USS Dallas, movie star submarine, comes home for last time
By Jennifer McDermott Publication: The New London Day
Groton - The submarine that starred in "The Hunt for Red October," the USS Dallas, returned from its last overseas deployment Monday. Next year, after 33 years in the fleet, the Dallas will be inactivated. Tom Clancy's Cold War thriller made the Dallas famous, but in Navy circles it is better known for being the first attack submarine to carry a dry-deck shelter, which houses a vehicle for launching and recovering special operations forces. "Of all the submarines that would be finishing up their service life, there are a couple out there that people know by name, and Dallas is one of them," said Capt. David A. Roberts, who commanded Dallas from 2007 to 2009. "It kind of adds to the moment. 'The Hunt for Red October' submarine we all know and love from the movies is going to be finishing up its service life soon." But, Roberts said, he always tells people who ask about the Dallas that it has "done a lot more than just being in the movies."
"Think about how the world has changed," said Roberts, who now leads the Submarine Learning Center. "The missions Dallas was built for initially back then, in the late 1970s and early '80s, are so much different than in 2013. And she has stood the test of time and been able to keep step with the changing world, the challenging world."
The Dallas (SSN 700) returned to the Naval Submarine Base on Monday after operating in Europe and the Middle East and traveling more than 34,000 miles during nearly seven months at sea.
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Ironically, the real USS Dallas never appears in the film. The USS Houston (SSN 713) stood in as the USS Dallas (SSN 700) in the transfer at sea scene. The interior scenes on Dallas and Red October were all filmed on sound stages. The interior of the Alfa V.K. Konovalov was actually shot in the torpedo room of the USS Blueback in San Diego. The submarine in the drydock scene was USS Permit (SSN 594). Exterior shots of the submarines "underwater" were filmed in a former fruit storage shed. The models were suspended from wires with five point articulated arms to control attitude of the model. The scenes were lit with blue lights and the water haze was "oil cracker" smoke. Sorry, no underwater R/C in that film!