First Aegis Missile Cruiser Christened At Ingalls Yard

America's F i r s t Lady Mrs.

Nancy Reagan smashed the traditional bottle of champagne against the bow when the U.S.

Navy's newest combat ship was christened recently. The Ticonderoga (shown above), under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries, is the first ship in a series of guidedmissile cruisers that will carry the Aegis weapons system, the most advanced air defense radar and missile system in the world.

Speakers on the program included Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger; Mississippi Senator John C. Stennis; Mississippi Congressman Trent Lott, House Minority Whip; Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman Jr.; Chief of Naval Operations Adm.

Thomas B. Hay ward; Rear Adm.

Wayne E. Meyer, Aegis shipbuilding project manager; Fred W.

O'Green, president of Litton Industries ; Leonard Erb, senior vice president of Litton Industries and president of Ingalls Shipbuilding; Rear Adm. Richard J. Grich, supervisor of shipbuilding, Pascagoula; and Rear Adm. Neal Stevenson, deputy chief of chaplains.

Charles B. Thornton, chairman of the board of Litton Industries, introduced Mrs. Reagan and her maid of honor, Miss Anne Davis of Philadelphia. Miss Davis, Mrs.

Reagan's niece, is the 17-year-old daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Davis.

The primary mission of the Ticonderoga class, considered to be the most important nonnuclear shipbuilding program in the U.S.

today, will be to protect the Navy's a i r c r a f t c a r r i e r battle groups from air attack, particularly the hostile threat of cruise missiles. The ship will also add significantly to the battle group's antisubmarine warfare defense, while her superior detection and tracking capabilities will coordinate the defensive efforts of all the other ships and aircraft in the group.

Ingalls, the Navy's foremost builder of destroyers, cruisers, and amphibious ships, is building CG-47 at its facilities in Pascagoula, which produce ships using modular construction. This modern shipbuilding method was proven during the past 10 years in the construction of 34 Spruance and Kidd class destroyers and five LHA amphibious assault ships. Ingalls also has the contract to build the second ship in the Ticonderoga class, CG 48, while long-lead planning is underway for the following three ships of the class. CG 47 is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in early 1983.

The Aegis Shipbuilding Project is unique in the Navy in that it brings together under one manager the direction of both the combat system development and the ship construction. Rear Adm.

Wayne E. Meyer, who has extensive experience in the field of surface surface missile systems, is the Naval Sea Systems Command Aegis shipbuilding project manager. Admiral Meyer has been directly involved in the development of the Aegis weapons system for the past 10 years.

The effort is coordinated from Washington, D. C., while hundreds of subcontractors and suppliers t h r o u g h o u t the United States participate in the development and c o n s t r u c t i o n of the Aegis fleet. Some of the major contractors include General Electric Company, Syracuse, N.Y. and Cincinnati, Ohio, sonar, gas turbine engines, and Aegis fire control directors; Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Sunnyvale, Calif., main reduction gears; Stewart and Stevenson, Houston, ship service generators; Bird- Johnson Company, Walpole, Mass., controllable-pitch propellers; Combustion Engineering, Windsor, Conn., auxiliary boilers; The Raytheon Company, Wayland and Waltham, Mass., fire control system, radar transmitter, radar system; Litton Guidance and Control Systems, Woodland Hills, Calif., ship control system; Hughes Aircraft, Culver City, Calif., combat system consoles; and Sperry-Univac, St.

Paul, Minn., combat system computers.

Based on the proven design of the Spruance and Kidd class destroyers, the Ticonderoga class cruisers are capable of carrying their formidable array of weapons and electronic equipment at high speeds over a long range.

They are 563 feet long, have a beam of 55 feet, and will displace approximately 9,200 tons. Powered by four gas turbine jet engines, which develop more than 80,000 horsepower, they are capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.

The size of the crew required is 15 to 25 percent less than other ships of comparable fighting capability.

Automation and advanced technology in the propulsion, armament and electronics systems, and support equipment requiring minimum maintenance, permit a crew numbering 360, including 33 officers and 327 enlisted.

The christening of CG-47 continues the name and heritage of four former Navy ships, commemorating the capture of Fort Ticonderoga from the British during the Revolutionary War. Fort Ticonderoga, located between Lake Champlain and Lake George in New York State, was a strategic British post, rich in artillery and military supplies, when captured by Continental Forces under Ethan Allen May 10, 1775.

The latest ship to carry the name was the aircraft carrier (CV-14), which was commissioned in 1944 and saw significant combat as well as expeditionary action in Taiwan, Laos, Quemoy, and Vietnam. The ship also participated in recovering astronauts from Apollo 16 and 17. CV-14 was de-commissioned in September 1973.

Other stories from June 15, 1981 issue


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