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Leahy-class cruiser
USS Leahy, lead ship of her class
USS Leahy (CG-16)
Class overview
Name: Leahy class destroyer leader / cruiser
Builders: Several
Operators: United States Navy
Preceded by: Albany-class cruiser
Succeeded by: Belknap-class cruiser
Subclasses: Bainbridge-class cruiser
Built: 1959–1964
In commission: 1962–1995
Completed: 9
Active: 0
Retired: 9
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile cruiser
Displacement: 7,800 tons (full load)
  • 2 × steam turbines providing 85,000 shp (63 MW); 2 shafts
  • 4 × boilers
Speed: 32 knots
Range: 8,000 nm @ 20 knots
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Mark 36 SRBOC
Aircraft carried: None

Leahy class cruisers were a class of guided missile cruisers built for the United States Navy. They were originally designated as Destroyer Leaders (DLG), but in the 1975 cruiser realignment, they were reclassified as guided missile cruisers (CG).

They were a new "double-ender" class fitted with Terrier (later Standard ER) missile launchers fore and aft, and the first and only frigate class designed without a main gun battery for shore bombardment or ship-vs.-ship engagements—the gun armament was reduced in order to carry a larger missile load. One of the principal missions of these ships, like their predecessors the Farragut class, was to form part of the anti-air and antisubmarine screen for carrier task forces, while also controlling aircraft from the carrier by providing vectors to assigned targets. The ships carried over the propulsion plant of the Farragut class, fitted into a longer hull designed with a knuckled “hurricane” bow that reduced plunging in a rough sea, thus keeping the forecastle dry as needed to operate the forward missile launcher. Other features included an expanded electrical plant and increased endurance. A major design innovation was the use of "macks"—combined masts and stacks—on which the radars could be mounted without smoke interference.[1]


Worden prior to modernization in late 1960s or early 1970s.

The first three ships were constructed at Bath Iron Works, the next two at New York Shipbulding Corp, and the rest at Puget Sound Bridge and Dry Dock Company, Todd Shipyards, San Pedro, CA, San Francisco Naval Shipyard and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Modernizations were accomplished between 1967 and 1972, upgrading air warfare capabilities. Nearly all modernizations were completed at Bath Iron Works, but Leahy received the modernization at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard at a cost of $36.1 million.[2]

Gridley after modernization, but prior to NTU.

All Leahy class ships were modernized again in the late 1980s New Threat Upgrade program. This program added advanced air search and track radars (AN/SPS-49 and AN/SPS-48E), updated targeting radars (AN/SPG-55), and combat direction systems. The upgrade included massive remodeling of the ship from food service space rehabilitation to a main propulsion system overhaul.[3] Entire systems were removed and replaced, for example the AN/SPS-40 air-search radar was replaced with the AN/SPS-49 air-search radar. The upgrade was also quite expensive and the ships didn't serve much longer after the modification. For example, USS Gridley (CG-21) received NTU in 1991 at a cost of $55 million, but was decommissioned in early 1994. The Leahy class was taken out of service in the early 1990s, stricken from the naval register, and transferred to the maritime administration for disposal.

The sole Bainbridge class cruiser, USS Bainbridge (CGN-25), was largely identical to the Leahy class; the main difference being that it was nuclear powered.

Ships in class

Ship Name Hull No. Commission–
Fate Link
Leahy (CG-16) August 4, 1962 – October 1, 1993 (31.2 years) Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, July 6, 2005 [1]
Harry E. Yarnell (CG-17) February 2, 1963 – October 29, 1993 (30.7 years) Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, April 17, 2002 [2]
Worden (CG-18) August 3, 1963 – October 1, 1993 (30.2 years) Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, June 17, 2000 [3]
Dale (CG-19) November 23, 1963 – September 27, 1994 (30.8 years) Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, April 6, 2000 [4]
Richmond K. Turner (CG-20) June 13, 1964 – April 13, 1995 (30.8 years) Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, August 9, 1998 [5]
Gridley (CG-21) May 25, 1963 – January 21, 1994 (30.7 years) Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, March 31, 2005 [6]
England (CG-22) December 7, 1963 – January 21, 1994 (30.1 years) Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, October 20, 2004 [7]
Halsey (CG-23) July 20, 1963 – January 28, 1994 (30.5 years) Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, November 30, 2003 [8]
Reeves (CG-24) May 15, 1964 – November 12, 1993 (29.5 years) Disposed of in support of Fleet training exercise, June 1, 2001 [9]

See also


  1. "A Historical Review of Cruiser Characteristics, Roles and Missions". Future Concepts And Surface Ship Design Group (05D), Naval Sea Systems Command, Department of the Navy. 28 March 2005. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. Jane's American fighting ships of the 20th century / compiled and edited by John Moore; preface by M. Staser Holcomb. New York, N.Y. Mallard Press, 1991. ISBN 0-7924-5626-2
  3. CG-16 Leahy class

External links

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