USS Albacore was the first U.S. Navy-designed vessel with a true submarine hull form, in which surface characteristics were subordinated to underwater performance. She possessed no weapon systems; her sole function was to conduct experiments. During her early trials, she set a new underwater speed record. From 1955 to 1971, Albacore served in five distinct phases of experimentation, carrying out tests of speed, depth changes and underwater maneuvering. Through a series of configurations, she provided the model for all future U.S. Navy and many foreign submarines that followed.