The American missile cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, launched between 1981 and 1992, were the first operative ships fitted with the AEGIS combat
system. The huge cost of this system rendered prohibitive its installation in nuclear-powered units under the restrictive budgets of the late 1970s.
The AEGIS was developed to repel the saturation missile attacks that would be expected as the base of the Soviet tactic to
neutralize the western aircraft carriers during the 1980s.
The solution adopted was the installation in the superstructures of the ships of four fixed planar antennas SPY-1 covering a 45-degree sector. Each
SPY-1 has over 4000 radiant elements that can detect multiple targets and direct multiple weapons towards them. The targets are evaluated and
listed according to their danger level and distance, either automatically or manually.
At larger distances air threats can be intercepted by SM-2 missiles; these differentiate from former models in that they require only the terminal
illumination of the target. During the rest of the flight path the missiles are automatically directed to an intermediate interception point
predetermined by the AEGIS system. This allows to keep in the air not less than 18 missiles besides the four missiles in terminal phase. A computer
quickly switches the illuminators from one target to another. At shorter distances the support is given by two 127-millimeter cannons and the last
self-defense resort are the two Vulcan Phalanx CIWS.
The ships of the Ticonderoga class were designated to serve as flagships and they were put in permanent contact with a CIC (Combat Information Center)
that integrates all the data supplied by other ships and aircraft. The class has mumerous units built and it was contemplated that they operated
in conjunction with the antisubmarine (ASW) destroyers of the Spruance class and a new type of antiaircraft (AAW) destroyer denominated DDGX.
Ticonderoga class: Group I (5 units - Thomas S. Gates (CG-51), Ticonderoga (CG-47), Yorktown (CG-48), Valley Forge (CG-50), Vincennes (CG-49));
Group II (22 units - Antietam (CG-54), Anzio (CG-68), Bunker Hill (CG-52), Cape St. George (CG-71), Chancellorsville (CG-62), Chosin (CG-65),
Cowpens (CG-63), Gettysburg (CG-64), Hue City (CG-66), Lake Champlain (CG-57), Lake Erie (CG-70), Leyte Gulf (CG-55), Mobile Bay (CG-53),
Monterey (CG-61), Normandy (CG-60), Philippine Sea (CG-58), Port Royal (CG-73), Princeton (CG-59), San Jacinto (CG-56), Shiloh (CG-67),
Vella Gulf (CG-72), Vicksburg (CG-69))
Type: Missile cruiser
Length: 172.8 meters
Beam: 16.8 meters
Draught: 9.5 meters
Displacement (full load): 9600 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 4 x gas turbine LM 2500, 80000 horsepower
Speed: 30 knots (55.5 kilometers/hour)
Range: 6000 nautical miles (11112 kilometers) at 20 knots
Armament (Group I): 2 x Harpoon SSM quadruple launcher, 2 x Mk 26 Standard SM-2 SAM/ASROC twin launcher, 2 x Mk 45 127-millimeter 54-caliber dual-purpose cannon,
2 x Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx CIWS 20-millimeter cannon, 2-4 x 12.7-millimeter machine gun, 6 x Mk 32 324-millimeter ASW torpedo tube, 2 x Seahawk LAMPS III ASW helicopter
Armament (Group II): 2 x Harpoon SSM quadruple launcher, 2 x Mk 41 61-cell Vertical Launch System, 2 x Mk 45 127-millimeter 54-caliber dual-purpose cannon,
2 x Mk 38 25-millimeter cannon, 2 x Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx CIWS 20-millimeter cannon, 2-4 x 12.7-millimeter machine gun, 2 x Mk 32 triple 324-millimeter ASW torpedo launcher, 2 x Seahawk LAMPS III ASW helicopter