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Encyclopedia > George Washington class submarine
George Washington class ballistic missile submarine
Class Overview
Class Type Ballistic Missile Submarine
Class Name In honor of President George Washington
Preceded By Thresher/Permit-class attack submarine
USS Tullibee
Succeded By Ethan Allen-class ballistic missile submarine
Ships of the Class: George Washington, Patrick Henry, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln

The George Washington class of United States Navy submarine were the first ballistic missile submarines in the world. Together with the Ethan Allen, the Lafayette, the James Madison, and the Benjamin Franklin classes, they comprised the "41 for Freedom." The December 1959 commissioning of George Washington (SSBN-598), the class's lead ship, gave the United States a stealth platform with enormous nuclear firepower, a powerful deterrent and weapon in the Cold War. Download high resolution version (2100x1267, 301 KB)USS George Washington (SSBN-598) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... USS Los Angeles A submarine is a specialized watercraft that can operate underwater. ... The President of the United States is the head of state of the United States. ... George Washington, (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) is one of the most famous Americans (see Father of the Nation[1]). He was a gentleman farmer who became an American general and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and later the first... The Thresher/Permit class of United States Navy submarines was the result of a study commissioned in 1956 by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Arleigh Burke. ... USS Tullibee (SSN-597), a unique submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the tullibee, any of several whitefishes of central and northern North America. ... The Ethan Allen class of fleet ballistic missile submarine was an evolutionary development from the George Washington class. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... The Ethan Allen class of fleet ballistic missile submarine was an evolutionary development from the George Washington class. ... The Lafayette class of submarine was an evolutionary development from the Ethan Allen class of fleet ballistic missile submarine, slightly larger and generally improved. ... The James Madison class of submarine was an evolutionary development from the Lafayette class of fleet ballistic missile submarine. ... The Benjamin Franklin class of submarine was an evolutionary development from the James Madison class of fleet ballistic missile submarine. ... 1959 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The ceremonies involved in commissioning ships into a military force are based in traditions thousands of years old. ... USS George Washington (SSBN-598), the lead ship of her class, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for George Washington, first President of the United States. ... For the generic term for a high-tension rivalry between countries, see cold war (war). ...


The United States Navy ordered a class of nuclear-powered submarines armed with long-range strategic missiles on 31 December 1957, and tasked Electric Boat with converting two existing attack submarine hulls to ballistic missile-carrying boats to quickly create the deterrent force. To accomplish this conversion, Electric Boat persuaded the Navy in January 1958 to slip the launch dates for two Skipjack-class fast attack submarines, the just-begun Scorpion (SSN-589) and the not-yet-started Sculpin (SSN-590). On 12 February 1958, President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower signed funding for three ballistic missile submarines. The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Electric Boat is sometimes used as a colloquial abbreviation for the US Electric Boat Corporation. ... Electric Boat is sometimes used as a colloquial abbreviation for the US Electric Boat Corporation. ... 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Skipjack class of United States Navy nuclear attack submarine was the replacement for the Skate class. ... USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the scorpion, (hence the Scorpius constellation on its insignia). ... USS Sculpin (SSN-590), a Skipjack-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sculpin, a spiny, large-headed, broad-mouthed, usually scaleless fish of the family Cottidae. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The President of the United States is the head of state of the United States. ... Dwight David Ike Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969), American soldier and politician, was the 34th President of the United States (1953–1961) and Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, with the rank of General of the Army. ...


The George Washingtons were essentially Skipjacks with a 130 foot (40 m) missile compartment ("Sherwood Forest"), inserted between the ship's control navigation areas and the nuclear reactor compartment. In the case of the lead ship, George Washington (SSBN-598), that is literally the case: the keel already laid by Electric Boat at Groton, Connecticut for Scorpion was cut apart and extended to become the keel for George Washington. Then Electric Boat and Mare Island Naval Shipyard began construction of one other boat each from extended plans. The Skipjack class of United States Navy nuclear attack submarine was the replacement for the Skate class. ... USS George Washington (SSBN-598), the lead ship of her class, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for George Washington, first President of the United States. ... Electric Boat is sometimes used as a colloquial abbreviation for the US Electric Boat Corporation. ... Waterfront of Groton, Connecticut looking upriver Groton is a town located on the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut. ... Electric Boat is sometimes used as a colloquial abbreviation for the US Electric Boat Corporation. ... The Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINS) was the first United States Navy shipyard established on the Pacific Coast. ...


President Eisenhower authorized construction of two more submarines on 29 July 1958. Newport News Naval Shipyard and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard began work immediately. July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Portsmouth Naval Shipyard The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS), often called the Portsmouth Navy Yard, is a United States Navy shipyard for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navys ships. ...


USS George Washington (SSBN-598) began the first strategic deterrent patrol on 15 November 1960, and USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) departed for patrol on 31 January 1961. George Washington returned from patrol on 21 January 1961, coming alongside the tender USS Proteus (AS-19) at New London, Connecticut. Patrick Henry returned from patrol on 8 March 1961, also tying up alongside Proteus, which was now in Holy Loch, Scotland, beginning the use of Holy Loch as a refit and upkeep anchorage. USS George Washington (SSBN-598), the lead ship of her class, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for George Washington, first President of the United States. ... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... 1960 was a leap year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... USS Patrick Henry (SSBN/SSN-599), christened after a American Revolutionary War figure by the same name, was a George Washington-class fleet ballistic missile submarine of the United States Navy. ... January 31 is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1961 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1961 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... The third USS Proteus (AS–19) was a Fulton-class submarine tender in the United States Navy. ... View of New London from across the Thames River New London, Connecticut is a city in New London County, at the mouth of the Thames River and on the northeastern shore of Long Island Sound. ... March 8 is the 67th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (68th in Leap years). ... 1961 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Holy Loch seen across the Firth of Clyde with Dunoon on the left The Holy Loch is a body of water in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. ... Scotland (Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is a country in northwest Europe and a constituent nation of the United Kingdom. ...


The George Washingtons carried the Polaris A1 missile on their patrols until 2 June 1964, when George Washington changed out her missiles for Polaris A3s. The last of the class, USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602) swapped out her A1s for A3s on 14 October 1965. The Polaris Missile was a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) carrying a nuclear warhead developed during the Cold War for the United States Navy. ... 2 June is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ... 1964 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN-602), a George Washington-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the 16th President of the United States. ... October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in Leap years). ... 1965 was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ...


In the early 1980s, to make room within the limitations imposed by SALT II for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Robert E. Lee had their missiles removed and were reclassified as attack submarines, a role in which they served for several years prior to decommissioning. // Events and trends The 1980s marked an abrupt shift towards more conservative lifestyles after the momentous cultural revolutions which took place in the 60s and 70s and the definition of the AIDS virus in 1981. ... SALT II was a second round of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks from 1972-1979 between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which sought to curtail the manufacture of strategic nuclear weapons. ... The United States has 18 Ohio class submarines: 14 nuclear-powered SSBNs, each armed with 24 Trident II SLBMs; they are also known as Trident submarines, and provide the sea-based leg of the triad of the United States strategic deterrent forces 4 nuclear-powered SSGNs, each armed with 154... USS George Washington (SSBN-598), the lead ship of her class, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for George Washington, first President of the United States. ... USS Patrick Henry (SSBN/SSN-599), christened after a American Revolutionary War figure by the same name, was a George Washington-class fleet ballistic missile submarine of the United States Navy. ... USS (SSBN-601), a George Washington-class submarine, was the only submarine of the United States Navy to be named for Robert E. Lee, the commanding general of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. ...


General Characteristics

  • Length: 381.6 feet (116.3 m)
  • Beam: 33 feet (10 m)
  • Displacement: 5400 tons light, 6000 tons surfaced, 6800 tons submerged
  • Power Plant: S5W reactor, two geared turbines at 15,000 shp (11 MW) to one shaft
  • Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h) surfaced, 25 knots (46 km/h) submerged
  • Depth: 700 feet (210 m)
  • Armament: 16 tubes for Polaris missiles, six torpedo tubes

The Westinghouse Electric Corporations S5W nuclear reactor was the standard reactor for ships of the United States Navy from its first use in 1959 in the USS Skipjack to the introduction of the Los Angeles class submarines in the mid-1970s. ... The Polaris Missile was a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) carrying a nuclear warhead developed during the Cold War for the United States Navy. ...

Boats

  • (SSBN-598) USS George Washington
  • (SSBN-599) USS Patrick Henry
  • (SSBN-600) USS Theodore Roosevelt
  • (SSBN-601) USS Robert E. Lee
  • (SSBN-602) USS Abraham Lincoln

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Submarines are useful to a military because they can approach their attack victim without necessarily being detected, then strike at close range.
The first military submarine was the Turtle, a hand-powered spherical contraption designed by American David Bushnell that accommodated a single man. During the American Revolutionary War, the Turtle attempted and failed to sink a British warship, the HMS Eagle in New York harbor on September 7, 1776.
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