California-class cruiser

The California class cruisers were a set of two of nuclear-powered guided missile cruisers operated by the United States Navy between 1974 and 1998. Other than their nuclear power supply and lack of helicopter hangars, ships of the California class were comparable to other guided missile cruisers of their era, such as the Belknap class. The class was built as a follow-up to the nuclear-powered Long Beach, Bainbridge, and Truxtun classes. Like all of the nuclear cruisers, which could steam for years between refuelings, the California class was designed in part to provide high endurance escort for the navy's nuclear aircraft carriers, which were often limited in range due to their conventionally powered escorts continuously needing to be refueled.

California-class cruiser
Class Ship
Type Cruiser
Manufacturer Newport News Shipbuilding
Production Period 1970 - 1972
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1971
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America 1974 1999 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Newport News Shipbuilding 1970 1972 2 View
ShipKeel laidLaunchedCommissionedDecommissionedFate
California(CGN-36)23 January 197022 September 197116 February 19749 July 1999Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program atBremerton, 2000
South Carolina(CGN-37)1 December 19701 July 197225 January 197530 July 1999Disposed of through Ship-Submarine Recycling Program atBremerton, 2007

Builders: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Truxtun-class cruiser
Belknap-class cruiser
Succeeded by: Virginia-class cruiser
Built: 1970–1974
In commission: 1974–1999
Completed: 2
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile cruiser
Displacement: 10,600 long tons (10,800 t)
Length: 587 ft (179 m)
Beam: 61 ft (19 m)
Draft: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Electric D2G reactorsgenerating 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)
Speed: In excess of 30 knots (56 km/h)
Complement: 40 officers and 544 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-48E 3-D Air search radar
AN/SPS-49 2-D Air search radarNTU
AN/SPS-55 Surface search radar
AN/SPG-51 Missile fire control radar
Mk 86 Gun Fire Control System
AN/SPQ-9 Search and fire control radar
AN/SPG-60 Gun fire control radar
AN/SQS-26 Bow mounted sonar
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
AN/SLQ-32
Mark 36 SRBOC
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie
Armament: 2 × Mk 141 Harpoon missilelaunchers
2 × 5 inch/54 caliber Mk 45 lightweight guns
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
1 × ASROC missile launcher
2 × Mk 13 missile launchers forRIM-66D Standard missiles (MR)
6 × 12.75" torpedo tubes for Mark 46 torpedoes
4 × .50 caliber machine guns
Aviation facilities: Helicopter deck aft able to accommodate SH-2 SeaspriteLAMPS Mk1, SH-3 Sea King, andCH-46 Sea Knight helicopters. No hangar facility.

End notes