Attack submarines (SS and SSN) are used
primarily against shipping, both surface and
subsurface. These submarines are designed for speed
and maneuverability. Attack submarines use torpedo
tubes, usually located forward and aft, to launch
torpedoes, mines, and missiles.
Cruise Missile Submarines
Cruise missile submarines (SSG and SSGN) are
designed primarily to attack surface ships. Their
armament usually consists of surface-to-surface
antiship missiles, torpedoes, and mines.
Ballistic Missile Submarines
Ballistic missile submarines (SSB and SSBN) are
probably the most notorious of all submarines.
Ballistic missile submarines usually maintain constant
patrols that place their long-range surface-to-surface
missiles within range of intended targets, such as
major military and industrial installations.
MERCHANT SHIP IDENTIFICATION
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Explain the
procedures for the identification of merchant
ships, including appearance groups, hull types,
and sequence of uprights.
As a Signalman, you must be able to identify and
report the various types of merchant ships. The
purpose of this section is to acquaint you with the
primary identification features unique to merchant
ships. The two primary publications that will help you
in your identification of merchant ships are Merchant
Marine Identification GuideWorld and the
Communist Merchant Marine Identification Guide.
Any system used for identifying and reporting
merchant ships during peacetime must be adaptable to
wartime as well. Such ordinary aids to identification
as stack markings, hull and superstructure paint
combinations, striping, and house flags (all of which
are of great assistance in peacetime identification) are
easily camouflaged or painted over. Consequently, we
must rely on those physical characteristics that are
readily seen and difficult to alter or disguise.
To identify a merchant ship, you must classify it
by appearance group, hull type, and upright sequence.
The appearance group is determined by the size,
shape, and location of the superstructure. The hull type
is determined by the shape of the hull and the number
and location of islands. The upright sequence includes
the identification and location of the masts, gantries,
king posts, cranes, and funnels. Using these features
and consulting Merchant Marine Identification
GuideWorld and Communist Merchant Marine
Identification Guide, you can identify a merchant ship
quickly and accurately.
The size, shape, and location of the superstructure
on merchant ships depend on the functions of the ship.
This identification feature is used to place the ship in
one of three appearance groups (fig. 13-26.)
Group 1 is the large superstructure appearance
group. The superstructure exceeds one-third the
overall length of the ship. Passenger ships generally
belong in this group.
Group 2 is the composite superstructure. The
composite superstructure is located amidships and is
less than one-third the overall length. These ships
generally have a small blocklike superstructure with
deck spaces devoted to cargo-handling equipment and
Group 3 is stack aft. Stack aft means ships with
funnels located within the after-third of the ship.
However, if the superstructure exceeds one-third the
overall length, the ship will be in appearance group 1.
Ships in appearance group 1 are placed under hull
type 1. The determination of hull type for ships in
appearance groups 2 and 3 is based on hull profile.
Table 13-1 is a matrix of hull profiles and appearance
groups that reflects hull-type numbers.