Military Wiki
Lafayette-class submarine
USS Woodrow Wilson
Lafayette class submarine USS Woodrow Wilson
Class overview
Builders: General Dynamics Electric Boat[1]
Mare Island Naval Shipyard[1]
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard[1]
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company[1]
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Ethan Allen-class submarine
Succeeded by: James Madison-class submarine
Built: 1961–1964 [1]
In commission: 1963–1994 [1]
Completed: 9
Retired: 9
Preserved: 1 (As Training Vessel)
General characteristics
Type: Ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 7,250 long tons (7,370 t) surfaced [1]
8,250 long tons (8,380 t) submerged [1]
Length: 425 ft (130 m) [1][2]
Beam: 33 ft (10 m) [1][2]
Draft: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m) [2]
Propulsion: 1 × S5W reactor - two geared steam turbines - 1 shaft [1]
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h) surfaced [1]
25 knots (46 km/h) submerged [1]
Complement: Two crews of 13 officers and 130 enlisted [1]
Armament: 4 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes for Mark 48 torpedoes[1]
16 × vertical tubes for Polaris or Poseidon ballistic missiles[1]

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.[3] 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.[4]


Submarines of the Lafayette class:[5]

See also



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