FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Ships ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

CG 26 BELKNAP class

Modern US Navy Guided Missile Cruisers perform primarily in a Battle Force role. These ships are multi-mission (AAW, ASW, ASUW) surface combatants capable of supporting carrier or battleship battle groups, amphibious forces, or of operating independently and as flagships of surface action groups. Due to their extensive combat capability, these ships have been designated as Battle Force Capable (BFC) units.

The primary mission of Belknap-class was to provide anti-air (AAW) and anti-surface (ASUW) defense for aircraft carrier task force. Her secondary missions were to provide defense against submarines (ASW) and to conduct shore bombardment (NGFS) in support of amphibious operations. Designed to operate at high speed for extended periods of time in support of long range Battle Group operations, the Belknap-class was fitted with air search radars and a weapons direction system that uses digital computers. This system processed data on air targets and feeds it to the missile fire control and launching systems in order to aim and fire extended range standard missiles at any attacking aircraft or missile.

The Belknap-class was equipped with long range sonar which provided data to the underwater battery fire control system. The ASW armament included Anti-Submarine Rockets, Light Airborne Multi-Purpose helicopters, and torpedoes. They were also equipped with a single dual-purpose rapid fire five-inch 54 caliber gun for defense against air and surface attacks as well as for NGFS. Other armament included two 20mm Gatling guns (CIWS) for close-in air defense, the HARPOON surface-to-surface missile system for use against enemy ships over the horizon, and the Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff (SRBOC) for use as a decoy.

Originally classified as Guided Missile Destroyer Leader [DLG] these ships were reclassified as Guide Missile Cruisers in 1975. The comprehensive New Threat Upgrade (NTU) included combat system capability improvements to the ship's Air Search Radars (SPS-48E and SPS-49), Fire Control Radars (SPG-55B), and Combat Direction System (CDS). These improvements provided an accurate means of coordinating the engagment of multiple air targets with SM-2 Extended Range missiles. During the NTU overhaul, all spaces were renovated, berthing and food service areas were refurbished, and the engineering plant was fully overhauled. Although the Belknap-class cruisers had only recently acquired these new capabilities, they were retired in the early 1990s after roughly 30 years of service.


Displacement 7,930 tons (full load)
Length 547 feet
Beam 55 feet
Max Speed 32 knots
Power Plant 4 - 1200 psi boilers; 2 geared turbines,
2 shafts; 85,000 shaft horsepower
Aircraft 1 - SH-2F (LAMPS) or
1 - SH-3 [CG 26 only]
Armament Standard Missiles (ER)
ASROC (from MK 16 box launcher)
8 - Harpoon (from two quad launchers)
6 - MK 46 torpedoes (from 2 triple tube mounts)
1 - 5-inch/54 caliber MK 42 gun
2 - 20mm Phalanx CIWS
Radar SPS-10F Surface search
SPS-48C 3D search
SPS-49 Air search
Sonar SQS-26BX bow mounted
Fire Control 1 Mk 14 weapon direction system
1 Mk 68 GFCS with SPG-53F radar
2 SPG-55B radar.
Complement 477 (27 officers, 450 enlisted)


Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Belknap CG 26 BathGaeta18 Apr 196107 Nov 196415 Feb 1995
Josephus Daniels CG 27Bath Norfolk196108 May 196521 Jan 1994
Wainwright CG 28 BathCharleston196108 Jan 196615 Nov 1993
Jouett CG 29 Puget Sound NSYSan Diego196110 Dec 196628 Jan 1994
Horne CG 30 San Francisco NSYLong Beach196115 Apr 196704 Feb 1994
Sterett CG 31 Puget Sound NSYSubic Bay20 Sep 196108 Apr 196724 Mar 1994
William H. Standley CG 32 BathSan Diego196109 Jul 196611 Feb 1994
Fox CG 33 ToddSan Diego196108 May 196615 Apr 1994
Biddle CG 34 Bath Norfolk16 Jan 196221 Jan 196730 Nov 1993

Sources and Resources

FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Ships ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Thursday, February 25, 1999 6:20:15 PM