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Posted: 8/19/2012 10:26:26 PM EST
According to Wiki, the Mackerel class of submarines were two subs that we built in 1939 to test out mass production techniques. No more were built and the US went off with the Gato class. The two submarines of the Mackerel class served from 1941-1945.

The Abtao class was an ordered, not a hand me down, submarine modified off the Mackerel design, built from 1953-1957. Four submarines were built and they served from 1954-1999.

The questions are why and how. What was so special about the Mackerel design that a country would order new subs based on a design that was at least 15 years old (the design might have been closer to the S boats of immediately post WW I) as oppose to a more modern design either new or as a hand me down. How could the tooling for an immediate pre WWII submarine still be around after 15 years for new submarines to be built?

Any historical buffs out there? By the by, when I came across the Abato class in the late 80's, I believe they were the last export diesels, as oppose to hand me downs, that the US made.
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Link Posted: 8/19/2012 10:45:42 PM EST
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Link Posted: 8/19/2012 10:50:07 PM EST
Maybe it was due to the fact that they were the first boats capable of being mass produced. Plus they were a smaller design, more suited for a smaller Navy, yet still a fleet class boat.
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Link Posted: 8/19/2012 11:36:36 PM EST
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 3:33:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cypher15:
you win for random historical question of the week and its only monday..


To OP......The ADD is strong in this one, Obi-Wan.....

And I thought I spent a lot of time wondering about obscure stuff......

BTW, Now that ya mentioned it I would be interested in hearing the answer.....

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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 3:40:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2012 3:43:14 AM EST by dport]
I stand corrected. They were based on the prewar Mackerels.
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 3:43:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By dport:
I think you're getting your Mackerel-classes confused. I would bet the Peruvian subs were based on the T-1 built in 1952-53 and later renamed the Mackerel.


Negative. The Mackerel/Abtao class was significantly larger than the T-1.
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 3:46:35 AM EST
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 3:49:47 AM EST
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 3:59:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By Snowleopard:
According to Wiki, the Mackerel class of submarines were two subs that we built in 1939 to test out mass production techniques. No more were built and the US went off with the Gato class. The two submarines of the Mackerel class served from 1941-1945.

The Abtao class was an ordered, not a hand me down, submarine modified off the Mackerel design, built from 1953-1957. Four submarines were built and they served from 1954-1999.

The questions are why and how. What was so special about the Mackerel design that a country would order new subs based on a design that was at least 15 years old (the design might have been closer to the S boats of immediately post WW I) as oppose to a more modern design either new or as a hand me down. How could the tooling for an immediate pre WWII submarine still be around after 15 years for new submarines to be built?

Any historical buffs out there? By the by, when I came across the Abato class in the late 80's, I believe they were the last export diesels, as oppose to hand me downs, that the US made.
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"Tooling" for ships is considerably different than for other vehicles. There's a chance that the "lessons learned" from the trial construction were rolled into the new construction, too.

I'll bet a critical look at the new subs would show only a passing, visual similarity to the prototype boats. The hull is like an airplane structure, once you have that, you still have 90% to go.





Might it be that they were the "newest" submarines the US was willing to allow an ally to have as new construction in view of the early days of the Cold War? I am running out of time here at work but it might be that 1953 was a little bit early to start handing over the top notch submarines we won the war with?

Is that a reasonable approach to the question?
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 4:07:37 AM EST
"Export model" is what I would go with. Even to allies, the US doesn't hand out the latest tech (and rightfully so).

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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 4:12:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By Tango7:
The sigline of your post has me wondering about the "Stingray" and if it is of that class.

I think the "Stingray" was a Balao class museum ship, but I don't remember the name or where.
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 5:23:52 AM EST
We operated diesel boats well into the 1980's; most were built in the 50's and 60's, I would suspect the tooling was around until well after.

I remember the USS Bonefish moored in Norfolk at our pier a couple of years before the fire that ended her career.

The rationale then was our likely opponent in a cold war "war" would be operating a large number of diesel-electric boats, we need some to operate with to maintain proficiency in ASW.

The class specifics? Perhaps that particular tooling was not being utilized at the time as we were still building diesel-electrics?
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 5:26:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By Curio_Bill:
Originally Posted By Cypher15:
you win for random historical question of the week and its only monday..


To OP......The ADD is strong in this one, Obi-Wan.....

And I thought I spent a lot of time wondering about obscure stuff......

BTW, Now that ya mentioned it I would be interested in hearing the answer.....

It's a solid but obscure question
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 5:27:44 AM EST
I don't know a thing about subs, but I can tell you about the third world procurement process.

It was cheap, looked good, and was available.
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 5:41:57 AM EST
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Link Posted: 8/20/2012 6:17:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By Plumbata:
I don't know a thing about subs, but I can tell you about the third world procurement process.

It was cheap, looked good, and was available.


I might go with that, in a way.

The Gatos, it seems, didn't start getting transferred to foreign navies, most of them European, Asia Minor, till the mid 60's. The Barb was transferred to Italy in the mid 50's but that may have been a special deal, perhaps a compensation, and in any event, Italy's standing was probably better than Peru's. Speculating, mind you.

The Mackerel design might not have quite available, but I can picture it like this, "You won't let us have a Gato, how about if we bought a few boats of an older design?". Perhaps not the kind of talk of customer and builder but one that diplomats might come up with.

Now, a French Narval design might, historically seem the better choice, but a few things. While similar in size, that was probably one of the more advanced diesels at the time, some calling it a follow on design to a XXI U-Boat. Ie,


and a Narval


The US might not have been willing to sell a Tang but the French are more mercantile, so maybe. But two things, there would be the cost and the parts issue. Perhaps it was more likely to find parts for a near WWII design than something new. As another comparison to then, it was a time when Mk 14 torpedoes were standard, Mk 37's were high tech, and Mk 48's were a dream.

When I first came across the Abtao's, I, too, confused them for the training SST's of the 50's. At the time, I believe I was writing trivia questions for midshipmen......such is the life of an 1100. They always fascinated me because as stated, they appeared to be the last export diesels that the US allowed for a foreign country. In recent years, however, the SST's have shown up in literature, both about NR-1 and in a pocket book that sits by the john, so I decided to look up the Abtao's again............and the specs, the pictures did not make sense.

This is not, modified or not, an SST submarine.



Thank you for the input!
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