USS Lafayette SSBN 616
Polaris Missile

                                                                  The Polaris Missile was a submarine-
                                                                  launched ballistic missile carrying a nuclear 
                                                                  warhead developed during the Cold War 
                                                                  for the United States Navy.  Lockheed
                                                                  developed it as a solid fuel Fleet Ballistic
                                                                  Missile (FBM) for the US Navy. The first
                                                                  successful test flight was from Cape
                                                                  Canaveral on January 7, 1960.  The nuclear
                                                                  warhead was developed at the Lawrence
                                                                  Livermore National. In July 1960, the Navy
                                                                  accepted delivery of the first 16 warheads
                                                                  and on November 15 the first Polaris missile
                                                                  was test launched from a submarine.  The
                                                                  missile was 12.3 m (40.5 ft) long and with a
                                                                  finspan of 2.6 m (8.5 ft) and capable of
                                                                  delivering a 1 MT warhead 4000 km.
                      ​                                            
                                                                  The Polaris's first version, the A-1, weighed
                                                                  28,800 lb (13 t), stood 28.5 ft (8.7 m) tall, had
                                                                  a diameter of 54 in (1.4 m), and had a range 
                                                                  of 1000 nautical miles (1,852 km). A test launch from the submarine on July 20, 1960, was the first ever rocket launch from a submerged launch platform. The USS George Washington was the first fleet ballistic missile submarine, carrying sixteen missiles. From 1960 to 1966 a further forty SSBNs were launched.  On May 6, 1962, a Polaris missile with a live W47 warhead was tested in Operation Frigate Bird, and was the only ever test of a live nuclear missile undertaken by the United States.

Later versions (the A-2, A-3, and B-3) were 
larger, weighed more, and had longer 
ranges. The range increase was most 
important: The A-2 could fly 1500 nautical 
miles (2,300 km), the A-3 2500 nautical 
miles (4,600 km), and the B-3 2000 nautical 
miles (3,700 km). The A-3 featured 
multiple-reentry vehicles and the B-3 
was to have featured penetration aids to 
counter Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile 
defenses. The B-3 evolved into the C-3 
Poseidon missile.

Polaris missiles had two stages, both of 
which are steered by thrust vectoring. 
Guidance was via an inertial navigation 
system with accuracy down to about 900 
meters (3000 feet) CEP. This made them 
unsuitable for use against hardened 
targets, which means they were mostly 
a retaliation-type weapon.  The missile 
began to be replaced by Poseidon beginning 
in 1972, in the 1980s both were replaced by 
the Trident I.
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Date      LaunchedLaunch Pad

06/13/1963Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
06/13/1963Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
07/02/1963Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
07/02/1963Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
10/28/1964Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
10/28/1964Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
10/28/1964Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
10/28/1964Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
03/17/1966Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
03/17/1966Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
02/20/1969Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
04/04/1969Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/01/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/01/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/01/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/01/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/01/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/02/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
09/02/1971Polaris USS Lafayette SSBN616
12/16/1974PoseidonUSS Lafayette SSBN616
06/01/1977PoseidonUSS Lafayette SSBN616
06/01/1977PoseidonUSS Lafayette SSBN616
09/02/1983PoseidonUSS Lafayette SSBN616
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Missiles launched by the USS Lafayette
This database includes every documented launch of a missile, rocket or manned spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral area. The database also includes launches from other sites which were tracked by the Eastern Range. The primary source is the official log maintained by the history office at the 45th Space Wing. Additional data came from Florida Today archives and research, NASA, Boeing and Lockheed. 

http://www.floridatoday.com/maps/launches/PolarisLaunches.ht 
Updated: 7/20/2017
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