CRUISER UNDER THE Unlike Britain, the United States emerged from the Second world war, not only without any significant losses in the cruising part, but, on the contrary, with a fair surplus. Despite the immediate curtailment of the shipbuilding programme as soon as dawned the signs of victory over Japan, is ready and dostraivaniya units would be enough for the postwar fleets around the world. Accordingly, the question arose: what to do with all this “good”? For the confrontation with the Soviet Union with the stock was missing half of it, but to scrap is really quite advanced ship the hand wasn’t raised. Had to try to integrate them into a new world and new realities. Here, task number one was equipping them with modern weapons – missile.

Began the history of missile cruisers of the United States with the emergence of… cruise missiles. Yes, it’s considered more modern than now weapons were developed during the Second world war, and on its completion has resulted in something strange and frightening, referred to as the “Regulus-1”. This huge “cucumber” had a liquid-propellant rocket engine and light speed flight, not more than the fighter at the time. However, the admirals wanted to use their numerous armored “box” heavy and light cruisers under their speakers, giving them a new status impact of fleet vehicles. In 1955, “Regulus” received four heavy cruisers of the “Baltimore”: “Los Angeles”, “Helena”, “Toledo” and “Macon”. Them in the aft part of the sponsons were placed on the launcher (“Macon” has received even two), somewhat like a catapult for a seaplane. The place of winged machines in the hangars took a cruise missile. The start was a troublesome and time-consuming business, is hardly feasible without interference in the fight. And actually rocket did not Shine neither speed nor accuracy.


So the first pancake “orecchioni” was lumpy. (The Americans prefer to call it more noble – experiment.) Six years later, the complexes with cruisers quietly dismantled and chose to forget about them.

Much more serious was the program to ensure the air defence of the fleet with missiles. Americans, not without reason, feared the far aircraft of Soviet naval aviation, capable of carrying heavy rocket class “air – to-ground” (or rather, “the surface of the sea”), which could cause huge damage to the main power – aircraft carriers, and even put them on the bottom. Well remember the case not so long ago years, when in Anzio and Salerno the allies ‘ ships are literally terrorized by the German air force with their gliding bombs, a type of the new weapons. Had to push the line of defense as far as possible from the protected aircraft carriers. Because of the fundamentally limited range of artillery this was not good. The only solution here was getting the rocket. And the most powerful country in the world took the matter thoroughly, decided to not put on a “horse”, and by three. In the early 1950-ies started to develop “American Trident missile air defense fleet,” including missile complexes “Talos”, “Terrier” and “Tartar”, respectively, long -, medium-and short-range.

The first Navy ripe “Terrier”. The American “dog” could hit targets only in line of sight, and that not more than 20 km – the missile was guided by radar beam. However, according to the then level of technology made it two-stage, with the result that it turned out long and 8.3 m, and is quite heavy – 1.3 tons.


It is clear that to apply such a solid “toys” needed “platform” suitable for placement of not only the launchers, but also for storage of solid rocket ammunition. To mangle their battleships during the first experiments the Americans did not want, and not so much of reverence in front of the former “the main force of the fleet”, as a purely financial considerations. But the numerous heavy cruisers looked quite attractive for remaking in the first missile defense. Originally the head was supposed to be a pre-war cruiser “Wichita” in which all three towers of the main caliber was supposed to replace Sparky “Terriers”. However, such a large-scale restructuring of the “old guy” with a limited term of service rightly rejected. As a result, the first-born of steel and a newer and more solid “ball-timore” – “Boston” and “Canberra”. They only filmed the turret, which instead of traditional artillery linearly sublime scheme erected two paired starting the installation for launching missiles. The ships had a interesting view: their bow-the “artillery” part is remained without any changes, except maybe the massive lattice masts with a search radar, while the aft “rocket” the app was completely overhauled, with installation of not only the missiles, but two radars for their guidance on high pedestals. Results for “Boston” and “Canberra” was located 144 missiles, for 72 each spark. Constructors declared for missiles almost “gun” rate of fire two volleys per minute. In practice, however, such frequent launches was not possible, since each missile had carefully “to see off” the radar beam to hit the target. Otherwise, it turned into “polupritsepa” or quite unmanageable. However, and provided the option for firing at surface targets. So, in addition to the remaining six jasminewebcam cruiser purchased the weapons, representing a kind of a hefty explosive shells weighing 600 kg, flying at a speed of 700 m/s Seems to be nothing special, but salt was the fact that the speed of this flight did not fall, and even increased, and the ball was controlled.

However, test runs showed that not everything goes so smoothly. Designers had to develop a new model missile, the “Terrier-11”, who came to the fleet in 1960-m to year. Here is already provided for homing in the terminal phase, which had a beneficial impact on both “rate” and the ability to hit surface targets.

However, the new model missiles did not wait. On the first pair of turning artillery cruisers to hybrids has not stopped. As the next “victim” command has chosen not heavy cruisers, which could, in his opinion, too to decrease, and the lungs. For this from the reserve of the learned six, “Cleveland”, which was in most decent condition. They were divided into two equal groups: one, in the “Providence”, “Springfield” and “Topics” armed with an already proven “Terrier”, while the second three – “Galveston”, “little Rock” and “Oklahoma city” – got another, the most powerful “prong” American air “Trident” -“Talos”.

This two-stage rocket far (at the time) of the action joined the Navy in 1957 and had a very impressive performance. She could catch the air target at a distance of 120 km with a practically unlimited ceiling. It is clear that such data could only be achieved through considerable size. The length of both stages of the rocket reached a height of approximately 10 m – the height of a three storey house, and the weight exceeded three tons. Pointing missiles at the initial phase of flight was carried out on a radar beam, and the end – using semi-active radar system.

Americans were proud of their “giant,” noting that “Talos” on the first test easily destroyed both high-speed targets at distances more than 60 km – very good result for that time. However, the large size made an equally significant difficulties with the placement of the complex on the ships. “Galveston” “Telasi” was stored in the disassembled kind: the first and second stages separately. Before the start of the rocket mounted, pristykovyvayas degrees to each other. It is clear that in wartime such an operation could be very expensive: it is unlikely that enemy aircraft would be noble to wait, while the Americans would prepare and start your “answer”. The supply of missiles for the dual launcher was only 46 pieces, whereas carriers of the Terriers (also had one installed in the stern) had almost three times more – 120 missiles, besides not requiring pre-Assembly.

However, even the “terferometry” suffered from a lack of space. After all, light cruiser initially was inferior in size and volume of rooms heavy, and then there’s the designers and admirals tried to keep fully-artillery weapons is in front of the sample “Boston” and “Canberra”. The experience proved to be unsuccessful and such forms only purchased the first unit, “Galveston” with “Typhoon” and “Topeka” with “Terrier”. For the rest of the foursome “surgeon’s knife” walked much more resolute. They left only one tower of the main caliber and two 127-mm installer in the nose. The front superstructure has undergone significant alteration, razbuhnut upwards and outwards, capturing also a place previously occupied by the 127-millimeter gun mounts, which, in turn, displaced the sublime tower of the main fire. I must say that this is not decorated “hybrids”, which already looked quite chaotic jumble of different superstructures, radars and masts. Above it all towered proudly located in the heart of a huge lattice design – new mast with the antennas of the radar. Ugly ships are often at the same time and failed. Rework “Cleveland” is no exception.

Now it is necessary to remember about the third “prong” of the Trident U.S. air defense. They became “Tartarus”, the smallest of all the “T”. In fact, it represented the second stage of the “Terrier-ll”, devoid of the accelerator. This made the rocket very lightweight (680 kg) and suitable for installation not only on cruisers, but destroyers and frigates, where the “Tartar” has firmly taken its position, becoming after a while a versatile weapon for all major navies of the NATO countries. On cruisers, the complex was used as a weapon of self-defense, because to hit targets with the first models could not further 12 km.



Place immediately for the couple of “Tartars” were found at the three heavy cruisers “Albany” passed the most serious “missile” restructuring in the early 60-ies of XX century. This time the designers, taking orders from admirals, tried from the heart. In fact, from the old ships remained only the hull, mostly as a “shell”. All the “innards” in the bow and stern were completely “gutted”. The former artillery cellars and small rooms – in closets – occupied large “halls”, and the storage of huge “talasov”, which this time did not have to mate before the start. Missiles in the ready-made was served in a massive superstructure where there were spoonie directly on the launcher. Comparing NIJ with these more than respectable arms, placed on either side of the front of the superstructure, a couple of “hell” looked like a typical “rocket midgets”. Pride of place in the heart of the case was taken by another representative of the onset of the missile era: a complex anti-submarine missile-torpedoes “ASTOR”. It was a huge steel box in which lurked 8 missiles, torpedoes, designed to combat submarines. The system worked just to deliver a torpedo to fast nuclear boat as close as possible and rather used the rocket, “privodnaja” its deadly the stuffing near the tip of the radar. Then the torpedo began to search for targets according having a small radius of acoustic homing. In General, the cruiser became totally unrecognizable: missile launchers, radar vectoring on high pedestals, huge add-ons made them similar to the ships of the future which gave rise to the wildest imagination of the futurists of the 1930-ies. An important role in the new-look super-bombers played for the first time introduced macto-pipe, or “Maki” (mack, mast + stack), as they were called Americans. With a kind of monstrous construction can serve not only as flues, and as the basis for the installation of numerous antennas radar. Not to say that all that looked beautiful, but, as it does not contradict the perception of “the eye”, gave a gain in mass compared to the separate pipes and masts, which are to perform the same functions would have to pile up on the deck.

It is obvious that such a massive attack rocketry space for artillery. Its only representatives were the two 127-graph paper reliable pre-war models, migrated from the destroyers. But the cruiser returned torpedoes in the face of two three-pipe apparatus. However, they were now not to attack enemy battleships or “colleagues in the class”, and to deal with all the same submarines. This specialization has caused some bewilderment in President John Kennedy, who, after a successful launch asked the accompanying officials of the Navy simple question: and what to repel, for example, the torpedo boats at a short distance? It was a question of the expert: in the world of Kennedy himself commanded such a small boat. Admirals and officers, not quite ready to have a special knowledge of their Supreme commander, had only to portray the silent sculptural group.

However, the real answer was implied: these ships were not intended for single independent actions and was always accompanied by “brothers smaller”: destroyers and frigates, able to ward off the enemy “mosquitoes”. Moreover, on the same type intended to convert three more units, bringing the matter to an end. In the opinion of overseas naval, missile monsters to a full set of not enough shock weapons. Initially, even at the design stage, “Chicago”, “Albany” and “Columbus” was supposed to be set in development at the time of the missile “Regulus-ll”, the idea is much superior to obviously unsuccessful the first model. However, the missile again, “not asked”, in order “Albany” with the company has entered without shock weapons. The following units decided not to be penny wise and place strategic missiles “Polaris” with nuclear warheads. But here the idea of the universal missile cruiser incarnate failed. Even before the completion of the work on the “full rework” the program of modernization of missile cruisers… came to an end. Having estimated the cost, in the Naval Ministry issued a verdict: to stop. Upgrade indeed comes at a price, and that’s how long it will be possible to have the old “ponikarovsky” with large crews, was the big question. However, earlier upgraded ships stayed in service for quite a long time. A curious transformation occurred with the firstborn, “Boston” and “Canberra”. In 1968, they reclassified … back to a heavy artillery cruiser, backed by “the bureaucracy” action: soon, the missile launchers were removed, leaving only vosmidesyati. As such, the new old cruiser came in handy for shelling the coast in Vietnam was in full swing already serious war.

It was useful and pure rocket “rework”, last upgrade with full replacement of electronics equipment and who enjoyed a fair popularity for its ability to meet the missile a “sword” Vietnam aircraft at various ranges and altitudes. Their account is a lot of downed aircraft; thus, only one of the officers-raketchikov “Chicago” scored a dozen destroyed MiGs! Hard to tell how exaggerated his “personal achievements”, but they are exaggerated, so it’s more than likely.

However, even the “crowd pleasers” over time came to a natural end. The first fleet brought “Columbus”, the modernization of which decided not to spend money. The other two survived until the reign of President Reagan, who, together with their no less warlike advisers, did not want to send formidable ships to the smelter. As a result, they spent a few years in the reserve, although it has been removed and the “talasani”, which was considered at that time completely obsolete.

It is easy to see that the restructuring and modernization of the former artillery missile cruisers at the same time radically changed their role in the ranks of the Navy. Instead of the proud individuals – raiders or hunters behind them “alterations” were typical escorts, mainly carrier strike compounds. Indeed, their anti-aircraft missiles were intended to combat long-range Maritime aircraft of the Soviet Union, which, in turn, were intended to attack U.S. aircraft carriers, the only and very important component of Maritime power, were absent at the time of the Soviet Union. Finally, the status of the escorts confirmed not too noticeable modernization, implemented with the “carriername” and “talasniemi” “Cleveland” in the early 1960-ies. Then the cruisers have established a powerful sonar and an unmanned helicopter system DASH, making them “the last barrier” between the precious aircraft carriers and the new Soviet nuclear submarines, which could “leak” through a multi-layered protection of the escort.

And yet the fate of the “rework” was a foregone conclusion. Has already entered into operation or were on the stocks of the specialized vehicles of the new generation, better equipped, more comfortable for the crews, in the end, smaller and devoid of such “frills” as armor. “Old men” gradually gave way. The first, which is natural from the scene came a couple of unfortunate “powertel-artillery Cleveland”, “Topic” and “Galveston” sent into the eternal reserve in 1969 – 1970. Slightly longer served the other two media the Terriers. Then Stroy left the “Cleveland” “Oklahoma city” and “little Rock”; the latter, the Americans decided to keep as Museum ships. It remains a unique example of “perestroika” rocket-artillery hybrid, at the time, seemed an important element of U.S. air defense of the fleet.

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