The Ticonderoga class is the only active class of cruisers in service with the United States Army. the military the ships are more advanced than the Russian Slava class but are inferior to other cruisers such as the Chinese Type 055 or the Russian Kirov class. However, many believe that the Zumwalt class are more cruisers than destroyers, and with this condition, the Zumwalt outperforms all of these ships. But, according to the US Navy, the successors to the Ticonderoga are some Arleigh Burke Flight III destroyers and the upcoming DDG project. To date, there are 21 active ships of the class, five retired and one on the dock.
The Ticondera class: an overview
First of all, the Ticonderoga class consists of 27 guided missile cruisers which began service in 1983. Their production lasted from 1980 to 1994 and succeeded the US Navy’s Virginia-class guided missile cruiser. The military vessel is crewed by 364 men and the ship has a length of 567 feet, a beam of 55 feet, a draft of 31 feet and a displacement of 9,960 tons when fully loaded. Ingalls Shipbuilding based its design on the Spruance-class destroyer. The US Navy planned for the Ticonderoga class to operate as destroyers, but that changed due to the ship’s expanded capabilities thanks to the AEGIS combat system. With the new offensive and defensive capabilities, the ship proved to function as a missile cruiser.
At the time of their early deployment, the ships were the United States Navy’s most advanced electronic warfare and underwater surveillance system ships. The ships were the first military vessels to be equipped with the AEGIS weapon system. The system’s primary radar is the SPY-1A radar, a combination that allowed cruisers to lead the fleet as flagships. Both phased array radars can detect air targets within a range of 200 miles. Later, the ability to track ballistic missiles extended the capabilities of this already advanced cruiser. The AEGIS system essentially provides a full defensive reaction when the warship faces possible threats. In addition to this, the US Navy has equipped the ships with countless advanced radars and sensors to effectively track any type of enemy unit.
But what is the best way to neutralize an incoming threat? Of course, meeting it offensively, and that’s why the Ticonderoga class carry various heavy weaponry. Of the 27 ships, the first five carry the Mk. 26 launchers, but the other 22 have Mk. 41 VLS launchers of 127 cells each. The VLS can launch missiles for any possible threat, such as the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow surface-to-air missile, the BGM-109 Tomahawk land attack missile, the RUM-139A VL-ASROCK anti-submarine missile, the RGB -84 Harpoon anti-ship missile and more. In other armaments, cruisers have the Phalanx CIWS, MK 32 triple 12.75-inch torpedo tubes for launching torpedoes, 50-inch (12.7 mm) machine guns, and more. Finally, the Ticonderoga class can accommodate two aircraft: the Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.
Given the systems and armory of the Ticonderoga-class cruisers, it makes sense that the US Navy classifies these ships as cruisers rather than destroyers. Ships have been key weapons for the Navy for many decades.
Ticonderoga Retirement Plans
Between 2004 and 2005, the United States Navy decommissioned the first five ships of the class equipped with Mk 26 launchers. Since then, the Navy has also attempted to retire some other cruisers of the class, but Congress has not approved as this would reduce the size of the fleet in numbers. However, the withdrawal of these first five ships is quite logical considering that they did not even have VLS launchers. The US Navy suggests that their retirement money will go to future projects that will further strengthen the fleet. A report to Congress, the annual long-range plan for the construction of warships, included a retirement plans for cruisers.
The U.S. Navy will decommission seven ships in 2022, two more in 2023, and two in 2024. The statement said the Ticonderoga-class cruiser Chancellorsville will begin retirement in 2026. These official reports have drawn a lot of mixed feelings from officials and citizens. look alike. The US Navy and Congress have received criticism over the latest cruiser decisions. The only thing that will calm all of this will be the next generation destroyers and cruisers that will eventually succeed the Ticonderoga class.
The USS Arleigh Burke-class destroyers fulfill all the criteria for this role and sit at the top of the most powerful destroyers on Earth.
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