41 for Freedom

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Typical FBM Submarine
"41 for Freedom" Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) submarines
Class overview
Operators:  United States Navy
Succeeded by: Ohio class
Built: 1 November 1958 to 20 March 1965
Completed: 41
Active: 0
Lost: 0
Retired: 41
Preserved: 0
General characteristics
Length: 381–425 ft (116–130 m) (depending on class)[1]
Beam: 33 feet (10 m)[1]
Draft: 31 feet (9.4 m)[1]
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[1]
Test depth: In excess of 400 ft (120 m)[1]
Complement: 14 officers, 140 enlisted[1]
Armament: 4 × 21 inches (533 mm) bow torpedo tubes
16 × SLBMs depending upon class and vessel:[2]
UGM-27 Polaris
UGM-73 Poseidon
UGM-96A Trident

41 for Freedom refers to the US Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) submarines from the George Washington, Ethan Allen, Lafayette, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin classes. All of these submarines were commissioned 1959-1967, as the goal was to create a credible, survivable sea-based deterrent as quickly as possible. These submarines were nicknamed "41 for Freedom" once the goal of 41 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) was established in the early 1960s. The 1972 SALT I Treaty limited the number of American submarine-launched ballistic missile tubes to 656, based on the total missile tubes of the forty-one submarines, in line with the treaty's goal of limiting strategic nuclear weapons to the number already existing.[3]

Overview[edit]

The "41 for Freedom" nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) were armed with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to create a deterrent force against the threat of nuclear war with any foreign power threatening the United States during the Cold War.

The US Navy created a new submarine classification for these boats: SSBN. The first of the "41 for Freedom" submarines to be completed was George Washington, which was commissioned on 30 December 1959. The last of these submarines to be commissioned was Will Rogers, which was commissioned on 1 April 1967. These 41 were superseded by the submarines of the Ohio class 1980-1992.

Kamehameha, operating as a SEAL platform in her later years, was decommissioned on 2 April 2002, the last boat of the original "41 for Freedom" submarines in commission, and the oldest submarine in the US Navy. Almost 37 years old, she held the record for the longest service lifetime of any nuclear-powered submarine. As of 2014, two remain in service but decommissioned as nuclear power training vessels attached to Naval Nuclear Power School at Charleston, South Carolina, USS Daniel Webster (SSBN-626) and USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN-635).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Jane's Fighting Ships, 1971–72
  2. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships, 1985–86
  3. ^ "Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarines". Fast Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War. National Museum of American History. 2000. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 

External links[edit]

From the Federation of American Scientists: