering improvements over previous classes. They were the first production warships built with the teardrop-shape hull first tested on the experimental USS Albacore (AGSS-569), and the first to combine the control room, attack center, and conning tower in the same space in the hull. This class of submarine became part of the United States Navy's fleet in 1959 and was taken out of service 1988–1990, leaving the Navy with an entirely nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

The Barbel class' design is considered to be very effective.[3] The Zwaardvis-class submarines of the Netherlands and the Hai Lung-class submarines of the Republic of China (built and sold by the Netherlands) were based on the Barbel class design. The Japanese Uzushio class and its successors were also influenced by the Barbel class.

Ships in class

NameHull numberBuilderLaid DownLaunchedCommissionedFate
Barbel SS-580 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 18 May 1956 19 July 1958 17 January 1959 Decommissioned 4 December 1989, scrapping delayed due to asbestos insulation, expended as a target 30 January 2001
Blueback SS-581 Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi 15 April 1957 16 May 1959 15 October 1959 Decommissioned 1 October 1990, museum ship at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon from 1994.
Bonefish SS-582 New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey 3 June 1957 22 November 1958 9 July 1959 Not repaired following a fire that killed three on 24 April 1988, decommissioned 28 September 1988, hulked 17 August 1989, hull acquired for tests by Northrop Grumman.

Any service era or vessel configuration - We can build a model of them all - your pick. 

 We offer our Barbel Class Submarine Models in several poplular size/scale offerings for easy ordering and selection.  However, if you would like your model made in a size other than those sizes listed, please contact us with your request. Custom orders are our specialty!

Our submarine models are made-to-order, meaning that we do not stock any pre-made models.  Only when a customer tells us the size and/or scale desired do we build the model. Each model is exquisitely crafted by our master model builders and comes fully assembled with a solid hull - hand carved from kiln-dried mahogany.  Other parts are made from a variety of woods, putty, resin and metals. Every model includes  pedestals, a polished mahogany base board, and a name plate.  Options include keel block mounting, waterline models, ships seals and ribbons, and weathering paint schemes.

The model build time is generally 24 weeks from receipt of the order and deposit. The normal procedure is a 50% deposit with the commissioning, with the balance due prior to shipping.  Note that prior to shipping, we take a series of photos of the model and send them to you for final review and approval – so you know exactly what your model will look like and allow for any necessary modifications. Once you have approved your model, we’ll collect the final balance and she will be shipped in a robust shipping crate and insured for your protection.

FREE SHIPPING in the USA - Note that our model prices include shipping and insurance within the USA.

Shipping costs outside the USA will depend on the model size ordered and shipping destination. You will be responsible for any applicable taxes or duties, based on the commercial invoice value for the model.

Add a museum-like touch to your model display - Consider our protective display case option. Keep fingers and dust away - forever!   Please visit our Display Case page to see our selection.

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Barbel Class Submarine Models


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