Ingalls Shipbuilding Christens Another Aegis Missile Cruiser
The first U.S. Navy surface warship to be named in commemoration of the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay in Alabama was christened at the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., recently.
The ship, officially named Mobile Bay (CG-53), is the sixth of 12 Aegis guided-missile cruisers contracted to Ingalls by the Navy. Principal speaker for the ceremony, held at the company's West Bank yard, was Alabama Senator Jeremiah A.
Denton Jr., a native of Mobile. Mrs. Denton served as the ship's sponsor and broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the cruiser's bow.
The Mobile Bay is the second U.S. warship to be equipped with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS), a multiwarfare missilelaunching system capable of firing a mix of missiles against airborne, surface, and underwater targets. It is modular in design, with modules symetrically grouped to form launcher magazines, located both fore and aft on the ship's deck. Each module contains all the necessary components for launching functions when interfaced with the Mobile Bay's Aegis weapons system. Each of the magazines will fire a mix of antiair, antiship, and antisubmarine missiles, greatly extending the ship's missile flexibility.
Other participants in the ceremony included Vice Adm. Joseph Metcalf III, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Surface Warfare; Commo. John F. Shaw, USN, Aegis Shipbuilding Program Manager; Jerry St. Pe, vice president of Litton and president of Ingalls Shipbuilding division; and Capt.
George W. Dowell III, USN, Su pervisor of Shipbuilding, Pascagoula. The Most Reverend Oscar H.
Lipscomb, Archbishop of Mobile, delivered the invocation.
Aegis ships comprise the most important shipbuilding program in the U.S. today. The Mobile Bay and other ships of the Aegis class will provide the primary protection for the navy's battle forces well into the next century. The Aegis ships are designed to counter all present and projected threats to the Navy's forces.
The ship's Aegis weapons system, the heart of her fighting capability, is a significant advance in fleet air defense. Four fixed-array radar antennae, mounted on the four sides of the ship's superstructure, replace conventional rotating radars, enabling the ship's crew to "see" in all directions simultaneously.
The Aegis weapons control system can simultaneously direct and fire more missiles at more targets, with greater accuracy, than any other system.
Aegis cruisers are large ships— 567 feet long with a beam of 55 feet. Four 20,000-shp gas turbine engines power the 9,400-ton ships to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Ingalls Shipbuilding, lead shipbuilder for five of the latest classes of Navy surface combatants, has delivered 43 major warships into the Navy's fleets since 1975, a majority of the surface combatants delivered during the period. As lead yard for the Aegis Program, Ingalls has been contracted to build 12 of the 16 Aegis cruisers authorized since 1978. The lead ship, USS Ticonderoga (CG-47), was deliverd to the Navy ahead of schedule in January 1983, and has begun a second deployment with the Navy's Sixth Fleet. The second ship of the class, the USS Yorktown (CG-48), was commissioned in July 1984 and has begun her first Atlantic Fleet deployment. The Navy's third Aegis cruiser, the USS Vincennes (CG-49), was commissioned into the Pacific Fleet in July this vear, and a fourth ship, the Valley Forge (CG-50), will join the Pacific Fleet in January 1986. Ingall's fifth cruiser, the Bunker Hill (CG-52), is in the outfitting phase.