The Ticonderoga class are equipped with the Aegis Combat System which integrates the ship’s electronic sensors and weapons systems to engage anti-ship missile threats.

Introduce

The world is witnessing a return to the competition of great powers and the rivalry at sea is no exception. Until now, the US Navy, Russia, Japan or China are in the hands of the leading surface warships in the world.

Speaking of cruisers, Russia owns the largest cruisers on the planet with four Kirov-class cruisers, which have a full displacement of up to 28,000 tons, an impressive figure. But, in terms of quantity and modernity, the Russian Navy currently has no warship-class comparable to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruiser.

As the only cruiser-class and the pride of the US Navy, Ticonderoga-class ships began to be built from 1980 to 1994, were designed to be elements of carrier battle groups or amphibious ready groups, as well as performing missions such as interdiction or escort. It is also the first US Navy warship equipped with AN/SPY-1 radar, SM-2 missile system and Aegis combat system.

The U.S. Navy has owned up to 27 of these state-of-the-art cruisers with comprehensive attack and ballistic missile defense capabilities. Despite eliminating 5 units in 2004 and 2005, the number of remaining cruisers showed the superiority of the US Navy to any Navy forces in the world.

Ticonderoga-class cruiser

Design

The first ship of this series, DDG-47, was ordered and approved for financial budgets in 1978, on demand as a guided missile destroyer. But then in January 1980, while in the process of framing and hulling, she was reclassified into a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, and re-identified as CG-47.

The new cruiser’s design was based on the Spruance-class destroyer. She has a characteristic semi-cylindrical elongated shape that reaches the bow, extending up to 85% of its length. On the bow of the ship is placed a special handrail with a length of about 40m and a height of about 1.4m to reduce the impact of ocean waves in bad weather on the 127mm cannon and the MK-41 vertical launch systems. To avoid the vibration and strong impact with ocean waves, the hull cruiser is equipped with a stabilization system. The steel lines along the hull are also designed to reduce the impact of the waves on the sides and hull.

Initially the ships were designed with a displacement of 6,900 tons, after adjusting the design, the displacement was increased to 9,600 tons. Other specifications of the ship include a length of 172.8m (566.93 ft), a beam of 16.8m (55.12 ft) and a draft of 10.2m (33.46 ft).

These ships’ superstructures were a modification of that on the Spruance-class destroyers, behind the bridge and in the middle of the architecture of the deck is the radar antennae. The ships is made of super durable materials such as aluminum alloy, synthetic resin and wear-resistant coatings.

The magazines were protected by 25 mm thick steel plates, the most important part of the superstructure is protected by honeycomb steel plates, the top floor is covered with a layer of anti-wear and anti-rust vinyl.

Compared with other US warships, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser has increased the crew area. The living compartments are located in the space between the hull and the deck. The small bunk beds are assembled into blocks with 6 beds, and are separated by thin partitions, the designers also arranged small compartments for rest and study.

The Ticonderoga cruisers are capable of operating in enemy areas that using destructive weapons on a large scale, there are no windows on the deck and hull, work and living compartments are equipped with air filtration equipment.

Electronic systems

The Ticonderoga class are equipped with the Aegis Combat System which integrates the ship’s electronic sensors and weapons systems to engage anti-ship missile threats. This system is a combination of  the AN/SPY-1 multifunction radar, the command and decision system, Aegis display system and the weapon control system. Two paired phased array radars automatically detect and track air contacts to beyond 322 km.

Under the US Navy’s cruiser modernisation programme, the Ticonderoga cruisers will be upgraded to the latest Aegis Baseline 7.1 system, the upgrade began in 2008. In addition, the Ticonderoga class is equipped with the Lockheed Martin AN/SQQ-89 sonar combines hull-mounted active search and attack sonar and passive towed array.

The ship is equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Nixie towed torpedo decoy, and six to eight mk 36 six-barrel launchers for SRBOC, which fire infrared decoys and chaff. The ship’s electronic support measures and countermeasures system is the Raytheon AN/SLQ-32.

Propulsion

The ship is equipped with four General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engines drive two shafts with controllable-pitch propellers. The total capacity is 86,000 horsepower, helping the ship reach a maximum speed of 32.5 knots, a range of 6000 nautical miles at 20 knots and 3300 nautical miles at 30 knots.

Armament

Ticonderoga is armed to the teeth with two 127mm guns, one at the bow and the other at the stern, which capable of firing 32kg shells to a target range of 22km at a maximum firing rate of 20 rounds a minute.

The point-defense weapon system is two 20mm Phalanx Block 1B, capable of firing 3,000 to 4000 rounds a minute to a target range of 1.5km. This system is used to deal with short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defenses. In addition, the ship is also equipped with two 25mm Mk 38 gun, 2 to 4 12.7mm machine gun.

Five first Ticonderoga-class warships were installed with two Mk 26 missile launchers that supported RIM-66 Standard and RUR-5 ASROC missiles. The remaining ships were later replaced by two mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems, allow the ship to have 122 missile storage and launching tubes that can carry a wide variety of missiles, including the Tomahawk cruise missile, Standard surface-to-air missile, Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile, and ASROC antisubmarine warfare guided rockets. More importantly, the VLS enables all missiles to be on full standby at any given time, shortening the warship’s response time before firing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-5NtbGSqbY

For anti-surface ships, two four-cell launchers for RGM-84 Harpoon surface-to-surface missile system are installed on the gun deck at the stern of the ship, this missile has a range up to 125km. For anti-submarine warfare, the ship was installed a triple 324mm-tube torpedo launcher is capable of launching the mk32 torpedo.

The US Navy is proposing soon to decommission six of its 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers, if this happens, which would be an opportunity for close US partners, which could be awarded or acquired these warship. Although the Ticonderoga cruiser may seem outdated to the US navy, but compared to other warships that most other nations use, they are still much more powerful.

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