Ticonderoga-class cruiser

The Ticonderoga-class of guided missile cruisers is a class of warships in the United States Navy, first ordered and authorized in the 1978 fiscal year. The class uses passive phased-array radar and was originally planned as a class of destroyers. However, the increased combat capability offered by the Aegis Combat System and the AN/SPY-1 radar system was used to justify the change of the classification from DDG (guided missile destroyer) to CG (guided-missile cruiser) shortly before the keels were laid down for Ticonderoga and Yorktown.

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers are multi-role warships. Their Mk 41 VLS can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles to strike strategic or tactical targets, or fire long-range antiaircraft Standard Missiles for defense against aircraft or anti-ship missiles. Their LAMPS III helicopters and sonar systems allow them to perform antisubmarine missions. Ticonderoga-class ships are designed to be elements of carrier battle groups, amphibious assault groups, as well as performing missions such as interdiction or escort.

Of the 27 completed vessels, 19 were built by Ingalls Shipbuilding and eight by Bath Iron Works (BIW). All but one (Thomas S. Gates) of the ships in the class are named for noteworthy events in U.S. military history, and at least twelve; Ticonderoga, Cowpens, Anzio, Yorktown, Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, Antietam, San Jacinto, Lake Champlain, Philippine Sea, Princeton, Monterey, and Vella Gulf; share their names with World War II aircraft carriers.

Ticonderoga-class cruiser
Class Ship
Type Cruiser
Manufacturer Bath Iron Works
Production Period 1984 - 1991
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1981
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America 1983 2015 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Bath Iron Works 1984 1991 8 View
Ingalls Shipbuilding 1980 1992 19 View

The Ticonderoga-class cruiser's design was based on that of the Spruance-class destroyer. The Ticonderoga class introduced a new generation of guided missile warships based on the AEGIS phased array radar that is capable of simultaneously scanning for threats, tracking targets, and guiding missiles to interception. When they were designed, they had the most powerful electronic warfare equipment in the U.S. Navy, as well as the most advanced underwater surveillance system. These ships were one of the first classes of warships to be built in modules, rather than being assembled from the bottom up.

Operations research was used to study manpower requirements on the Ticonderoga class. It was found that four officers and 44 enlisted sailors could be removed from the ship's complement by removing traditional posts that had been made obsolete.

Name   Number   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Decommissioned   Status 
Mark-26 Twin-Arm Missile Launcher Variant
Ticonderoga CG-47 Ingalls Shipbuilding 25 April 1981 22 January 1983 30 September 2004 Stricken, disposed of by scrapping
Yorktown CG-48 Ingalls Shipbuilding 17 January 1983 4 July 1984 10 December 2004 Stricken, disposed of by scrapping
Vincennes CG-49 Ingalls Shipbuilding 14 January 1984 6 July 1985 29 June 2005 Stricken, disposed of by scrapping
Valley Forge CG-50 Ingalls Shipbuilding 23 June 1984 18 January 1986 30 August 2004 Sunk as target 2006
Thomas S. Gates CG-51 Bath Iron Works 14 December 1985 22 August 1987 16 December 2005 Sold to be scrapped in Brownsville December 2014
 Name   Number   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Home port   Status 
Mark-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) Variant
Bunker Hill CG-52 Ingalls Shipbuilding 11 March 1985 20 September 1986 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Mobile Bay CG-53 Ingalls Shipbuilding 22 August 1985 21 February 1987 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Antietam CG-54 Ingalls Shipbuilding 14 February 1986 6 June 1987 Yokosuka, Japan in active service, as of 2015
Leyte Gulf CG-55 Ingalls Shipbuilding 20 June 1986 26 September 1987 Norfolk, Virginia in active service, as of 2015
San Jacinto CG-56 Ingalls Shipbuilding 14 November 1986 23 January 1988 Norfolk, Virginia in active service, as of 2015
Lake Champlain CG-57 Ingalls Shipbuilding 3 April 1987 12 August 1988 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Philippine Sea CG-58 Bath Iron Works 12 July 1987 18 March 1989 Mayport, Florida in active service, as of 2015
Princeton CG-59 Ingalls Shipbuilding 2 October 1987 11 February 1989 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Normandy CG-60 Bath Iron Works 19 March 1988 9 December 1989 Norfolk, Virginia in active service, as of 2015
Monterey CG-61 Bath Iron Works 23 October 1988 16 June 1990 Norfolk, Virginia in active service, as of 2015
Chancellorsville CG-62 Ingalls Shipbuilding 15 July 1988 4 November 1989 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Cowpens CG-63 Bath Iron Works 11 March 1989 9 March 1991 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Gettysburg CG-64 Bath Iron Works 22 July 1989 22 June 1991 Mayport, Florida in active service, as of 2015
Chosin CG-65 Ingalls Shipbuilding 1 September 1989 12 January 1991 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in active service, as of 2015
Hué City CG-66 Ingalls Shipbuilding 1 June 1990 14 September 1991 Mayport, Florida in active service, as of 2015
Shiloh CG-67 Bath Iron Works 8 September 1990 18 July 1992 Yokosuka, Japan in active service, as of 2015
Anzio CG-68 Ingalls Shipbuilding 2 November 1990 2 May 1992 Norfolk, Virginia in active service, as of 2015
(ex-Port Royal)
CG-69 Ingalls Shipbuilding 2 August 1991 14 November 1992 Mayport, Florida in active service, as of 2015
Lake Erie CG-70 Bath Iron Works 13 July 1991 10 May 1993 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Cape St. George CG-71 Ingalls Shipbuilding 10 January 1992 12 June 1993 San Diego, California in active service, as of 2015
Vella Gulf CG-72 Ingalls Shipbuilding 13 June 1992 18 September 1993 Norfolk, Virginia in active service, as of 2015
Port Royal CG-73 Ingalls Shipbuilding 20 November 1992 4 July 1994 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in active service, as of 2015

Shoot down of Iran Air Flight 655

One ship of the class, USS Vincennes (CG-49), became infamous in 1988 when she shot down Iran Air Flight 655, resulting in 290 civilian deaths. The commanding officer of USS Vincennes, William C. Rogers III, had believed the airliner was an Iranian Air Force F-14 Tomcat fighter jet on an attack vector, based on reports of radar returns, revealed to be misinterpreted. The investigation report recommended that the AEGIS large screen display be changed to allow the display of altitude information on plots, and that stress factors on personnel using AEGIS be studied.

Interception of United States satellite USA-193

On 14 February 2008, the United States Department of Defense announced that USS Shiloh (CG-67) and USS Lake Erie (CG-70) would attempt to hit the dead satellite USA-193 over the North Pacific Ocean just before it would burn up on reentry. On 20 February 2008, at approximately 22:30 EST (21 Feb, 03:30 UTC), an SM-3 missile was fired from Lake Erie and struck the satellite. The military intended that the missile's kinetic energy would rupture the hydrazine fuel tank allowing the toxic fuel to be consumed during re-entry. The Department of Defense confirmed that the fuel tank had been directly hit by the missile.

Possible early retirement

Due to Budget Control Act of 2011 requirements to cut the Defense Budget for FY2013 and subsequent years, plans are being considered to decommission some of the Ticonderoga-class cruisers. For the U.S. Defense 2013 Budget Proposal, the U.S. Navy is to decommission seven cruisers early in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Because of these retirements, the U.S. Navy is expected to fall short of its requirement for 94 missile defense cruisers and destroyers beginning in FY 2025 and continuing past the end of the 30-year planning period. While this is a new requirement as of 2011, and the U.S. Navy has historically never had so many large missile-armed surface combatants, the relative success of the AEGIS ballistic missile defense system has shifted this national security requirement onto the U.S. Navy. Critics have charged that the early retirement of these cruisers will leave the Navy's ship fleet too small for the nation's defense tasks as the U.S. enacts a policy of "pivot" to the Western Pacific, a predominantly maritime theater. The U.S. House has passed a budget bill to require that these cruisers instead be refitted to handle the missile defense role.

By October 2012, the U.S. Navy had decided not to retire four of the cruisers early in order to maintain the size of the fleet. Four Ticonderoga-class cruisers, plus 21 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, are scheduled to be equipped to be capable of antiballistic missile and antisatellite operations.

Builders: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Bath Iron Works
Operators:  United States Navy
Preceded by: Virginia-class cruiser
Succeeded by: N/A
Built: 1980–1994
In commission: 1983–present
Completed: 27
Active: 22
Laid up: 4
Retired: 5 (CG-47 to 51)
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile cruiser
Displacement: Approx. 9,600 long tons (9,800 t) full load
Length: 567 feet (173 m)
Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)
Draft: 34 feet (10.2 meters)
Propulsion: 4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engines, 80,000 shaft horsepower (60,000 kW)
2 × controllable-reversible pitch propellers
2 × rudders
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h; 37.4 mph)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km) at 20 kn (37 km/h); 3,300 nmi (6,100 km) at 30 kn (56 km/h).
Complement: 33 officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers, and approx. 340 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPY-1A/B multi-function radar
AN/SPS-49 air search radar
AN/SPG-62 fire control radar
AN/SPS-73 surface search radar
AN/SPQ-9 gun fire control radar
AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare Suite
AN/SQQ-89(V)1/3 - A(V)15 Sonar suite, consisting of:
AN/SQS-53B/C/D active sonar
AN/SQR-19 TACTAS, AN/SQR-19B ITASS, & MFTA passive sonar
AN/SQQ-28 light airborne multi-purpose system
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
Mark 36 SRBOC
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie
Armament: cruiser mark 26
2 × Mk 26 missile launchers
68 × RIM-66 SM-2, and 20 × RUR-5 ASROC
8 × RGM-84 Harpoon missiles
2 × Mark 45 5 in / 54 cal lightweight gun
2–4 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun
2 × Phalanx CIWS
2 × Mk 32 12.75 in (324 mm) triple torpedo tubes
cruiser mark 41
2 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems containing
122 × mix of:
RIM-66M-5 Standard SM-2MR Block IIIB
RIM-156A SM-2ER Block IV
RIM-161 SM-3
RIM-174A Standard ERAM
BGM-109 Tomahawk
8 × RGM-84 Harpoon missiles
2 × Mk 45 Mod 2 5-in/54-callightweight gun
2 × 25 mm Mk 38 gun
2–4 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) gun
2 × Phalanx CIWS Block 1B
2 × Mk 32 12.75-in (324 mm) triple torpedo tubes for lightweight torpedoes
Armor: limited Kevlar splinter protection in critical areas
Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

End notes