The Balao class was a successful design of United States Navysubmarine used during World War II. An evolutionary improvement over the earlier Gato class, the boats had slight internal differences. The most significant improvement was the use of higher strength steel in the pressure hull, which increased their test depth to 400 feet.
While the last boats of the Gato class were still building, a new series of 132 units was ordered in the 1942 War Program.
Named after the first unit in the series, the Balaosubmarines were almost identical as the Gato class, but several design changes were introduced to allow rapid building, using a prefabrication system which gave the submarines greater structural strength and increased operational depth.
There were slight differences in the size and displacement among the boats of this class built among the various yards, but basically, all boats of this class entering service between 1941 and 1945 were almost identical.
Succeded By Tench-class submarine Tench classsubmarines were an evolutionary improvement over the Gato and Balaoclasses, only about 35 to 40 tons larger, but more strongly built and with a slightly improved internal layout.
The most significant improvement was the use of higher strength steel in the pressure hull, which increased their test depthTest depth is the maximum depth that a submarine is permitted to operate at, under normal circumstances (during peacetime).
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