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Rate the historic warship - USS Long Beach (CGN 9)

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  • Rate the historic warship - USS Long Beach (CGN 9)

    The last U.S. Navy ship built as a cruiser from the start, and one of the ugliest ships ever built; she was so ugly she was beautyful.



    USS LONG BEACH, the third ship in the Navy to bear the name, was the first nuclear powered surface warship in the world and the first large combatant in the US Navy with its main battery consisting of guided missiles. She was also the first American cruiser since the end of World War II to built entirely new from the keel up, and, when completed, boasted the highest bridge in the world. She was also the last warship to be fitted with teakwood decks.

    LONG BEACH was originally ordered as CLGN 160. She was reclassified CGN 160 in early 1957, but was again reclassified as CGN 9 on 1 July 1957. On May 1, 1995, LONG BEACH was decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list. She was then berthed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA, and got her superstructure removed. LONG BEACH's hull is currently awaiting final disposal.

    General Characteristics: Awarded: October 15, 1956
    Keel laid: December 2, 1957
    Launched: July 14, 1959
    Commissioned: September 9, 1961
    Decommissioned: May 1, 1995
    Builder: Bethlehem Steel Company Shipyard, Quincy, Mass.
    Propulsion system: 2 - Westinghouse C1W nuclear reactors, 2 geared turbines
    Propellers: two
    Length: 721 feet (219.8 meters)
    Beam: 73 feet (22.3 meters)
    Draft: 30.8 feet (9.4 meters)
    Displacement: approx. 17,500 tons
    Speed: 30 knots
    Aircraft: none but helicopter landing platform
    Armament: two 5-inch/38 caliber Mk 30 guns, two Mk 10 missile launchers Standard missiles (ER), two Mk 141 Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 16 ASROC missile launcher, Mk 46 torpedoes from two Mk 32 triple mounts, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, two armored box launchers for Tomahawk cruise missiles
    Crew: 79 officers and 1081 enlisted (after mid-life conversion: 55 officers and 770 enlisted)
    http://navysite.de/cg/cgn9.htm
    Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

    Initiated Chief Petty Officer
    Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

  • #2
    Wasn't she built specifically as an escort for CVN-65 USS Enterprise? IIRC she even had the "boxy" superstructure to match Big E's island.
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    • #3
      It's as if they were "made for each other"...



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      • #4
        I liked the "Big E". I think she was a paradigm shift in Naval design. Since she was one of the first Nuke ships, I guess the question everyone wants to know is if she glows in the dark? That may be the main reason they have not scrapped the hull.

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        • #5
          She was good, but really just an experimental ship. Her final configuration meant she had good armament fit. Just too expensive to construct and maintain from what I understand. Still she gets an excellent to outstanding from me.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
            Wasn't she built specifically as an escort for CVN-65 USS Enterprise? IIRC she even had the "boxy" superstructure to match Big E's island.
            You are quite correct Dave, she was specifically built to be the primary consort for the Enterprise.
            Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

            Initiated Chief Petty Officer
            Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RichardS View Post
              She was good, but really just an experimental ship. Her final configuration meant she had good armament fit. Just too expensive to construct and maintain from what I understand. Still she gets an excellent to outstanding from me.
              Well said! She was an experimental ship in almost all respects. A pre-cursor to the AN-SPY-1 radar now used on all our AAW ships, was made to handle four Poseidon ballistic missiles, but changed to ASW ASROC launcher and two 5" guns (port and starboard) by JFK. She was the last ship to be made with a teak deck in the US Navy. She was battle tested and shot down two MIGs with her missiles! I am not a fan of surface ships with Nuc power, but it was the in-thing at the time. The MK-10 was slow for a missile launcher, but it has a couple to help increase the fire rate. The side-by-side gun layout was a waste of a gun for the most part. It was a while before the 3D phase array was worked out into the reliable aegis system. Even the Virginia class CGN did not copy this radar design years later, but when the Tico class was born it was worth the wait.

              Over all I would give it a good to excellent rating. If it was not a one of one experimental design it could have got an outstanding in my book! She was a vessel ahead of her time in many ways.

              By the way Mario, where is the poll part of this?

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              • #8
                The Beach, 'last of the true Cruiser Hulls' - HAR!

                Fugliest modern warship I can think of - but WoW!

                What many seem not to realize is that the location of the twin 5"/38's (JFK's doins) & ASROCs was once the planned/considered location for the nuclear Regulus cruise missiles, & later, 4 tubes for Polaris were planned/considered.

                In 1986, when the US started to utilize the new Battleship Battle Groups as a means of relieving some of our Carriers in their rotations, with USS New Jersey as the centerpiece of the 1st, USS Long Beach served quite well as the sole Cruiser - along with (Destroyers), USS Fletcher, USS Merril, (Frigates) USS Thach, USS Bronstein, USS Copeland, USS Stein & supported by (Oiler) USS Wabash, saying nothing of the sub-surface - complimented the upgraded capabilities of Black Dragon quite well.



                With Big J's much upgraded sensory suite in combination with the SCANFAR (AN/SPS-32 & AN/SPS-33 phased array, precursors to AN/SPY-1 'AEGIS') of USS Long Beach, at a time just before AEGIS was all it would become, the real time potential & comprehensive sensory possibilities were quite good - much as they were between Big E & the Beach.

                A Large Shot of but a portion of Black Dragons Battle Group

                IMO, a very good experimental platform, but I wouldn't have wanted any more of em.


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                • #9
                  One of the first and few ship models I ever built.
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                  • #10
                    A really fascinating ship.

                    A sexy cruiser hull, with one of the most extreme "parking-lot" style superstructures I have ever seen, completely disproportionate to her lines. She looks very 60s.

                    But that's enough of the aesthetics, what about the naval concept?

                    Immensely ambitious - with three revolutionary concepts planned at design stage
                    a) nuclear propulsion
                    b) long-range naval antiaircraft missiles, the first ship capable of standoff anti-air defence
                    c) a long-range nuclear strike capability of her own

                    Obviously c) didn't get through to the final design, because it was redundant with other delivery platforms for the same.

                    And for such an adventurous platform, you've got to say she worked, don't you?
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Land View Post
                      A really fascinating ship.

                      A sexy cruiser hull, with one of the most extreme "parking-lot" style superstructures I have ever seen, completely disproportionate to her lines. She looks very 60s.

                      But that's enough of the aesthetics, what about the naval concept?

                      Immensely ambitious - with three revolutionary concepts planned at design stage
                      a) nuclear propulsion
                      b) long-range naval antiaircraft missiles, the first ship capable of standoff anti-air defence
                      c) a long-range nuclear strike capability of her own

                      Obviously c) didn't get through to the final design, because it was redundant with other delivery platforms for the same.

                      And for such an adventurous platform, you've got to say she worked, don't you?
                      Hello The Land,

                      very well said and described - couldn't add any more on my part.

                      Regards
                      Kruska

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