USS United States Command Cruiser Refit
CCG-3 USS United States Refit from P6 S4 DS1 (SS United States) under Ship Characteristics Board program 407.11
Following the decommissioning of the USS Northampton and USS Wright in 1970, and the planned eventual retirement of the command space equipped missile cruisers at the end of the decade - a likely retirement without replacement as the procurement of the nuclear powered guided missile cruisers was slower than what would be needed for a one to one replacement cycle, the United States Navy began investigating options to cover the expected gap in fleet command and Continuity of Government capabilities.
It was the observation of the large black hull by a young navy office stationed at Newport News, Virginia that began the long process that saw the ocean liner converted into a command ship. Following several years of planning, and much debate in congress, approval for the 'conversion' of the ocean liner into a 'self escorting command ship' was authorized in 1974. Once authorized, work proceeded quickly, and 'Big U' was commissioned as "USS United States" on 4 July 1977. The decision to move from the original proposal for a command ship to a 'self escorting command ship' was the result of a desire to take the most advantage of the size and speed of the existing hull. The increase in cost however ensured that Big U's sister (SS President Washington, known colloquially as Big Double-U) would never receive a similar refit.
Mechanical: 8 Babcock & Wilcox boilers at 925psi and 975F 4 Westinghouse double-reduction turbines (240kshp) Top speed 'Greater than 35 knots sustained with a range in excess of 7000 nautical miles at sustained high speed cruise' Displacement: In excess of 45k tons Length: 990 feet Beam: 101.5 feet Draft: 32 feet 4 inches.
Sensors: Radar: SPG-59 (10k element version) SPS-43 (long range Air search, great for looking like a carrier to the Red Banner Fleet ESM) SPS-10 (surface Search) Assorted surface search sets
ESM/ECM: SLQ-17 (Active Jamming) WLR-1 (Direction Finding) WLR-3 (Direction Finding) ULQ-6 (Active Jamming)
Armaments: Mk 10 Mod 2 GMLS (2x80) for Typhon-LR & Advanced ASROC/SUBROC replacement SEA MAULER (4x9) for CIWS T-249 (4x 37mm Gatling cannon) for CIWS Mk 32 SVTT for 12.74" torpedoes
Comms: ALL OF THE COMMS (Systems roughly equal those aboard both a carrier and an LCC in HF, VHF, UHF, and SATCOM missions)
Embarked Craft: SH-3 (x3) for ASW and transport. In-deck hanger provides space for up to four large helicopters. 40' Utility boat (x2) 40' Personnel boat (x2) 26' Personnel boat (x1) 26' Utility boat (x1) LCM-8 (x1) Enough Liferafts