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.