The Benjamin Franklin class of submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...
was an evolutionary development from the 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 . The Benjamin Franklin class, together with the , , , and classes, comprise the "41 for Freedom
The Benjamin Franklin-class submarines were built with the Polaris A-3 ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...
, 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)
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles . The Fleet Ballistic Missile is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines . Trident missiles are carried by fourteen...
Two submarines of this class were converted for delivery of special warfare units ashore. In the early 1990s, to make room for the ballistic missile submarines within the limits set by the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty, the ballistic missile tubes of and were disabled. Those boats were redesignated special operations
Special operations are military operations that are considered "special" .Special operations are typically performed independently or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does...
attack submarines and given attack submarine (SSN) hull numbers
The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use hull classification symbols to identify their ship types and each individual ship within each type...
USS Kamehameha was decommissioned
To decommission a ship is to terminate her career in service in the armed forces of her nation. A somber occasion, it has little of the elaborate ceremony of ship commissioning, but carries significant tradition....
on 2 April 2002, the last ship of the Benjamin Franklin class to be decommissioned.
Submarines of the Benjamin Franklin class:
(Submarines marked with * indicate Trident C-4 ballistic missile conversions.) * * * * * *