USS Kamehameha (SSBN-642)

The class was an evolutionary development from the earlier Lafayette-class of fleet ballistic missile submarine. Having quieter machinery and other improvements, they are considered a separate class.
The Benjamin Franklin class, together with the George Washington, Ethan Allen, Lafayette, and James Madison classes, comprise the "41 for Freedom" that were the Navy's main contribution to the nuclear deterrent force through the late 1980s.
The Benjamin Franklin-class submarines were built with the Polaris A-3 ballistic missile, and in the early 1970s were converted to carry 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 James Madison-class boats. These were Benjamin Franklin, Simon Bolivar, George Bancroft, Henry L. Stimson, Francis Scott Key, and Mariano G. Vallejo.
This class can be distinguished by the fairwater planes' location halfway up the sail; the Lafayettes and James Madisons had the fairwater planes in the upper front portion of the sail.In the early 1990s, to make room for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines within the limits set by the SALTII strategic arms limitation treaty, the ballistic missile tubes of Kamehameha and James K. Polk were disabled. Those boats were redesignated special operations attack submarines and given attack submarine (SSN) hull classification symbols. They were equipped with dry deck shelters to accommodate SEALDelivery Vehicles or other equipment.
The Benjamin Franklins were decommissioned between 1992 and 2002 due to a combination of SALTII treaty limitations as the Ohio class SSBNs entered service, age, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. USS Kamehameha was decommissioned on 2 April 2002, the last ship of the Benjamin Franklin class to be decommissioned.

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