Military Wiki
Benjamin Franklin-class submarine
USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640).gif
Class overview
Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Newport News Shipbuilding
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: James Madison
Succeeded by: Ohio
Built: 1963–1967
In commission: 1965–2002
Completed: 12
Retired: 12
General characteristics
Length: 425 ft (130 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: S5W reactor
Armament: 4 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes
16 × vertical tubes for ballistic missiles

The Benjamin Franklin-class submarine was an evolutionary development from the James Madison class of fleet ballistic missile submarine. Having quieter machinery and other improvements, they are considered a separate class. A subset of this class is the re-engineered 640 class starting with USS George C. Marshall (SSBN-654). The Benjamin Franklin class, together with the George Washington, Ethan Allen, Lafayette, and James Madison classes, comprise the "41 for Freedom."

The Benjamin Franklin-class submarines were built with the Polaris A-3 ballistic missile, and later converted to carry the Poseidon C-3. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, selected units were further modified to carry Trident-I (C-4) ballistic missiles.

Two submarines of this class were converted for delivery of special warfare units ashore. In the early 1990s, to make room for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines within the limits set by the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty, the ballistic missile tubes of USS Kamehameha (SSBN-642) and USS James K. Polk (SSBN-645) were disabled. Those boats were redesignated special operations attack submarines and given attack submarine (SSN) hull numbers.

USS Kamehameha was decommissioned on 2 April 2002, the last ship of the Benjamin Franklin class to be decommissioned.


Submarines of the Benjamin Franklin class:[1] (Submarines marked with * indicate Trident C-4 ballistic missile conversions.)

See also


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