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James Madison-class submarine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USS John C. Calhoun (SSBN-630).jpg
USS John C. Calhoun (SSBN-630) entering Holy Loch, Scotland on completion of the thousandth Polaris nuclear deterrent patrol, 18 May 1972.[1]
Class overview
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Lafayette-class submarine
Succeeded by: Benjamin Franklin-class submarine
Built: 1962–1964
In commission: 1964–1995
Completed: 10
Retired: 10
Preserved: 1 (As Training Vessel - SSBN-635)
General characteristics
Type: Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarine

Surfaced: 7,325 long tons (7,443 t)

Submerged: 8,251 long tons (8,383 t)[3]
Length: 425 ft (130 m)[4]
Beam: 33 ft (10 m) [4]
Draft: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m) [4]
  • 16 knots (30 km/h) surfaced
  • 21 knots (39 km/h) submerged[3]
Test depth: 1,300 feet (400 m)[3]
Complement: Two crews of 14 officers and 126 enlisted[3]
Armament: 16 Polaris A3 or Poseidon C3 or Trident I C4 missiles, 4 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, 12 torpedoes[3]

The James Madison class of submarine was an evolutionary development from the Lafayette class of fleet ballistic missile submarine. They were identical to the Lafayettes except for being initially designed to carry the Polaris A-3 missile instead of the earlier A-2. This class, together with the George Washington, Ethan Allen, Lafayette, and Benjamin Franklin classes, composed the "41 for Freedom" that was the Navy's primary contribution to the nuclear deterrent force through the late 1980s. This class and the Benjamin Franklin class are combined with the Lafayettes in some references.


In the early 1970s all were modified for the Poseidon C-3 missile. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, six boats were further modified to carry the Trident I C-4 missile, along with six Benjamin Franklin-class boats. These were James Madison, Daniel Boone, John C. Calhoun, Von Steuben, Casimir Pulaski, and Stonewall Jackson.[5]


The James Madisons were decommissioned between 1986 and 1995 due to a combination of SALT II treaty limitations as the Ohio class SSBNs entered service, age, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. One (Sam Rayburn) remains out of commission but converted to a Moored Training Ship (MTS-635) with the missile compartment removed. She is stationed at Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston, South Carolina, along with USS Daniel Webster (MTS-626).[5]

Boats in class

Submarines of the James Madison class:[5][6] (Submarines marked with * indicate Trident I C-4 ballistic missile conversions.)

Name Hull number Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
James Madison* SSBN-627 Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. 5 March 1962 15 March 1963 28 July 1964 Decommissioned 20 November 1992. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1997
Tecumseh SSBN-628 General Dynamics Electric Boat 1 June 1962 22 June 1963 29 May 1964 Decommissioned 23 July 1993. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1994
Daniel Boone* SSBN-629 Mare Island Naval Shipyard 6 February 1962 22 June 1963 23 April 1964 Decommissioned 18 February 1994. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1994
John C. Calhoun* SSBN-630 Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. 4 June 1962 22 June 1963 15 September 1964 Decommissioned 28 March 1994. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1994
Ulysses S. Grant SSBN-631 General Dynamics Electric Boat 18 August 1962 2 November 1963 17 July 1964 Decommissioned 12 June 1992. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1992
Von Steuben* SSBN-632 Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. 4 September 1962 18 October 1963 30 September 1964 Decommissioned 26 February 1994. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 2001
Casimir Pulaski* SSBN-633 General Dynamics Electric Boat 12 January 1963 1 February 1964 14 August 1964 Decommissioned 7 March 1994. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1994
Stonewall Jackson* SSBN-634 Mare Island Naval Shipyard 4 July 1962 30 November 1963 26 August 1964 Decommissioned 9 February 1995. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 1995
Sam Rayburn SSBN-635 Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. 3 December 1962 20 December 1963 2 December 1964 Decommissioned 31 July 1989. Converted to Moored Training Ship (MTS-635) with missile compartment removed.
Nathanael Greene SSBN-636 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 21 May 1962 12 May 1964 19 December 1964 Decommissioned 15 December 1986. Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program, 2000

See also


  1. ^ John C. Calhoun at
  2. ^ a b c d e "SSBN-616 Lafayette-Class FBM Submarines" from the FAS Archived 23 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e f Friedman, Norman (1994). U.S. Submarines Since 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 199–203, 244. ISBN 1-55750-260-9.
  4. ^ a b c "USS James Madison (SSBN 627)" from the
  5. ^ a b c Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p.612.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) California Center for Military History (dead link 2015-05-09)

External links

This page was last edited on 16 December 2020, at 07:26
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