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Leahy-class Guided Missile Cruiser

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The American cruiser USS Leahy (CG-16) at sea.

The 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


  • Type: Destroyer Leader, later Guided Missile Cruiser (hull designation symbols DLG and CG)
  • Service Period: 1962-1995
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 547 feet (166.73 meters)
    • Beam: 55 feet (16.76 meters)
    • Draft: 26 feet (7.93 meters)
    • Displacement: 8,520 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 445 (37 officers and 408 enlisted)
  • Propulsion: 4 x boilers, 2 x steam turbines, 2 x shafts, 85,000 shp
  • Range: 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 kilometers) at 20 knots (37.04 km/h)
  • Speed: 32 knots (59.26 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • AN/SPS-39 3D Air Search Radar (later replaced by AN/SPS-48)
    • AN/SPS-43 2D Air Search Radar (later replaced by AN/SPS-49)
    • AN/SPS-10 Surface Search Radar
    • AN/SPG-55 Fire Control Radar
    • AN/SQS-53 Sonar
  • Countermeasures:
    • AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare Suite
    • Mk.36 SBROC
  • Armament:
    • 2 x Mk.10 Twin Arm Missile Launchers (fires RIM-2 Terrier SAMs)
    • 1 x Mk.16 Box Launcher (fires RUR-5 ASROC ASW Missiles)
    • 2 x Mk.22 3"/70-caliber twin mount naval guns (replaced by Harpoon AShM Launchers in the 1980s)
    • 2 x Mk.32 SVTT (fires Mk.46 torpedoes)
    • 2 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS

Unit Run[edit]

  • USS Leahy (CG-16)
  • USS Harry E. Yarnell (CG-17)
  • USS Worden (CG-18)
  • USS Dale (CG-19)
  • USS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20)
  • USS Gridley (CG-21)
  • USS England (CG-22)
  • USS Halsey (CG-23)
  • USS Reeves (CG-24)
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