USS Lafayette (SSBN-616)

USS Lafayette (SSBN-616), the lead ship of her class of ballistic missile submarine, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named to honor Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), a French military hero who fought alongside and significantly aided the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.
Lafayette's keel was laid down on 17 January 1961 by the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched 8 May 1962, sponsored by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, and commissioned 23 April 1963 at Groton, Connecticut, with Commander P. J. Hannifin in command of the Blue Crew and Commander James T. Strong in command of the Gold Crew.
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 all were upgraded to carry the Poseidon C3 missile; their missile tubes were slightly larger than the Ethan Allen and George Washington classes and Poseidon was designed to take advantage of this
The Lafayettes and their successors were equipped with a hovering system to manage trim more effectively when firing missiles; this increased the missile rate of fire from one per minute to four per minute.
The Lafayettes were decommissioned between 1986 and 1992, 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 (Daniel Webster) remains out of commission but converted to a Moored Training Ship (MTS-626) with the missile compartment removed. She is stationed at Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston, South Carolina, along with USS Sam Rayburn (MTS-635).

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