Lafayette class submarine USS Woodrow Wilson
General Dynamics Electric Boat|
Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||Ethan Allen-class submarine|
|Succeeded by:||James Madison-class submarine|
|In commission:||1963–1994 |
|Preserved:||1 (As Training Vessel)|
|Type:||Ballistic missile submarine|
7,250 long tons (7,370 t) surfaced |
8,250 long tons (8,380 t) submerged 
|Length:||425 ft (130 m) |
|Beam:||33 ft (10 m) |
|Draft:||31 ft 6 in (9.60 m) |
|Propulsion:||1 × S5W reactor - two geared steam turbines - 1 shaft |
20 knots (37 km/h) surfaced |
25 knots (46 km/h) submerged 
|Complement:||Two crews of 13 officers and 130 enlisted |
4 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes for Mark 48 torpedoes|
16 × vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon ballistic missiles
The Lafayette class of submarine was an evolutionary development from the Ethan Allen class of fleet ballistic missile submarine, slightly larger and generally improved. This class, together with the George Washington, Ethan Allen, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin classes, comprised the "41 for Freedom."
The first eight submarines initially deployed with the Polaris A-2 missile, later being refitted with the longer ranged Polaris A-3, with USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626) having the A-3 missile from the start. In the mid-1970s they were upgraded to carry the Poseidon C3 missile.
Unlike the similar James Madison and Benjamin Franklin classes, none of the Lafayette class submarines were refitted with Trident missiles. They were decommissioned between 1986 and 1992, with one (Daniel Webster) remaining in use as a Moored Training Ship.
Submarines of the Lafayette class:
- USS Lafayette (SSBN-616)
- USS Alexander Hamilton (SSBN-617)
- USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619)
- USS John Adams (SSBN-620)
- USS James Monroe (SSBN-622)
- USS Nathan Hale (SSBN-623)
- USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624)
- USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625)
- USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lafayette class submarines.|
- "SSBN-616 Lafayette-Class FBM Submarines" from the FAS
- Polmar 1981, p.21.
- Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p.612.
- http://www.submarinehistory.com/FleetBallisticMissileSubmarines.html California Center for Military History
- Gardiner, Robert and Chumbley, Stephen (editors). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
- Polmar, Norman. The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet: Twelfth Edition. London:Arms and Armour Press, 1981. ISBN 0-85368-397-2.
- US Naval Vessel Register - List of SSBN BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINE (NUCLEAR-POWERED) Class vessels
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