The Baltimore-class Heavy Cruiser was a large class of heavy cruisers in the United States Navy commissioned during or shortly after World War II. Fourteen Baltimores were completed, more than any other class of heavy cruiser, along with three ships of the Oregon City-class sub-class. Fast and heavily armed, the Baltimore cruisers were mainly used in World War II to protect the fast aircraft carriers in battle groups from air attack. Additionally, their 8"/55 (203mm) main guns and secondary 5"/38 (127mm) guns were regularly used to bombard land targets in support of amphibious landings. After the war, only six Baltimores and two Oregon City-class ships remained in service, while the rest were moved to the reserve fleet.
The Oregon City-class Heavy Cruiser was a modified version of the previous Baltimore-class design; the main difference was a more compact pyramidal superstructure with single trunked funnel, intended to improve the arcs of fire of the anti-aircraft guns. One ship—the third USS Northampton (CLC-1)—was laid down as an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser (CA–125), but was converted to a command light cruiser during construction.
The United States Navy's Boston-class Guided Missile Heavy Cruiser were officially the very first guided missile cruisers created in the world. Both ships in this experimental class were originally Baltimore-class heavy cruisers that had been decommissioned after World War II, but were redesignated as guided missile heavy cruisers (CAGs) and entered refit in 1952. Due to the experimental nature of the Boston-class, the ships were only partially converted, with full conversion to be carried out if the new systems were successful. Had the ships been fully converted, the forward 8" turrets would have been replaced with additional RIM-2 Terrier missile launchers. In 1968, both Boston-class guided missile heavy cruisers were reclassified back to heavy cruisers, due to the heavy use of their 8" guns for shore bombardment. While they retained their load of Terrier missiles, the rapid advance in technology rendered them obsolete after only a dozen years of service, and their main armament was once again their remaining 8" guns.
On 30 June 1958, Oregon City-class heavy cruiser USS Albany CA-123 was removed from commission to begin conversion into the first Albany-class Guided Missile Cruiser. On 1 November 1958, she was re-designated CG. The Albany spent the next four years undergoing very extensive modifications, stripped down to her hull to be fitted with a new superstructure. Albany was recommissioned at Boston on 3 November 1962. These cruisers were initially all-missile warships sporting no naval guns at all, but eventually two open-mount Mk 24 5"/38 caliber guns were added near their aft exhaust stacks. The Albany, along with two former Baltimore-class heavy cruisers, served until 1980, when they were decommissioned for the final time.
Description [partially] lifted from Wikipedia articles.
Powers and Stats
Tier: 9-A with guns, up to 8-A firing all guns for a full minute, 7-C to Low 7-B with SSM-N-8 Regulus cruise missiles | 9-A with guns, 8-C firing all guns for a full minute, 8-C with RIM-2 Terrier missiles (conventional), Low 7-C with RIM-2 Terrier missiles (nuclear) | 9-A with 5” guns, 9-A with RIM-24 Tartar missiles, 8-C with RIM-8 Talos missiles (conventional), 7-C with RIM-8 Talos missiles (nuclear), 9-A with Mark 46 torpedo, 7-C with W44 depth bomb
Name: Baltimore-class (Oregon City-class) Heavy Cruiser | Boston-class Guided Missile Cruiser (USS Boston CA-69 & USS Canberra CA-70 only) | Albany-class Guided Missile Cruiser (USS Albany CA-123, USS Chicago CA-136, & USS Columbus CA-74 only)
Origin: Real World
Age: 1943–1971 (1945–1961) | 1955–1970 | 1962–1980
Length: 205 meters (673.5 feet)
Beam: 21.5 meters (71 feet)
Draft: 8.2 meters (27 feet) | 9.1 meters (30 feet)
Displacement: 12.44–15.88 kilotonnes (13,700–17,500 tons)
Pilot(s): About 61 officers and 1085 seamen | About 1142 officers and enlisted | About 72 officers and 1150 seamen
Needed Prerequisite for Use: Trained crew, fuel, ammunition
In use by: United States Navy
Powered by: Four Babcock & Wilcox M-Type water-tube boilers delivering 89.5 megawatts (120,000 shaft horsepower) to four General Electric cross-compound steam turbine engines driving four propeller screws
Operational Timeframe: Almost 27 days 19 hours (at 15 knots) | Over 21 days 17 hours (at 15 knots) | Over 16 days 21 hours (at 15 knots)
Terrain: Ocean (surface)
Material: The vertical belt armor was 6 inches (152mm) thick, tapering to 4 inches (102mm) at the base. Fore and after of the machinery and the horizontal deck armor was reduced to 3 inches (76.2mm) thick. The turrets were also heavily armored, between 3–6 inches (76–152mm) thick, while the command tower had the thickest armor, at 8 inches (203mm). End bulkheads were 5–6 inches (127–152mm) thick. The physical properties of the various armor types can be found on this table by Nathan Okun.
Attack Potency: Small Building level+ firing all 8”/55 main guns once (up to 720 megajoules), Small Building level firing all 5”/38 secondary guns once (up to 348 megajoules), Small Building level firing all 40mm and 20mm guns once (up to 32.87 megajoules), Multi-City Block level firing all guns simultaneously for a full minute (up to 14 gigajoules), Town level to Small City level with SSM-N-8 Regulus cruise missile (40 kilotons to 2 megatons) | Small Building level firing all 6”/47 main guns once (up to 480 megajoules), Small Building level firing all 5”/38 secondary guns once (up to 290 megajoules), Small Building level firing all 3"/50 guns (up to 27.2 megajoules), Building level+ firing all guns simultaneously for a full minute (up to 6.8 gigajoules), Building level with conventional warhead-loaded RIM-2 Terrier surface-to-air missile (up to 1.27 gigajoules), Small Town level with nuclear warhead-loaded RIM-2 Terrier surface-to-air missile (1 kiloton) | Small Building level firing all 5”/38 secondary guns once (up to 58 megajoules), Small Building level with RIM-24 Tartar surface-to-air missile (up to 450 megajoules), Building level with conventional warhead-loaded RIM-8 Talos surface-to-air missile (up to 2 gigajoules), Small Town level to Small Town level+ with nuclear warhead-loaded RIM-8 Talos surface-to-air missile (between 2–5 kilotons), Small Building level with Mark 46 Torpedo (up to 221 megajoules), Town level with W44 nuclear depth bomb (10 kilotons)
Speed: Superhuman, 60–65 kilometers per hour (32.5–35.2 knots) max speed
Durability: At least Large Building level, at most Multi-City Block level in terms of total destruction (comprised of up to 12,440,000 kilograms of hardened armor-grade steel with a fragmentation energy of over 991 gigajoules)
Range: Operational range of 10,000 kilometers at 28 kilometers per hour (6214 miles at 15 knots); up to over 27.5 kilometers with 8” guns, up to 16 kilometers with 5” guns, up to 10 kilometers with 40mm guns, up to 4 kilometers with 20mm guns, up to 926 kilometers with Regulus cruise missiles | Operational range of 9000 kilometers at 28 kilometers per hour (5592 miles at 15 knots); up to 32 kilometers with RIM-2 Terrier | Operational range of 7000 kilometers at 28 kilometers per hour (4350 miles at 15 knots); up to 185 kilometers with RIM-8 Talos, up to 7.5 kilometers with Mark 46 torpedo (up to 16 kilometers using ASROC rocket booster), at least 16 kilometers with W44 nuclear depth bomb using ASROC rocket booster
Weaknesses: Primitive fire control and radar systems limits detection and accuracy, has mostly outdated hardware, large and slow | Original superstructure was replaced with lighter but weaker aluminium alloys (Albany-class only)
Weaponry (Baltimore- and Oregon City-classes):
- 9×8”/55 caliber Mark 15 guns in triple-gun turrets
- 12×5”/38 caliber Mark 12 guns in double-gun turrets
- 48×40mm/56 caliber Bofors autocannons in quad-gun mounts
- 24×20mm/70 caliber Oerlikon autocannons in single-gun mounts
- 3×SSM-N-8 Regulus cruise missiles (USS Toledo, Macon, Helena, and Los Angeles only)
- 3×Vought OS2U Kingfisher observation floatplanes (early World War II-era only)
- 3×Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk observation floatplanes (late World War II-era only)
- 6×8”/55 caliber Mark 15 guns in triple-gun turrets
- 10×5”/38 caliber Mark 12 guns in double-gun turrets
- 8×3"/50 caliber Mark 22 guns in single-gun turrets
- 4×RIM-2 Terrier missiles in double-rail Mark 4 missile launcher turrets (144 missiles)
- 2×5”/38 caliber Mark 12 guns in single-gun Mark 24 turrets
- 2×RIM-24 Tartar in double-rail Mark 11 missile launcher turrets (84 missiles)
- 2×RIM-8 Talos in double-rail Mark 12 missile launcher turrets (104 missiles)
- 1×octuple-tube Mark 16 RUR-5 ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) unguided rocket-assisted torpedo & depth bomb launcher system
- 2×triple-tube Mark 32 SVTT (Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes) torpedo launching systems
- ?×Mark 46 torpedos
- ?×W44 nuclear depth charges (1961–1989 only)
- The Oregon City-class USS Northampton (CLC-1) command light cruiser is a particular exception, having been converted to command ship during construction and commissioned on 7 March 1953, being comparatively lightly (but admittedly more advanced) armed with:
- 4×5”/54 caliber Mark 42 guns in single-gun turrets
- 8×3”/70 caliber Mark 26 guns in double-gun turrets
Key: Baltimore- and Oregon City-classes | Boston-class | Albany-class
Note: Similar ships of about the same type and period generally have performance equivalent to this one.