Benjamin Franklin class submarine
The Benjamin Franklin class
of submarine was an evolutionary development from the James Madison class
of fleet ballistic missile submarine. The class was created in the early 1980s
when its members, built as James Madison
s, were upgraded to an improved propulsion plant and the ability to carry the Trident C-4 missile
instead of the earlier Polaris A-2
. Together with
the George Washington
the Ethan Allen
the James Madison
classes, they comprised the "41 for Freedom."
In the early 1980s, to make room for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines within the limits set by SALT II, the missile tubes of
James K. Polk
were disabled. Those boats were redesignated special operations attack submarines and given SSN hull classification symbols.