These missile destroyers, eventually renamed missile cruisers, derived from the previous large Spruance, but with a difference in size, since they had been fully designed to implement the AEGIS system, which made them the most modern times. In fact, they are also known as the “AEGIS cruisers”. The latter system was originally designed for an anti-aircraft escort frigate, like the future California cruisers. Their design was the result of numerous studies and landmarks from the late 1970s, which resulted in the rejection of Typhoon frigate projects and heavy cruisers of the CSGN type.
Instead, a compromise solution based on the largest destroyer hulls of the time, Spruance, was preferred. The armament, cost, and effectiveness of the USS Tirconderoga, made the entire class redesigned as a class of cruisers (CGs) rather than destroyers. The AEGIS system is based on a highly efficient system of two SPY-1 solid fixed antennas installed in the front superstructure, and comprising 4080 separate phase transformers. The block is powered by its own radio frequency generator, several megawatts. This system is not for long range, but to handle a maximum of echoes and must be relayed by a SPS-49 type of airborne surveillance radar and two SPG-62 target illuminators.
The combined capability of the SM-2 (anti-aircraft and anti-ship) combined with the ability to detect and track multiple all-round targets simultaneously, makes the protection provided by a Ticonderoga much more effective than that of a previous-generation building. Despite the cost of the system, the Ticonderoga class continued with 14 operational buildings in 1990 with famous names (Yorktown, Vincennes, Valley Forge, Thomas S Gates, Buker Hill, Mobile Bay, Antienam, Leyte Gulf, San Jacinto, Lake Champlain, Philippine Sea, Princeton, Normandy, Chancellorsville). Since 1990, 12 others have entered service, the last one, USS Port Royal, in April 1994. They are all currently in active service, forming the spearhead of US naval surface forces alongside class aircraft carriers Nimitz that they escort. They have been engaged in all recent conflicts.
Displacement: 6560t standard, 8910t FL
Dimensions: 171.6 x 16.8 x 9.5 m
Propulsion: 2 propellers, 4 LM2500 gas turbines, 80,000 hp. and 30 knots
Sensors: SPY-1A Radar, SPS-49, 2 SPG-62 Firing Lines, Sonar SQS-53
Armament: 2×2 Standard SM-1 AA / AN / ASM (68 v and 20 ASROC), 2 x 127 mm AA, 2 x 3 TLT 357 mm (12 tons mk32 ASM), 8 Harpoon, 2 helicopters.