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Model of the US Navy concept formulation (CONFORM) submarine project from the late 1960s. CONFORM was a possible follow-on to the Permit (SSN 594) and Sturgeon (SSN 637) classes devised by Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea) circa 1967-68. By November 1968, the initial CONFORM studies had produced 36 design concepts, examining such alternative features as twin reactors, single turbines, contra-rotating propellers, deep-depth capability, and larger diameter torpedo tubes.
One of the most innovative features of the CONFORM design was its periscopes and masts that folded down flush onto the hull rather than retracting vertically into the hull. This feature would have reduced pressure hull penetrations, provided more flexibility in internal arrangement, and possibly alleviated the need for a sail. A small bridge structure could be raised and then folded down flush onto the hull.
The CONFORM project was "scuttled" by Vice Admiral Hyman G Rickover in favor of the Los Angeles class.