Providence-class cruiser

Originally built as Cleveland-class light cruisers (CL) in the United States Navy during World War II, in 1957 three ships were re-designated as Providence-class guided missile light cruisers (CLG) and fitted with the Terrier surface-to-air missile system. During the two year refit, the aft superstructure was completely replaced and all aft guns were removed to make room for the twin-arm Terrier launcher and a 120 missile storage magazine. Three large masts were also installed in order to hold a variety of radars, missile guidance, and communications systems. Providence and Springfield were simultaneously converted into fleet flagships, which involved removing two forward dual 5-inch (127 mm) and one triple 6-inch (152 mm) turrets, and replacing them with a massively rebuilt and expanded forward superstructure. Topeka, in the non-flagship configuration, retained the Cleveland-class's standard forward weapons: three dual 5-inch (127 mm) and two triple 6-inch (152 mm) turrets.

A similar pattern was followed in converting three other Cleveland-class ships (Galveston, Little Rock, and Oklahoma City) to operate the Talos surface-to-air missile system, creating the Galveston class. Little Rock and Oklahoma City were outfitted as fleet flagships, but Galveston was not.

Like the Galveston class cruisers, the Providence class ships suffered from serious stability problems caused by the topweight of the missile system, requiring the use of ballast to improve stability. The cruisers also suffered from hogging of the hull.

All three Providence-class ships were decommissioned to the reserve fleet between 1969 and 1974. In the 1975 cruiser realignment, Providence and Springfield were reclassified as guided missile cruisers (CG). The ships were stricken from the Naval Vessel Register between 1974 and 1980, and eventually sold for scrap.

Providence-class cruiser
Class Ship
Type Cruiser
Manufacturer Bethlehem Steel
Production Period 1943 - 1944
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1944
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America 1959 1974 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Bethlehem Steel 1943 1944 3 View


Ship   Keel laid Launched Commissioned Decommissioned
Providence (CLG-6)   July 1943   December 1944   September 1959   August 1973
Springfield (CLG-7)   February 1943   March 1944   July 1960   May 1974
Topeka (CLG-8)   April. 1943   August 1944   March 1959   June 1969

Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Galveston-class cruiser
Succeeded by: Long Beach-class cruiser
Completed: 3
Retired: 3
Preserved: 0
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile cruiser
Displacement: 15,025 tons
Length: 608 ft (185.3 m)
Beam: 64 ft (19.5 m)
Draft: 23 ft 6 in (7.1 m)
Propulsion: 4 634 psi boilers
steam turbines
4 shafts
100,000 shp
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h)
Complement: 1,120 officers and enlisted
Armament: Providence and Springfield (fleet flagship)
3 × 6 in (152 mm) guns in 1Mark 16 turret
2 × 5 in/38 cal guns in 1 Mark 32 mount
1 × twin-rail Mark 9 RIM-2 Terriermissile launcher
Topeka (non-flagship)
6 × 6 in (152 mm) guns in 2Mark 16 turrets
6 × 5 in/38 cal guns in 3 Mark 32 mounts
1 × twin-rail Mark 9 RIM-2 Terriermissile launcher

End notes