US Navy Strike Cruiser timeline

Hi guys! So, I was looking at some random US Cold War naval stuff the other day, and I came across the strike cruiser idea. Basically, in the 70s the US's plan for future naval development was to have 8 big, nuclear powered Aegis-equipped cruisers called strike cruisers (CSGN). Eventually, it got scrapped due to budget cuts and we got the Ticonderogas, which were built out of extended hulls from Spruance-class destroyers, interestingly enough. Anyways, after a few days of scouring through the internet to find as much information as possible about both the strike cruiser and all of the other ships that would have gone along with it, I think I finally have enough data for a full(-ish) timeline.

So, first off, the specifications of the ships that get built. I'll post the fleet compositions next, and then a written account of what happened in this universe to make all fo this possible.

But before all of that, here are my sources. I recommend you give them a read.

Wikipedia, Strike Cruiser - https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Strike_cruiser

3D model, Strike Cruiser 1976 version - https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/7327a51a-231b-4666-9c13-08c028430dbf/CSGN-42-strike-cruiser-1976-US-navy-nuclear-guided-missile-attack-cruiser
Secret Projects Forum, Strike Cruiser - https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/strike-cruiser-from-the-80s.813/
Shipbucket, Strike Cruiser 1974 version - http://www.shipbucket.com/drawings/7644
Shipbucket, Strike Cruiser 1976 version - http://www.shipbucket.com/drawings/7646
Shipbucket, Strike Cruiser Mk. 2 version - http://www.shipbucket.com/drawings/7647 (scale is wrong)
Shipbucket, Strike Cruiser concept - http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3127&sid=b8670539b7ee9bc9ed87bab8b9f79932 (somewhat unrealistic)
Shipbucket, Strike Cruiser conventional power concept - http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4497
Shipbucket, Spruance-class designs - http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4465
Shipbucket, Arleigh Burke Flight II 1989 concept - http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1368
Shipbucket, Des Moines upgrade concept - http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5303

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Ticonderoga-class strike cruiser [flight I] (OTL Strike Cruiser 1976 modified)
First ship launched:
1981
First ship commissioned:
1983
Displacement:
16,500 to 18,000 tonnes
Size:
680 (wl), 720 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Nuclear
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft
Armament:
2 x 8" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
4 x Tomahawk quad launchers (16 missiles)
2 x Mk. 26 missile launchers (88 missiles)
Leyte Gulf-class escort carrier [flight I] (OTL Strike Cruiser Mk. 2 heavily modified)
First ship launched:
1986
First ship commissioned:
1988
Displacement:
22,000 to 24,900 tonnes
Size:
625 (wl), 680 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Nuclear
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 8 VTOL aircraft and 10 STOL aircraft
Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)
Ticonderoga-class strike cruiser [flight II]
First ship upgraded:
1989
Displacement:
16,500 to 18,000 tonnes
Size:
680 (wl), 720 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Nuclear
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft
Armament:
2 x 8" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
3x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (192 missiles)
Virginia-class nuclear guided-missile cruiser [flight II] (semi-OTL proposed upgrade)
First ship upgraded:
1990
Displacement:
12,000 to 13,000 tonnes
Size:
560 (wl), 586 (oa) x 62 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Nuclear
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar
Armament:
2 x 5" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)
Des Moines-class guided-missile cruiser [flight II] (semi-OTL proposed upgrade)
First ship upgraded:
1991
Displacement:
17,500 to 21,500 tonnes
Size:
700 (wl), 717 (oa) x 75 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Steam turbine
Sensors:
Standard radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft
Armor:
4 to 6" belt, 3.75" deck
Armament:
3x3 x 8" guns
2x2 x 5" guns
3 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
7 x Tomahawk quad launchers (28 missiles)
Johnston-class guided-missile destroyer [flight I] (OTL Arleigh Burke)
First ship launched:
1991
First ship commissioned:
1993
Displacement:
6,900 to 8,300 tonnes
Size:
466 (wl), 505 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Gas turbine
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar
Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 25 mm chain guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
64+32 x Mk. 41 VLS (96 missiles)
Iowa-class battleship [flight II] (semi-OTL proposed upgrade)
First ship upgraded:
1997
Displacement:
47,000 to 59,000 tonnes
Size:
861 (wl), 887 (oa) x 108 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Steam turbine
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar
Armor:
12.1" belt, 7.5" deck
Armament:
3x3 x 16" guns
6x1 x 5" guns
6 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x Sea Sparrow launchers (16 missiles)
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
2x16+2x32 x Mk. 41 VLS (96 missiles)
Lake Erie-class guided-missile cruiser [flight I] (OTL Arleigh Burke Flight III 1989 proposal)
First ship launched:
2001
First ship commissioned:
2003
Displacement:
9,000 to 12,000 tonnes
Size:
511 (wl), 550 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Gas turbine
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft
Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 25 mm chain guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)
San Diego-class helicopter cruiser [flight I] (Original creation, Lake Erie-class with a stretched hull, no aft VLS, and an extended hangar)
First ship launched:
2006
First ship commissioned:
2008
Displacement:
10,000 to 13,000 tonnes
Size:
528 (wl), 567 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Gas turbine
Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 6 VTOL aircraft
Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
1x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (64 missiles)
Harold R Stark-class trimaran frigate [flight I] (scaled up OTL Independence-class)
First ship launched:
2008
First ship commissioned:
2010
Displacement:
3,000 to 4,000 tonnes
Size:
520 (wl), 550 (oa) x 110 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Gas turbine
Sensors:
Standard radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft
Armament:
1 x 5" gun
1 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x NSM quad launchers (8 missiles)
1x8 x Mk. 41 VLS
Atlanta-class guided-missile cruiser [flight I] (San Diego-class hull with entire upperworks replaced with Zumwalt-style stealth superstructure)
First ship launched:
2013
First ship commissioned:
2015
Displacement:
10,500 to 13,500 tonnes
Size:
528 (wl), 567 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Gas turbine
Sensors:
AN/SPY-3 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft
Armament:
1 x 8" gun
2 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
20x4 x Mk. 57 VLS (80 missiles)
Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier [flight II] (OTL Gerald R Ford-class)
First ship launched:
2018
First ship commissioned:
2021
Displacement:
96,000 to 100,000 tonnes
Size:
1,054 (wl), 1,106 (oa) x 134 (wl) ft
Propulsion:
Nuclear
Sensors:
AN/SPY-3 3D radar
Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 90 VTOL/STOL/HTOL aircraft
Armament:
3 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x Mk. 56 missile launcher (24 missiles)
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US ship naming convention circa end-2005

Frigates: Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes, previous frigates

Destroyers: Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes, previous destroyers

Cruisers: Battles, US cities, previous cruisers

Battleships: US states, previous battleships

Escort carriers: Battles from the Pacific war of WWII, previous escort carriers

Aircraft carriers: Battles, fleet admirals, aviation pioneers, previous aircraft carriers

Submarines: Fish and other sea creatures, previous submarines

Ballistic missile submarines: US states, previous ballistic missile submarines

Amphibious command ships: US geographical areas, previous amphibious command ships

Amphibious assault ships: Early US sailing ships, Marine Corps battles, previous aircraft carriers from WWII, previous amphibious assault ships

Amphibious transport docks: US cities, important places in US and US naval history, previous amphibious transport docks

Notes:

Naming an entire massive ship that takes hundreds or thousands of people to build and operate after a single person seems a bit wrong to me. So the largest ships that can be named after people are destroyers, and even then only frigates and smaller ships can be named with a person's full name, destroyers can only be named with someone's last name. The only exceptions to this are very high ranking navy officers, like the 4 fleet admirals from WWII (which may or may not be an excuse to keep the Nimitz class named that).

Ships can, however, be named after other ships as well as people. If, for example, you wanted to name a ship after the USS William D Porter DD-579, you could name it the USS William D Porter. But if you wanted to name it after the person named William D Porter, you would have to name it just USS Porter (unless the ship is a frigate or smaller).

-------------------------------------------------------------
US Navy fleet composition circa end-2005



Frigates


Constitution-class FF: 1 commissioned

USS Constitution

Oliver Hazard Perry-class FFG: 28 commissioned

USS Francis X McInerney
USS Joel T Boone
USS Stephen W Groves
USS John L Hall
USS Harry B Jarret
USS Gordon W Underwood
USS Benjamin S Eason
USS Maurice Curts
USS James H Doyle
USS William D Halyburton
USS Clarence W McClusky
USS Thomas B Klakring
USS John S Thach
USS Richard De Wert
USS George Rentz
USS Samuel Nicholas
USS Alexander A Vandegrift
USS Robert G Bradley
USS Jesse J Taylor
USS Donald A Gary
USS Paul H Carr
USS Richard E Hawes
USS Patrick O Ford
USS Henry T Elrod
USS Rodger W Simpson
USS Reuben James
USS Floyd B Parks
USS James L Kauffman
USS Rodney M Davis
USS Duncan Ingraham



Destroyers


Spruance-class DD: 31 commissioned

USS Spruance
USS Foster
USS Kinkaid
USS Hewitt
USS Elliot
USS Maury
USS Peterson
USS Caron
USS Ray
USS Oldendorf
USS Young
USS De Grasse
USS O'Brien
USS Merrill
USS Fletcher
USS Stout
USS Conolly
USS Moosbrugger
USS Hancock
USS Nicholson
USS Rodgers
USS Leftwich
USS Cushing
USS Hill
USS William D Porter
USS Thorn
USS Deyo
USS Ingersoll
USS Fife
USS Nicholas
USS Hayler



Johnston-class DDG: 39 commissioned

USS Johnston
USS Burke
USS Laboon
USS Heermann
USS Cole
USS O'Bannon
USS Barry
USS Gridley
USS Samuel B Roberts
USS Russell
USS Hoel
USS Hamilton
USS Ramage
USS Fitzgerald
USS Stethem
USS Gonzalez
USS Buchanan
USS Porter
USS Stethem
USS Cook
USS Taylor
USS Sullivan
USS Saufley
USS Jones
USS O'Kane
USS Hopper
USS Austin
USS Milius
USS Ross
USS Lassen
USS Russell
USS Decatur
USS Higgins
USS Bulkeley
USS Morris
USS Roosevelt
USS Howard
USS McCampbell
USS Mason



Cruisers


Des Moines-class CA: 2 commissioned

USS Des Moines
USS Salem

Virginia-class CGN: 2 commissioned

USS Virginia
USS Arkansas

Ticonderoga-class CSGN: 5 commissioned

USS Ticonderoga
USS Monterey
USS Vally Forge
USS Bunker Hill
USS Mobile Bay

Lake Erie-class CG: 6 commissioned

USS Lake Erie
USS Gettysburg
USS Princeton
USS Lake Champlain
USS Antietam
USS Lake Huron



Battleships


Iowa-class BBG: 2 commissioned

USS Iowa
USS Wisconsin



Escort Carriers


Leyte Gulf-class CLGN: 4 commissioned

USS Leyte Gulf
USS Philippine Sea
USS Coral Sea
USS Solomon Sea



Aircraft Carriers


Kitty Hawk-class CV: 1 commissioned

USS Kitty Hawk

Enterprise-class CVN: 1 commissioned

USS Enterprise

Langley-class CV: 1 commissioned

USS Langley

Nimitz-class CVN: 8 commissioned

USS Nimitz
USS Yorktown
USS Intrepid (currently refueling)
USS Hornet
USS Lexington
USS Halsey
USS Saratoga
USS Ranger



Fast Attack Submarines


Stingray-class SSN: 50 commissioned

USS Stingray
USS Cutlass
USS Mackerel
USS Skipjack
USS Barbel
USS Corsair
USS Salmon
USS Trigger
USS Nautilus
USS Bumper
USS Sawfish
USS Cod
USS Skate
USS Catfish
USS Sealion
USS Growler
USS Albacore
USS Jawfish
USS Tambor
USS Alligator
USS Sennet
USS Corporal
USS Porpoise
USS Pike
USS Balao
USS Swordfish
USS Thresher
USS Redfin
USS Turtle
USS Herring
USS Darter
USS Dace
USS Octopus
USS Pickerel
USS Blueback
USS Cabrilla
USS Espada
USS Albany
USS Blackfin
USS Dolphin
USS Haddock
USS Spearfish
USS Grayback
USS Marlin
USS Searaven
USS Sailfish
USS Razorback
USS Cuttlefish
USS Bass
USS Snapper

Seawolf-class SSN:3 commissioned

USS Seawolf
USS Archerfish
USS Kraken

Triton-class SSN: 1 commissioned

USS Triton



Ballistic Missile Submarines


Ohio-class SSBN: 14 commissioned

USS Washington
USS Alabama
USS Alaska
USS Nevada
USS Tennesse
USS Utah
USS West Virginia
USS Kentucky
USS Maryland
USS Nebraska
USS Rhode Island
USS Maine
USS Wyoming
USS Louisiana



Amphibious Command Ships


Blue Ridge-class LCC: 2 commissioned

USS Blue Ridge
USS Mount Whitney



Amphibious Transport Docks


Austin-class LPD: 10 commissioned

USS Austin
USS Ogden
USS Cleveland
USS Dubuque
USS Denver
USS Juneau
USS Shreveport
USS Nashville
USS Trenton
USS Ponce



Amphibious Assault Ships


Tarawa-class LHA: 5 commissioned

USS Tarawa
USS Saipan
USS Belleau Wood
USS Nassau
USS Peleliu

Wasp-class LHD: 8 commissioned

USS Wasp
USS Essex
USS Kearsarge
USS Boxer
USS Bataan
USS Bonhomme Richard
USS Iwo Jima
USS Makin Island
-------------------------------------------------------------
US Navy fleet composition circa end-2025



Frigates

Constitution-class FF: 1 commissioned

USS Constitution

Harold R Stark-class FFG: 15 commissioned

USS Harold R Stark
USS Rodney M Davis
USS Alexander A Vandegrift
USS Samuel C Reid
USS James H Doyle
USS George Philip
USS George Rentz
USS Richard N Antrim
USS Henry T Elrod
USS Daniel Frazier
USS Donald B Duncan
USS Stephen W Groves
USS Joel T Boone
USS Robert W Copeland
USS Donald A Gary



Destroyers

Johnston-class DDG: 44 commissioned

USS Johnston
USS Burke
USS Laboon
USS Heermann
USS Cole
USS O'Bannon
USS Barry
USS Gridley
USS Samuel B Roberts
USS Russell
USS Hoel
USS Hamilton
USS Ramage
USS Fitzgerald
USS Stethem
USS Gonzalez
USS Buchanan
USS Porter
USS Stethem
USS Cook
USS Taylor
USS Sullivan
USS Saufley
USS Jones
USS O'Kane
USS Hopper
USS Austin
USS Milius
USS Ross
USS Lassen
USS Russell
USS Decatur
USS Higgins
USS Bulkeley
USS Morris
USS Roosevelt
USS Howard
USS McCampbell
USS Mason
USS Truxtun
USS Dewey
USS Murphy
USS Dunham
USS Kidd



Cruisers

Des Moines-class CA: 2 commissioned

USS Des Moines
USS Salem

Ticonderoga-class CSGN: 5 commissioned

USS Ticonderoga
USS Monterey
USS Vally Forge
USS Bunker Hill
USS Mobile Bay

Lake Erie-class CG: 15 commissioned

USS Lake Erie
USS Gettysburg
USS Princeton
USS Lake Champlain
USS Antietam
USS Lake Huron
USS Cowpens
USS Princeton
USS Chancellorsville
USS San Jacinto
USS Hué City
USS Normandy
USS Anzio
USS Vella Gulf
USS Port Royal

San Diego-class CHG: 7 commissioned

USS San Diego
USS Helena
USS New Orleans
USS Portland
USS Minneapolis
USS San Fransisco
USS Northampton

Atlanta-class CG: 5 commissioned

USS Atlanta
USS Vincennes
USS Houston
USS Chicago
USS Quincy



Battleships

Iowa-class BBG: 2 commissioned

USS Iowa
USS Wisconsin



Escort Carriers

Leyte Gulf-class CLGN: 4 commissioned

USS Leyte Gulf
USS Philippine Sea
USS Coral Sea
USS Solomon Sea



Aircraft Carriers

Nimitz-class CVN: 11 commissioned

USS Nimitz
USS Yorktown
USS Intrepid
USS Hornet
USS Lexington
USS Halsey
USS Saratoga
USS Ranger (refueling)
USS Constellation
USS United States
USS Enterprise



Fast Attack Submarines

Stingray-class SSN: 32 commissioned

USS Skipjack
USS Barbel
USS Jawfish
USS Alligator
USS Corporal
USS Porpoise
USS Pike
USS Balao
USS Swordfish
USS Thresher
USS Redfin
USS Turtle
USS Herring
USS Darter
USS Octopus
USS Pickerel
USS Blueback
USS Cabrilla
USS Espada
USS Albany
USS Blackfin
USS Dolphin
USS Haddock
USS Spearfish
USS Grayback
USS Marlin
USS Searaven
USS Sailfish
USS Razorback
USS Cuttlefish
USS Bass
USS Snapper

Seawolf-class SSN: 3 commissioned

USS Seawolf
USS Archerfish
USS Kraken

Triton-class SSN: 28 commissioned

USS Triton
USS Sealion
USS Cutlass
USS Lancetfish
USS Cod
USS Shark
USS Harder
USS Batfish
USS Narwhal
USS Dace
USS Albacore
USS Permit
USS Gato
USS Bluefish
USS Tunny
USS Pintado
USS Sunfish
USS Lionfish
USS Viper
USS Stingray
USS Nautilus
USS Skate
USS Catfish
USS Barracuda
USS Parche
USS Amberjack
USS Icefish
USS Corsair



Guided Missile Submarines

Ohio-class SSGN: 4 commissioned

USS Ohio
USS Michigan
USS Florida
USS Georgia



Ballistic Missile Submarines

Ohio-class SSBN: 14 commissioned

USS Washington
USS Alabama
USS Alaska
USS Nevada
USS Tennesse
USS Utah
USS West Virginia
USS Kentucky
USS Maryland
USS Nebraska
USS Rhode Island
USS Maine
USS Wyoming
USS Louisiana



Amphibious Command Ships

Blue Ridge-class LCC: 2 commissioned

USS Blue Ridge
USS Mount Whitney



Amphibious Transport Docks

San Antonio-class LPD: 14 commissioned

USS San Antonio
USS Astoria
USS Mesa Verde
USS Green Bay
USS New York
USS Juneau
USS Anchorage
USS Arlington
USS Sommerset
USS Belleau Wood
USS Nassau
USS Tarawa
USS Peleliu
USS Harrisburg



Amphibious Assault Ships

Wasp-class LHD: 8 commissioned

USS Wasp
USS Essex
USS Kearsarge
USS Boxer
USS Bataan
USS Bonhomme Richard
USS Iwo Jima
USS Makin Island

America-class LHA: 3 commissioned

USS America
USS Tripoli
USS Bougainville
-------------------------------------------------------------

So, basically, the idea behind all this is to revise the last ~40 years of US Naval history to try and fix a lot of the mistakes that were made. I might have gone a bit to far with the renaming, it was a complete nightmare to keep track of which TTL ship corresponded to which OTL ship, but I think I just about managed that.

The first real change (besides the renaming) is a greater focus on gun-based naval fire support, and a realization of the impracticalities of long range guided munitions at this point, leading the adoption of the Mk. 71 8" gun on the Spruances. Next is, obviously, the construction of the CSGNs. IOTL they proposed 8, but I thought that was a bit much so I went with 5, which leaves enough funds left over for 4 enlarged versions with flight decks to act as escort carriers. The basic idea behind those is to allow battleship-centered fleets to travel around without a big supercarrier overseeing them, with 1 per battleship.

Then, a few years later, the Johnstons start being commissioned. OTL I have no idea what the "Aegis destroyers" proposed to complement the CSGNs would look like, so I went with OTL Arleigh Burkes for simplicity. Also, yes, they're named after *that* USS Johnston. And the other ships from Taffy 3 show up in the names as well, I always thought it was a great shame we never named any Burkes after them in OTL. All we got was Samuel B Robert's name being given to a frigate, of all things. In fact, a lot of the Johnstons are named after ships, not people, but they are hard to tell apart.

Anyway, as well as that we also see the Virginias being upgraded, only 2 of them though. I imagine that they started upgrading them to fill out the remaining 3 CSGN slots that got taken by the escort carriers, but the Cold War ended before they were finished and they only completed upgrading 2, while the remaining 2 got scrapped along with a few other ships to save enough funds to keep the rest of the fleet around. I imagine it was a similar story for the Des Monies-class cruisers, they got upgraded to provide additional naval fire support as they decommissioned one of the Iowas to save funds, and then the Cold War ended. So, while they both got upgraded in the end, the navy ended up decommissioning 2 of the Iowas, with the final 2 undergoing a substantial retrofit in 1997 to modernize everything and add VLS cells. I don't think the age of them would be an issue, after all the USS Texas is ~110 years old and still floats.

The reason for all this is, as stated earlier, guided gun-based mentions were (correctly) identified in the 70s as being too far off, and thus the Iowas, and the Mk. 71 8" gun program, are seen as being more important. The fact that at some point in the 2010s Pratt and Whitney will propose scramjet-powered 16" shells with a range of 400 nautical miles (that's OTL by the way) with certainly help. I can only imagine it is easier to guide a 16" shell than a 6.1" one, as the electronics can be bigger, so once that technology does mature they will still have a reason to keep the battleships around. To say nothing of their psychological effect on the enemy.

Anyways, eventually, the navy will start looking for upgrades to the Johnstons. One of the proposals given in OTL in 1989 is quite good, as it gives the ship the ability to be further developed more easily. It is, however, now so big that I had to classify it as a cruiser, which is fine as right now the TTL US Navy has a shortage of normal, non-strike cruisers relative to OTL. Following that is the San Diego-class helicopter cruiser, which stretches the ship a bit and removes the aft VLS to accommodate an extended hangar, allowing the ship to provide effective ASW for an entire small fleet. It's also at this point that I ran out of battles to name them after, so from now on they are named after cities.

And, finally, we get to TTL Zumwalt equivalent. Except this time it's actually done *well*. Instead of trying to build an entirely new ship, they just took the hull of a San Diego and replaced the entire superstructure, changed the VLS arrangement, and swapped the 5" gun for an 8" one. There were other things, like increased automation and new radars, but not to the same extent as OTL. Also, thanks to TTL's US Navy being warier of guided munitions, the Advanced Gun System never happened, hence the 8" gun and the fact the Iowa and Wisconsin are still sailing around.

There's also TTL's littoral combat ship, except they're still called frigates and are large enough to be able to kill more than a speedboat or yacht. I picket the trimaran design for these, mostly because it looks cool if I'm being honest, but scaled it up by 1,000 tons and gave it a 5" gun and VLS.

There are numerous other minor changes, but those are the main ones. What do you guys think?

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Nuclear power has declining cost effectiveness. In submarines it is so obviously effective that the cost is totally worth it, the USN went nuke and never looked back. In carriers it's a bit less obvious, which is why the America and JFK were designed as CVNs but built as CVs and it took until the Nimitz for the benefits of nuclear power to become fully obvious and the cost borne. For surface ships nuclear power is a real niche capability, CGNs were built primarily for CVNs to have at least one nuke escort able to keep up at all costs. When the AGEIS system had to be combined with nuclear power the cost became too much, particularly given the USN switched from steam to GT power at the same time which is a really cheap propulsion system when accounting for major reboilerings that steam requires.

Are you escort carrier/cruisers through deck like the British Invincibles or their earlier iterations which had guns? Or are they cruiser front and flight deck behind the superstructure? The latter is pretty bad for aircraft operations.
 
Where's the money for this coming from? What killed the Strike Cruiser was that it was almost as expensive as an aircraft carrier for far less strike capability. And this on top of larger destroyers in the 1990s. All with ongoing NTU upgrades and very expensive SSN and CVN programs.

Also, this retention of the Des Moines and Iowa classes into the 2000s makes no sense whatsever. The WWII-vintage steam plants alone make that a nonstarter. Also:
Anyway, as well as that we also see the Virginias being upgraded, only 2 of them though. I imagine that they started upgrading them to fill out the remaining 3 CSGN slots that got taken by the escort carriers, but the Cold War ended before they were finished and they only completed upgrading 2, while the remaining 2 got scrapped along with a few other ships to save enough funds to keep the rest of the fleet around. I imagine it was a similar story for the Des Monies-class cruisers, they got upgraded to provide additional naval fire support as they decommissioned one of the Iowas to save funds, and then the Cold War ended. So, while they both got upgraded in the end, the navy ended up decommissioning 2 of the Iowas, with the final 2 undergoing a substantial retrofit in 1997 to modernize everything and add VLS cells. I don't think the age of them would be an issue, after all the USS Texas is ~110 years old and still floats.
Um... this is completely incorrect. Their propulsion plants are antiquated, their parts infrastructure is custom, their 5" guns use nonstandard ammo, and the hulls aren't likely to be in very good shape. That entire comment shows that you have no idea what you're talking about, Texas is in horrid condition underwater and there's serious talk about having to drydock her so she doesn't collapse entirely. Pretty much every other large museum ship has issues of some kind with underwater corrosion, see some pics of North Carolina if you want a newer ship.

All else being equal your 2005 fleet is bigger, more nuclear, and is suffering four ancient WWII-era ships. All of that costs money. So I ask again: where the hell is the money for this coming from?

Like, you want to get Strike Cruisers in the water, go ahead, I think that's at least in handwaving distance and could make for an interesting timeline. But this... your entire proposal looks cool but falls apart under close scrutiny.
 
The Strike Cruiser is expensive, but possible--the funds have to come from somewhere.

If you want to go the other way, with a gun armed monitor, I designed one for my timeline, "The Masquerade."
USS New Hampshire and her sisters (Monitors got state names before they stopped being built) is slow, but heavily armored by 1980's standards, and well armed. 22 knots is NOT fast, but keeps up with amphibious assault ships and tankers.
If you're interested, have a look if not, no worries. (My timeline also has 2 strike cruisers on the ways and 2 more authorized, as the Carter administration accepted more nuclear ships as part of the price of more nuclear research. The second 2 strike cruisers might not get laid down...)
 
Nuclear power has declining cost effectiveness. In submarines it is so obviously effective that the cost is totally worth it, the USN went nuke and never looked back. In carriers it's a bit less obvious, which is why the America and JFK were designed as CVNs but built as CVs and it took until the Nimitz for the benefits of nuclear power to become fully obvious and the cost borne. For surface ships nuclear power is a real niche capability, CGNs were built primarily for CVNs to have at least one nuke escort able to keep up at all costs. When the AGEIS system had to be combined with nuclear power the cost became too much, particularly given the USN switched from steam to GT power at the same time which is a really cheap propulsion system when accounting for major reboilerings that steam requires.

Are you escort carrier/cruisers through deck like the British Invincibles or their earlier iterations which had guns? Or are they cruiser front and flight deck behind the superstructure? The latter is pretty bad for aircraft operations.
Would the US have been interested then in building a similarly sized, but conventionally powered ship? There must have been a reason they wanted a ship so big relative to the current destroyers, and at this point, VLS was not a thing so it still only had ~100 or so missiles. Was it the helicopter capability?

Also, the plan is to have the escort carriers have internal hangars, although I am not entirely sure how easy that would be to modify - I deliberately made them large enough to not make them useless if the internal hangars aren't possible. Also, note they still have a bunch of missiles on them (as did the OTL designs), so they can still act as normal cruisers. I might change that bit about the Virginias being modernized to fill the reminding 3 CSGN slots since the escort carriers already do that now that I'm thinking about it.

Where's the money for this coming from? What killed the Strike Cruiser was that it was almost as expensive as an aircraft carrier for far less strike capability. And this on top of larger destroyers in the 1990s. All with ongoing NTU upgrades and very expensive SSN and CVN programs.

Also, this retention of the Des Moines and Iowa classes into the 2000s makes no sense whatsever. The WWII-vintage steam plants alone make that a nonstarter. Also:

Um... this is completely incorrect. Their propulsion plants are antiquated, their parts infrastructure is custom, their 5" guns use nonstandard ammo, and the hulls aren't likely to be in very good shape. That entire comment shows that you have no idea what you're talking about, Texas is in horrid condition underwater and there's serious talk about having to drydock her so she doesn't collapse entirely. Pretty much every other large museum ship has issues of some kind with underwater corrosion, see some pics of North Carolina if you want a newer ship.

All else being equal your 2005 fleet is bigger, more nuclear, and is suffering four ancient WWII-era ships. All of that costs money. So I ask again: where the hell is the money for this coming from?

Like, you want to get Strike Cruisers in the water, go ahead, I think that's at least in handwaving distance and could make for an interesting timeline. But this... your entire proposal looks cool but falls apart under close scrutiny.
The navy in this TL is much more skeptical about long-range rocket-assisted or guided gun-based munitions, (as they should be), and so are looking for more conventional naval gunfire support options until those become available. The Des Moines seems like an easy way to get rid of one of the Iowas, they're smaller and cheaper to operate (I presume), and can carry almost as many missiles. Once the cold war ends, they might get rid of 2 Iowas, and possibly more to be honest, although the reason to keep those around, in active reserve if nothing else, is the 16" scramjet-powered shells that could be developed for them in the 2010s, with a 400 nautical mile range. Granted, my knowledge of those is limited to one paragraph of Wikipedia, but still, the basic concept seems fine.

Also, I am fully aware of the condition the USS Texas is in. But Iowa is 30 years younger, so presumably, even if Texas gets drydocked tomorrow Iowa still has 30 years left (could be wrong on that though, I'm not an expert). Also, did you not notice the 6x1 5" guns, not the 6x2? That means they've been replaced (in this case with Mk. 65s). So they most definitely have stand ammo, for those at least. But your point about them being expensive is completely valid, maybe they would be inactivated until the scramjet-powered shells become available. In OTL the cost of upgrading the Iowas back to operational service in the mid-2000s was 610 million, according to Wikipedia.

The Strike Cruiser is expensive, but possible--the funds have to come from somewhere.

If you want to go the other way, with a gun armed monitor, I designed one for my timeline, "The Masquerade."
USS New Hampshire and her sisters (Monitors got state names before they stopped being built) is slow, but heavily armored by 1980's standards, and well armed. 22 knots is NOT fast, but keeps up with amphibious assault ships and tankers.
If you're interested, have a look if not, no worries. (My timeline also has 2 strike cruisers on the ways and 2 more authorized, as the Carter administration accepted more nuclear ships as part of the price of more nuclear research. The second 2 strike cruisers might not get laid down...)
That's cool, but... 3" guns? That's a very weird choice at this point - 3" is too small to do anything as far as I'm aware. But other than that, looks great. Although I'm not sure about the armor, I recently posted a thread on putting armor on modern ships and got shot down, hard. I'm pretty sure it's useless now, given how easy shaped charges are (don't take this as meaning that I think all of this is a bad idea though, while I am aware of it I have not yet had the time to read The Masquerade, so there could be context I'm missing).

Also, anyone's thoughts on the other things besides the CGSNs and battleships? What do you guys think of the naming schemes, or the fact that the Gerald R Ford-class was just a Flight II Nimitz, or the Harold R Stark-class trimaran frigates, etc?
 
Last edited:
So, I finally got done updating all of this with your suggestions. Here it is.

-------------------------------------------------------------

First ship launched:
1982

First ship commissioned:
1984

Displacement:
18,500 to 20,000 tonnes

Size:
745 (wl), 787 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 8" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
4 x Tomahawk quad launchers (16 missiles)
2 x Mk. 26 missile launchers (128 missiles)

Reference image (not made by me):

First ship launched:
1986

First ship commissioned:
1988

Displacement:
22,500 to 25,000 tonnes

Size:
625 (wl), 680 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:

Flight deck and hangar for 8 VTOL aircraft and 10 STOL aircraft
Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (256 missiles)

First ship upgraded:
1989

Displacement:
16,500 to 18,000 tonnes

Size:
680 (wl), 720 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 8" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
4x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (192 missiles)

Reference image (not made by me):

First ship upgraded:
1990

Displacement:
17,500 to 21,500 tonnes

Size:
700 (wl), 717 (oa) x 75 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Steam turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armor:
4 to 6" belt, 3.75" deck

Armament:
3x3 x 8" guns
2x2 x 5" guns
3 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
7 x Tomahawk quad launchers (28 missiles)

First ship launched:
1991

First ship commissioned:
1993

Displacement:
6,900 to 8,300 tonnes

Size:
466 (wl), 505 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 25 mm chain guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
64+32 x Mk. 41 VLS (96 missiles)

First ship launched:
2001

First ship commissioned:
2003

Displacement:
9,000 to 12,000 tonnes

Size:
511 (wl), 550 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 25 mm chain guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)

First ship upgraded:
2009

Displacement:
47,000 to 59,000 tonnes

Size:
861 (wl), 887 (oa) x 108 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Steam turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar

Armor:
12.1" belt, 7.5" deck

Armament:
3x3 x 16" guns
6x1 x 5" guns
6 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x Sea Sparrow launchers (16 missiles)
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
2x16+2x32 x Mk. 41 VLS (96 missiles)

First ship launched:
2006

First ship commissioned:
2008

Displacement:
10,000 to 13,000 tonnes

Size:
528 (wl), 567 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 6 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
1x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (64 missiles)

First ship launched:
2008

First ship commissioned:
2010

Displacement:
3,000 to 4,000 tonnes

Size:
520 (wl), 550 (oa) x 110 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
1 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x NSM quad launchers (8 missiles)
1x8 x Mk. 41 VLS (8 missiles)

First ship launched:
2013

First ship commissioned:
2015

Displacement:
10,500 to 13,500 tonnes

Size:
528 (wl), 567 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-3 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 8" gun
2 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
20x4 x Mk. 57 VLS (80 missiles)

First ship launched:
2018

First ship commissioned:
2021

Displacement:
96,000 to 100,000 tonnes

Size:
1,054 (wl), 1,106 (oa) x 134 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Nuclear

Sensors:
AN/SPY-3 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 90 VTOL/STOL/HTOL aircraft

Armament:
3 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x Mk. 56 missile launcher (24 missiles)

-------------------------------------------------------------

Frigates: Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes, previous frigates

Destroyers: Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes, previous destroyers

Cruisers: Battles, US cities, previous cruisers

Battleships: US states, previous battleships

Escort carriers: Battles from the Pacific war of WWII, previous escort carriers

Aircraft carriers: Battles, fleet admirals, aviation pioneers, previous aircraft carriers

Submarines: Fish and other sea creatures, previous submarines

Ballistic missile submarines: US states, previous ballistic missile submarines

Amphibious command ships: US geographical areas, previous amphibious command ships

Amphibious assault ships: Early US sailing ships, Marine Corps battles, previous aircraft carriers from WWII , previous amphibious assault ships

Amphibious transport docks: US cities, important places in US and US naval history, previous amphibious transport docks


Notes:

Naming an entire massive ship that takes hundreds or thousands of people to build and operate after a single person seams a bit wrong to me. So the largest ships that can be named after people are destroyers, and even then only frigates and smaller ships can be named with a persons full name, destroyers can only be named with someones last name. The only exceptions to this are very high ranking navy officers, like the 4 fleet admirals from WWII (which may or may not be an excuse to keep the Nimitz class named that).

Ships can, however, be named after other ships as well as people. If, for example, you wanted to name a ship after the USS William D Porter DD-579, you could name it the USS William D Porter. But if you wanted to name it after the person named William D Porter, you would have to name it just USS Porter (unless the ship is a frigate or smaller).

-------------------------------------------------------------

Frigates

Constitution-class FF: 1 commissioned

USS Constitution

Oliver Hazard Perry-class FFG: 49 commissioned

USS Oliver Hazard Perry
USS Francis X McInerney
USS Alexander S Wadsworth
USS Donald B Duncan
USS Joseph J Clark
USS George Philip
USS Samuel Eliot Morison
USS John H Sides
USS Mitchel J Estocin
USS Clifton A F Sprague
USS John A Moore
USS Richard N Antrim
USS James H Flatley
USS Frank G Fahrion
USS Lewis B Puller
USS Jack Williams
USS Robert W Copeland
USS William O Gallery
USS Mahlon S Tisdale
USS Joel T Boone
USS Stephen W Groves
USS Samuel C Reid
USS Harold R Stark
USS John L Hall
USS Harry B Jarret
USS Aubrey Fitch
USS Gordon W Underwood
USS Benjamin S Eason
USS Maurice Curts
USS James H Doyle
USS William D Halyburton
USS Clarence W McClusky
USS Thomas B Klakring
USS John S Thach
USS Richard De Wert
USS George Rentz
USS Samuel Nicholas
USS Alexander A Vandegrift
USS Robert G Bradley
USS Jesse J Taylor
USS Donald A Gary
USS Paul H Carr
USS Richard E Hawes
USS Patrick O Ford
USS Henry T Elrod
USS Rodger W Simpson
USS Reuben James
USS Floyd B Parks
USS James L Kauffman
USS Rodney M Davis
USS Duncan Ingraham

-------------------------------------------------------------

Destroyers

Spruance-class DD: 31 commissioned

USS Spruance
USS Foster
USS Kinkaid
USS Hewitt
USS Elliot
USS Maury
USS Peterson
USS Caron
USS Ray
USS Oldendorf
USS Young
USS De Grasse
USS O'Brien
USS Merrill
USS Nicholas
USS Stump
USS Conolly
USS Moosbrugger
USS Hancock
USS Nicholson
USS Rodgers
USS Leftwich
USS Cushing
USS Hill
USS William D Porter
USS Thorn
USS Deyo
USS Ingersoll
USS Fife
USS Fletcher
USS Hayler

Kidd-class DDG: 4 commissioned

USS Kidd
USS Callaghan
USS Scott
USS Chandler

Johnston-class DDG: 3 commissioned

USS Johnston
USS Burke
USS Laboon

-------------------------------------------------------------

Cruisers

Des Moines-class CA: 2 commissioned

USS Des Moines
USS Salem

California-class CGN: 2 commissioned

USS California
USS South Carolina

Virginia-class CGN: 4 commissioned

USS Virginia
USS Texas
USS Mississippi
USS Arkansas

Ticonderoga-class CSG: 5 commissioned

USS Ticonderoga
USS Monterey
USS Vally Forge
USS Bunker Hill
USS Mobile Bay

-------------------------------------------------------------

Escort Carriers

Leyte Gulf-class CLG: 4 commissioned

USS Leyte Gulf
USS Philippine Sea
USS Coral Sea
USS Solomon Sea

-------------------------------------------------------------

Aircraft Carriers

Forrestal-class CV: 1 commissioned

USS Independence

Kitty Hawk-class CV: 3 commissioned

USS Kitty Hawk
USS Constellation
USS America

Enterprise-class CVN: 1 commissioned

USS Enterprise

Langley-class CV: 1 commissioned

USS Langley

Nimitz-class CVN: 6 commissioned

USS Nimitz
USS Yorktown
USS Intrepid
USS Hornet
USS Lexington
USS Halsey

-------------------------------------------------------------

Fast Attack Submarines

Thresher-class SSN: 1 commissioned

USS Gato

Sturgeon-class SSN:

USS Whale
USS Tautog
USS Grayling
USS Pogy
USS Sunfish
USS Puffer
USS Sand Lance
USS Hawkbill
USS Bergall
USS Spadefish
USS Finback
USS Pintado
USS Flying Fish
USS Trepang
USS Bluefish
USS Billfish
USS Archerfish
USS Bates
USS Batfish
USS Tunny
USS Parche
USS Cavalla
USS Grampus

Narwhal-class SSN:1 commissioned

USS Narwhal

Stingray-class SSN: 58 commissioned

USS Stingray
USS Cutlass
USS Mackerel
USS Lionfish
USS Harder
USS Bowfin
USS Lancetfish
USS Viper
USS Skipjack
USS Barbel
USS Corsair
USS Salmon
USS Barracuda
USS Amberjack
USS Shark
USS Trigger
USS Nautilus
USS Icefish
USS Bumper
USS Sawfish
USS Cod
USS Skate
USS Permit
USS Catfish
USS Sealion
USS Growler
USS Albacore
USS Jawfish
USS Tambor
USS Alligator
USS Sennet
USS Corporal
USS Porpoise
USS Pike
USS Balao
USS Swordfish
USS Thresher
USS Redfin
USS Turtle
USS Herring
USS Darter
USS Dace
USS Octopus
USS Pickerel
USS Blueback
USS Cabrilla
USS Espada
USS Albany
USS Blackfin
USS Dolphin
USS Haddock
USS Spearfish
USS Grayback
USS Marlin
USS Searaven
USS Sailfish
USS Razorback
USS Cuttlefish
USS Bass
USS Snapper

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ballistic Missile Submarines

Ohio-class SSBN: 16 commissioned

USS Ohio
USS Michigan
USS Florida
USS Georgia
USS Washington
USS Alabama
USS Alaska
USS Nevada
USS Tennesse
USS Utah
USS West Virginia
USS Kentucky
USS Maryland
USS Nebraska
USS Rhode Island
USS Maine

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Command Ships

Blue Ridge-class LCC: 2 commissioned

USS Blue Ridge
USS Mount Whitney

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Transport Docks

Raleigh-class LPD: 1 commissioned

USS La Salle

Austin-class LPD: 12 commissioned

USS Austin
USS Ogden
USS Duluth
USS Cleveland
USS Dubuque
USS Denver
USS Juneau
USS Coronado
USS Shreveport
USS Nashville
USS Trenton
USS Ponce

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Assault Ships

Tarawa-class LHA: 5 commissioned

USS Tarawa
USS Saipan
USS Belleau Wood
USS Nassau
USS Peleliu

Wasp-class LHD: 4 commissioned

USS Wasp
USS Essex
USS Kearsarge
USS Boxer

Frigates

Constitution-class FF: 1 commissioned

USS Constitution

Oliver Hazard Perry-class FFG: 28 commissioned

USS Francis X McInerney
USS Joel T Boone
USS Stephen W Groves
USS John L Hall
USS Harry B Jarret
USS Gordon W Underwood
USS Benjamin S Eason
USS Maurice Curts
USS James H Doyle
USS William D Halyburton
USS Clarence W McClusky
USS Thomas B Klakring
USS John S Thach
USS Richard De Wert
USS George Rentz
USS Samuel Nicholas
USS Alexander A Vandegrift
USS Robert G Bradley
USS Jesse J Taylor
USS Donald A Gary
USS Paul H Carr
USS Richard E Hawes
USS Patrick O Ford
USS Henry T Elrod
USS Rodger W Simpson
USS Reuben James
USS Floyd B Parks
USS James L Kauffman
USS Rodney M Davis
USS Duncan Ingraham

-------------------------------------------------------------

Destroyers

Spruance-class DD: 31 commissioned

USS Spruance
USS Foster
USS Kinkaid
USS Hewitt
USS Elliot
USS Maury
USS Peterson
USS Caron
USS Ray
USS Oldendorf
USS Young
USS De Grasse
USS O'Brien
USS Merrill
USS Fletcher
USS Stout
USS Conolly
USS Moosbrugger
USS Hancock
USS Nicholson
USS Rodgers
USS Leftwich
USS Cushing
USS Hill
USS William D Porter
USS Thorn
USS Deyo
USS Ingersoll
USS Fife
USS Nicholas
USS Hayler

Johnston-class DDG: 39 commissioned

USS Johnston
USS Burke
USS Laboon
USS Heermann
USS Cole
USS O'Bannon
USS Barry
USS Gridley
USS Samuel B Roberts
USS Russell
USS Hoel
USS Hamilton
USS Ramage
USS Fitzgerald
USS Stethem
USS Gonzalez
USS Buchanan
USS Porter
USS Stethem
USS Cook
USS Taylor
USS The Sullivans
USS Saufley
USS Jones
USS O'Kane
USS Hopper
USS Austin
USS Milius
USS Ross
USS Lassen
USS Russell
USS Decatur
USS Higgins
USS Bulkeley
USS Morris
USS Roosevelt
USS Howard
USS McCampbell
USS Mason

-------------------------------------------------------------

Cruisers

Des Moines-class CA: 2 commissioned

USS Des Moines
USS Salem

Virginia-class CGN: 2 commissioned

USS Virginia
USS Arkansas

Ticonderoga-class CSG: 5 commissioned

USS Ticonderoga
USS Monterey
USS Vally Forge
USS Bunker Hill
USS Mobile Bay

Lake Erie-class CG: 6 commissioned

USS Lake Erie
USS Gettysburg
USS Princeton
USS Lake Champlain
USS Antietam
USS Lake Huron

-------------------------------------------------------------

Escort Carriers

Leyte Gulf-class CLG: 4 commissioned

USS Leyte Gulf
USS Philippine Sea
USS Coral Sea
USS Solomon Sea

-------------------------------------------------------------

Aircraft Carriers

Kitty Hawk-class CV: 1 commissioned

USS Kitty Hawk

Enterprise-class CVN: 1 commissioned

USS Enterprise

Langley-class CV: 1 commissioned

USS Langley

Nimitz-class CVN: 8 commissioned

USS Nimitz
USS Yorktown
USS Intrepid (currently refueling)
USS Hornet
USS Lexington
USS Halsey
USS Saratoga
USS Ranger

-------------------------------------------------------------

Fast Attack Submarines

Stingray-class SSN: 50 commissioned

USS Stingray
USS Cutlass
USS Mackerel
USS Skipjack
USS Barbel
USS Corsair
USS Salmon
USS Trigger
USS Nautilus
USS Bumper
USS Sawfish
USS Cod
USS Skate
USS Catfish
USS Sealion
USS Growler
USS Albacore
USS Jawfish
USS Tambor
USS Alligator
USS Sennet
USS Corporal
USS Porpoise
USS Pike
USS Balao
USS Swordfish
USS Thresher
USS Redfin
USS Turtle
USS Herring
USS Darter
USS Dace
USS Octopus
USS Pickerel
USS Blueback
USS Cabrilla
USS Espada
USS Albany
USS Blackfin
USS Dolphin
USS Haddock
USS Spearfish
USS Grayback
USS Marlin
USS Searaven
USS Sailfish
USS Razorback
USS Cuttlefish
USS Bass
USS Snapper

Seawolf-class SSN: 3 commissioned

USS Seawolf
USS Archerfish
USS Kraken

Triton-class SSN: 1 commissioned

USS Triton

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ballistic Missile Submarines

Ohio-class SSBN: 14 commissioned

USS Washington
USS Alabama
USS Alaska
USS Nevada
USS Tennesse
USS Utah
USS West Virginia
USS Kentucky
USS Maryland
USS Nebraska
USS Rhode Island
USS Maine
USS Wyoming
USS Louisiana

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Command Ships

Blue Ridge-class LCC: 2 commissioned

USS Blue Ridge
USS Mount Whitney

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Transport Docks

Austin-class LPD: 10 commissioned

USS Austin
USS Ogden
USS Cleveland
USS Dubuque
USS Denver
USS Juneau
USS Shreveport
USS Nashville
USS Trenton
USS Ponce

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Assault Ships

Tarawa-class LHA: 5 commissioned

USS Tarawa
USS Saipan
USS Belleau Wood
USS Nassau
USS Peleliu

Wasp-class LHD: 8 commissioned

USS Wasp
USS Essex
USS Kearsarge
USS Boxer
USS Bataan
USS Bonhomme Richard
USS Iwo Jima
USS Makin Island

Frigates

Constitution-class FF: 1 commissioned

USS Constitution

Harold R Stark-class FFG: 15 commissioned

USS Harold R Stark
USS Rodney M Davis
USS Alexander A Vandegrift
USS Samuel C Reid
USS James H Doyle
USS George Philip
USS George Rentz
USS Richard N Antrim
USS Henry T Elrod
USS Daniel Frazier
USS Donald B Duncan
USS Stephen W Groves
USS Joel T Boone
USS Robert W Copeland
USS Donald A Gary

-------------------------------------------------------------

Destroyers

Johnston-class DDG: 44 commissioned

USS Johnston
USS Burke
USS Laboon
USS Heermann
USS Cole
USS O'Bannon
USS Barry
USS Gridley
USS Samuel B Roberts
USS Russell
USS Hoel
USS Hamilton
USS Ramage
USS Fitzgerald
USS Stethem
USS Gonzalez
USS Buchanan
USS Porter
USS Stethem
USS Cook
USS Taylor
USS The Sullivans
USS Saufley
USS Jones
USS O'Kane
USS Hopper
USS Austin
USS Milius
USS Ross
USS Lassen
USS Russell
USS Decatur
USS Higgins
USS Bulkeley
USS Morris
USS Roosevelt
USS Howard
USS McCampbell
USS Mason
USS Truxtun
USS Dewey
USS Murphy
USS Dunham
USS Kidd

-------------------------------------------------------------

Cruisers

Des Moines-class CA: 2 commissioned

USS Des Moines
USS Salem

Ticonderoga-class CSG: 5 commissioned

USS Ticonderoga
USS Monterey
USS Vally Forge
USS Bunker Hill
USS Mobile Bay

Lake Erie-class CG: 15 commissioned

USS Lake Erie
USS Gettysburg
USS Princeton
USS Lake Champlain
USS Antietam
USS Lake Huron
USS Cowpens
USS Princeton
USS Chancellorsville
USS San Jacinto
USS Hué City
USS Normandy
USS Anzio
USS Vella Gulf
USS Port Royal

San Diego-class CHG: 7 commissioned

USS San Diego
USS Helena
USS New Orleans
USS Portland
USS Minneapolis
USS San Fransisco
USS Northampton

Atlanta-class CG: 5 commissioned

USS Atlanta
USS Vincennes
USS Houston
USS Chicago
USS Quincy

-------------------------------------------------------------

Battleships

Iowa-class BBG: 2 commissioned

USS Iowa
USS Wisconsin

-------------------------------------------------------------

Escort Carriers

Leyte Gulf-class CLG: 4 commissioned

USS Leyte Gulf
USS Philippine Sea
USS Coral Sea
USS Solomon Sea

-------------------------------------------------------------

Aircraft Carriers

Nimitz-class CVN: 11 commissioned

USS Nimitz
USS Yorktown
USS Intrepid
USS Hornet
USS Lexington
USS Halsey
USS Saratoga
USS Ranger (refueling)
USS Constellation
USS United States
USS Enterprise

-------------------------------------------------------------

Fast Attack Submarines

Stingray-class SSN: 32 commissioned

USS Skipjack
USS Barbel
USS Jawfish
USS Alligator
USS Corporal
USS Porpoise
USS Pike
USS Balao
USS Swordfish
USS Thresher
USS Redfin
USS Turtle
USS Herring
USS Darter
USS Octopus
USS Pickerel
USS Blueback
USS Cabrilla
USS Espada
USS Albany
USS Blackfin
USS Dolphin
USS Haddock
USS Spearfish
USS Grayback
USS Marlin
USS Searaven
USS Sailfish
USS Razorback
USS Cuttlefish
USS Bass
USS Snapper

Seawolf-class SSN: 3 commissioned

USS Seawolf
USS Archerfish
USS Kraken

Triton-class SSN: 28 commissioned

USS Triton
USS Sealion
USS Cutlass
USS Lancetfish
USS Cod
USS Shark
USS Harder
USS Batfish
USS Narwhal
USS Dace
USS Albacore
USS Permit
USS Gato
USS Bluefish
USS Tunny
USS Pintado
USS Sunfish
USS Lionfish
USS Viper
USS Stingray
USS Nautilus
USS Skate
USS Catfish
USS Barracuda
USS Parche
USS Amberjack
USS Icefish
USS Corsair

-------------------------------------------------------------

Guided Missile Submarines

Ohio-class SSGN: 4 commissioned

USS Ohio
USS Michigan
USS Florida
USS Georgia

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ballistic Missile Submarines

Ohio-class SSBN: 14 commissioned

USS Washington
USS Alabama
USS Alaska
USS Nevada
USS Tennesse
USS Utah
USS West Virginia
USS Kentucky
USS Maryland
USS Nebraska
USS Rhode Island
USS Maine
USS Wyoming
USS Louisiana

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Command Ships

Blue Ridge-class LCC: 2 commissioned

USS Blue Ridge
USS Mount Whitney

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Transport Docks

San Antonio-class LPD: 14 commissioned

USS San Antonio
USS Astoria
USS Mesa Verde
USS Green Bay
USS New York
USS Juneau
USS Anchorage
USS Arlington
USS Sommerset
USS Belleau Wood
USS Nassau
USS Tarawa
USS Peleliu
USS Harrisburg

-------------------------------------------------------------

Amphibious Assault Ships

Wasp-class LHD: 8 commissioned

USS Wasp
USS Essex
USS Kearsarge
USS Boxer
USS Bataan
USS Bonhomme Richard
USS Iwo Jima
USS Makin Island

America-class LHA: 3 commissioned

USS America
USS Tripoli
USS Bougainville

-------------------------------------------------------------

I took your advice and changed a few things. Firstly, and most importantly I made the CSGNs into just CSGs. On the one hand, now the name isn't nearly as cool. On the other, now there's a decent chance the navy can actually afford them. Which is kind of important. I included a diagram of them in the infobox, made by sabotage181 over on shipbucket.

Also, I changed things up in regards to the battleships. The way I imagine it, The navy started wanting to replace them sometime around ~1988 due to their operating costs, but they still wanted to keep a naval fire support platform. So, they looked into replacing 2 of them with Des Moines class cruisers (an OTL proposal), and they go ahead with that. By the end of 1990 2 Des Moines have been converted, and the New Jersey and Missouri are taken off of active duty and put in reserve. Then the Cold War ends, and the New Jersey and Missouri are completely converted into museums, with the Iowa and Wisconsin being deactivated but kept in fighting condition by the US Navy. They look into deactivating the Des Moines as well, but they literally just got done converting them, and also that would leave them without a naval gunfire support platform, which TTL's US Navy views as an extremely critical part of their fleet. So they stick around.

Then, sometime around ~2004, someone in the navy proposes a guided, scramjet-powered 16" shell (the Wikipedia article isn't very specific on this, so I guessed the date). Remember, back in TTL's 70s the navy evaluated guided gun-based munitions and found them completely unworkable (unlike OTL, where they spent years pouring money into their development which in the end never went anywhere). However, by this point technology has developed enough that the navy is willing to reevaluate them and concludes that the proposal is sound. So, they draw up plans to reactivate 2 of the Iowas and equip them with these new long-range shells (400 nautical mile range, CEP of ~100 m).

In 2006 the Iowa and Wisconsin went into the shipyards for a major overhaul and came out 3 years later with new command and control systems, communication equipment, environmental protection, new fire safety and women-at-sea modifications, an Aegis combat system, new Mk. 65 5" guns and 4 16 and 32-cell VLS launchers, for a total cost of $600 million. The scramjet-powered shells, now known as the Self-propelled Guided Projectiles, were ready to start testing in 2012 after 6 years of development. Initial tests were promising, and by 2013 the CEP was down to 117 meters, and the shells were cleared for active use.

It's important to note that all of this was classified as top secret. As far as the public was concerned, the Iowa's were being brought back to fulfill a land-attack role. While not incorrect, the new SGP shells allowed the battleships to also engage in an anti-ship role as well, something the Navy wanted to make sure any future enemy was completely unaware of.

I'm sure you're asking where all the money for this is coming from. Well, remember what I said earlier about them not developing guided munitions in the 80s and 90s? Well, in OTL they did, and they spent hundreds of millions of dollars on it. Not to mention, ITTL the USS Zumwalt never happened, or more accurately, it did happen, just this time they did it properly. They took an existing hull (TTL's version of flight III Burkes), and over the iterations they gradually introduced new technologies, culminating in the Atlanta-class, which had an entirely new, low radar profile, superstructure, new Mk 57 VLS cells, and a new Mk. 73 8" gun (which was developed from the Mk. 71 and is much more capable than the AGS).

Also, just to be clear, this thread isn't just about the Strike Cruiser. I named it that so it would have a catchy title, but this is really about everything to do with the US Navy between 1975-ish and today. The CSGN (or CSG) is just the main POD. So all in all, there's the update. Any thoughts? Have I created something credible, or is it complete nonsense?
 
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That's cool, but... 3" guns? That's a very weird choice at this point - 3" is too small to do anything as far as I'm aware. But other than that, looks great. Although I'm not sure about the armor, I recently posted a thread on putting armor on modern ships and got shot down, hard. I'm pretty sure it's useless now, given how easy shaped charges are (don't take this as meaning that I think all of this is a bad idea though, while I am aware of it I have not yet had the time to read The Masquerade, so there could be context I'm missing).
The New Hampshire has an 8" gun--the same Major Calliber Lightweight Gun that eqipped USS Hull. (In Springsharp, I simulated it with a 6" gun) The first set of data is the raw Springsharp, the second is it modified to fit what I needed--Springsharp only goes to 1950.) The 3" guns are the secondaries, for volume of fire. The laser guided 8" shells are for killing anything afloat or ashore, often with one shot. Even a destroyer won't like them.
The ship is intended for, among other things, dealing with gunboats attacking tanker convoys, as well as naval gunfore support. She's equipped with a variety of missiles as well, and a modest ASW suite.

Armor--well, if tanks shoot at it at long range (for them) then the armor is a very good thing. NO tank's armor will withstand return fire. main purpose of the armor is to deal with gunboats--the 76 mm guns on many fast attack craft will scratch the paint

A major shipkiller missile that gets through will ruin its whole day. That's why the Phalanx.

I'm still fleshing out bits of the design, but there is a ship you might find useful.
In The Masquerade, it might get referred to as a "Pocket Battleship."
(The Masquerade is not prinmarily a naval timeline, so if you start it for that reason, you'll be disappointed.)
 
Let's start of with your designs.

Okay, first off, if you want to build nuclear strike cruisers build nuclear strike cruisers. The nuclear power was a very important part of the Strike Cruiser design. Keep in mind that these were intended as independent combatants. Everything about the design is built around that concept. The AEGIS combat system was added to make it survivable against air attacks that would have overwhelmed any old-school missile combatant. The Tomahawk missiles gave them strike power not tied to the onboard sensors, making practicable the increase in size needed to return to cruiser standards of protection, survivability, and habitability. And nuclear power gave them nigh-infinite cruising range. It all ties together into the base Concept of Operations (abbreviated to CONOPS from now on), and conventional propulsion honestly doesn't fit. Otherwise, something like a 13,000-ton conventionally-powered cruiser would make far more sense for carrier escort.

What I'm questioning about the Strike Cruiser program is what the hell the V/STOL flight deck Strike Cruisers are for. They don't fit into the American force structure and they'd be very expensive for a scenario where you're already spending a lot of money.

Your Des Moines upgrade: where are you putting everything? You don't have space for all of the 8" turrets, two 5" turrets, 7 ABLs, and that Sea Sparrow launcher. You had a good design earlier, this makes a lot less sense.

Same deal with the Iowa upgrades. Where are you putting all those VLS cells with all three 16" turrets still onboard? How are you keeping the guns from knocking the Sea Sparrow launchers offline, which IOTL was the obstacle to installing them? If you're putting the VLS where the ABLs were, that's not going to work. The VLS penetrates too deeply to be mounted that high up in the superstructure.

The actual viability of the big-gun ships... well, we'll get to that later.

San Diego class: what is this for? You have your Zumwalt replacement later down the line, so what is this thing supposed to do?

Trimaran frigate: No. Nonononononono NO. You're completely missing the point of the LCS. This is no longer a low-cost expendable combatant; among other things the only reason to fit that VLS is to fit ESSM and that's a gigantic expense the ships do not want. The way to fix the LCS program was to focus on the Independence type and rearm them with antiship missiles earlier. The US Navy certainly had no shortage of spare Harpoon launchers after divesting all the old Cold War era steam ships.

Atlanta-class: There's the Zumwalt replacement. That said, there are certain technologies that made it onto the Zumwalt class that you've deleted and absolutely need to happen. Most notably the electric propulsion system, it's a necessity for any future electricity-intensive upgrades. I'd also stan for the tumblehome hull, by all accounts it works beautifully, but I'm not going to push that.

Flight II Nimitz: Okay, so what's the deal with these ships? Looking at it it looks like the Ford-class hull but without all the fancy new subsystems. I'd like confirmation, because there are certain parts of the Ford design that can be put off and others that really shouldn't.

~o~
Let's check out those fleet comps next.

1995: Minor thing, but what happened to JFK? I'm assuming the Langley-class are those Flight II Nimitzes you talked about? Otherwise, you've got too few Johnston-class. The US Navy had 7 Burkes already at the start of the year and commissioned more.

2005: Still confused about what Langley's deal is. And where JFK went. And what Constitution is supposed to be. Also, I'm identifying a general problem with your timeline: you've dramatically slowed US Navy procurement of large surface combatants. Take the 2005 fleet: you have 54 post-Spruance surface combatants. OTL the US Navy had built 71: 27 Ticonderogas (though they were divesting of the first 5 Mk. 26 vessels), and 44 Burkes, 16 of which were IIA Burkes. You have an overall larger surface fleet due to retaining the Spruances longer and still holding onto the Des Moines and Iowa classes (again, will get to those later). A further problem is that what shipbuilding you do retain is biased towards the post-Cold War fleet, which from a financial perspective is the much less opportune time to do so compared to the 1980s.

2025: And here's the piece de resistance of nonsense: somehow, your 2025 fleet is inferior to the current 2020 fleet. You have 16 frigates to 21 LCS. 84 large surface combatants to 90, and that's counting the Iowas, Des Moines, and escort carriers, which I really shouldn't. Yes, the individual ships are (arguably) superior, but numbers matter: look how many headaches the US Navy is going through to meet its obligations with the current fleet, to say nothing of your smaller one. Also, how the hell did you somehow outproduce the Virginia program from the same starting point, and how the hell are you maintaining a 2020 LA fleet in 2025.

~o~
Okay. The Des Moines and Iowa classes. *deep breath*

They look into deactivating the Des Moines as well, but they literally just got done converting them, and also that would leave them without a naval gunfire support platform, which TTL's US Navy views as an extremely critical part of their fleet. So they stick around.
Okay, two things. First, the US Navy was faced with a similar situation with its Terrier cruisers in 1991. They'd all just been expensively upgraded to NTU standards, some in 1991, and with Standard-ER missiles had a capability that even the new VLS-equipped AEGIS ships couldn't match until 1999. The US Navy still got rid of all of them by 1995 because they were old, expensive to run, and ill-suited to the post-Cold War threat environment. All of this applies to the Des Moines-class.

Second, okay, but why is NGFS viewed as so critical? Especially when the fleet has a bunch of 8" guns running around anyway.

Then, sometime around ~2004, someone in the navy proposes a guided, scramjet-powered 16" shell (the Wikipedia article isn't very specific on this, so I guessed the date). Remember, back in TTL's 70s the navy evaluated guided gun-based munitions and found them completely unworkable (unlike OTL, where they spent years pouring money into their development which in the end never went anywhere). However, by this point technology has developed enough that the navy is willing to reevaluate them and concludes that the proposal is sound. So, they draw up plans to reactivate 2 of the Iowas and equip them with these new long-range shells (400 nautical mile range, CEP of ~100 m).

In 2006 the Iowa and Wisconsin went into the shipyards for a major overhaul and came out 3 years later with new command and control systems, communication equipment, environmental protection, new fire safety and women-at-sea modifications, an Aegis combat system, new Mk. 65 5" guns and 4 16 and 32-cell VLS launchers, for a total cost of $600 million. The scramjet-powered shells, now known as the Self-propelled Guided Projectiles, were ready to start testing in 2012 after 6 years of development. Initial tests were promising, and by 2013 the CEP was down to 117 meters, and the shells were cleared for active use.
This is not going to cost $600 million. I know where you're pulling the numbers from, and that $500 million was solely to reactivate the two battleships. A modernization was estimated to cost $1.5 billion, and this is going to cost at least that much given you're putting an entire DDG's worth of new combat systems on board. Probably going to cost more.

Hell, even the 80s work was pretty damn expensive. Almost a billion dollars per ship in 2010 dollars.

All of this with ships running headache-inducing steam plants and with hulls that are severely worn out. You're missing the point with my comparison to Texas. The Iowas being 30 years younger does not mean they have 30 years of hull life left. It means they're 30 years from falling apart at the seams. That's a really, really big difference, and in fact when they moved Missouri recently she was leaking noticeably. And yes, regular maintenance helps - but that's even more money to spend on crew-intensive ships with expensive boutique parts and steam plants. The Des Moines class run into the same problems.

I'd also submit that the Navy's skepticism regarding guided shells makes very little sense. Skepticism regarding extended-range shells? Certainly! That's been a shitshow and a half in the many decades of R&D money the Navy has thrown at the concept. But frankly, if the Army could successfully design a laser-guided 155mm shell in the 1970, then the Navy can certainly do the same with their 8".

And in fact, they were planning to do exactly that with the Mk. 71. There was supposed to be a laser-guided shell so they could drop a shell right on top of a bunker in NGFS. Like, going back to your strong support for NGFS, I think it's telling what the US Navy originally planned to do once their old gun cruisers started getting decommissioned. They didn't ask to bring back the battleships. They designed a new 8" gun and planned to give it a laser-guided shell. It's a much more practical and much cheaper alternative than all this mucking around with ancient WWII-era ships in the goddamn 2000s.

I'm sure you're asking where all the money for this is coming from. Well, remember what I said earlier about them not developing guided munitions in the 80s and 90s? Well, in OTL they did, and they spent hundreds of millions of dollars on it.
That's cute. It also doesn't make a whit of a difference when the Ticonderogas and the first Burkes cost $800-$900 million per ship.
 
The New Hampshire has an 8" gun--the same Major Calliber Lightweight Gun that eqipped USS Hull. (In Springsharp, I simulated it with a 6" gun) The first set of data is the raw Springsharp, the second is it modified to fit what I needed--Springsharp only goes to 1950.) The 3" guns are the secondaries, for volume of fire. The laser guided 8" shells are for killing anything afloat or ashore, often with one shot. Even a destroyer won't like them.
The ship is intended for, among other things, dealing with gunboats attacking tanker convoys, as well as naval gunfore support. She's equipped with a variety of missiles as well, and a modest ASW suite.

Armor--well, if tanks shoot at it at long range (for them) then the armor is a very good thing. NO tank's armor will withstand return fire. main purpose of the armor is to deal with gunboats--the 76 mm guns on many fast attack craft will scratch the paint

A major shipkiller missile that gets through will ruin its whole day. That's why the Phalanx.

I'm still fleshing out bits of the design, but there is a ship you might find useful.
In The Masquerade, it might get referred to as a "Pocket Battleship."
(The Masquerade is not prinmarily a naval timeline, so if you start it for that reason, you'll be disappointed.)
Okay, that makes much more sense. I assumed they were ordinary escort ships. With the role you specified, those are actually pretty good ships! Although I still think the armor should be just a tiny bit thinner - it would free up tonnage for better compartmentalization, which ultimately is more important.

Let's start of with your designs.

Okay, first off, if you want to build nuclear strike cruisers build nuclear strike cruisers. The nuclear power was a very important part of the Strike Cruiser design. Keep in mind that these were intended as independent combatants. Everything about the design is built around that concept. The AEGIS combat system was added to make it survivable against air attacks that would have overwhelmed any old-school missile combatant. The Tomahawk missiles gave them strike power not tied to the onboard sensors, making practicable the increase in size needed to return to cruiser standards of protection, survivability, and habitability. And nuclear power gave them nigh-infinite cruising range. It all ties together into the base Concept of Operations (abbreviated to CONOPS from now on), and conventional propulsion honestly doesn't fit. Otherwise, something like a 13,000-ton conventionally-powered cruiser would make far more sense for carrier escort.
Okay, so to be clear, the fact they're nuclear isn't an issue? Or, more accurately, it is, but they can't get rid of it? Interesting. I'm curious what you think of this then (the final design is on page 22): http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4497

What I'm questioning about the Strike Cruiser program is what the hell the V/STOL flight deck Strike Cruisers are for. They don't fit into the American force structure and they'd be very expensive for a scenario where you're already spending a lot of money.
They were an OTL proposal. Hell if I know why. Just that they look cool, they were planned for IOTL, and IIRC there were also plans for reducing the number of supercarriers in favor of smaller conventionally powered ones. Maybe 4 is too much, but I wanted one to be named for every major naval battle in WWII with "sea" at the end of it, as well the original USS Leyte Gulf, since Samar was famous for the escort carriers (and destroyers) there. I considered adding a 5th and naming it USS Pearl Harbour, but that might be a bit too much. If it comes down to it, I could just cut it to 2 or 3 ships, and give the names to later cruisers I suppose. But no matter what, the US Navy needs at least one escort carrier named in reference to Leyte or Samar, in my opinion. I might be able to settle for a helicopter cruiser (carrying Harriers or F-35s), though, if it turns out they really are too expensive.

Your Des Moines upgrade: where are you putting everything? You don't have space for all of the 8" turrets, two 5" turrets, 7 ABLs, and that Sea Sparrow launcher. You had a good design earlier, this makes a lot less sense.
I took the numbers from a thread over on shipbucket. The thread is here (1st page, scroll down to the bottom for the final design): http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5303

Same deal with the Iowa upgrades. Where are you putting all those VLS cells with all three 16" turrets still onboard? How are you keeping the guns from knocking the Sea Sparrow launchers offline, which IOTL was the obstacle to installing them? If you're putting the VLS where the ABLs were, that's not going to work. The VLS penetrates too deeply to be mounted that high up in the superstructure.

The actual viability of the big-gun ships... well, we'll get to that later.
I got the idea from this:


I'll admit to not knowing if the VLS and Sea Sparrows would work in reality. But at the end of the day, it's the 16" scramjet shells that will make or break the ship, so I don't think it matters to much. At the very least, I know they could fit a few more CIWS on her, and she already has a bunch of Tomahawks, so it's probably fine. If it turns out the VLS and Sea Sparrows don't work I'll remove them.

San Diego class: what is this for? You have your Zumwalt replacement later down the line, so what is this thing supposed to do?
It's a dedicated ASW platform, what with the 6 helos. Not entirely sure if it's worth it, I might end up replacing them with more Lake Erie's. But they would be perfect for escorting merchant / amphibious assault fleets and such (then again, they already have the Leyte Gulfs for that).

Trimaran frigate: No. Nonononononono NO. You're completely missing the point of the LCS. This is no longer a low-cost expendable combatant; among other things the only reason to fit that VLS is to fit ESSM and that's a gigantic expense the ships do not want. The way to fix the LCS program was to focus on the Independence type and rearm them with antiship missiles earlier. The US Navy certainly had no shortage of spare Harpoon launchers after divesting all the old Cold War era steam ships.
I saw it as a replacement for the Oliver Hazard Perry-class, and so I upscaled its displacement. But given those points, I'll redesign it taking into account what you said when I get the time.

Atlanta-class: There's the Zumwalt replacement. That said, there are certain technologies that made it onto the Zumwalt class that you've deleted and absolutely need to happen. Most notably the electric propulsion system, it's a necessity for any future electricity-intensive upgrades. I'd also stan for the tumblehome hull, by all accounts it works beautifully, but I'm not going to push that.
I'm not sure how easy a massive engine upgrade would be on an existing hull, but I suppose it's possible. Also, make no mistake, the tumblehome hull is still in the works, they just aren't cramming every single new piece of technology into a single ship at once (the Mk. 57 VLS and new gun were tested on previous ships first). The hull the Atlanta-class uses is literally identical to the San Diego, which is just an extension of the Lake Erie. So it's cheaper to develop.

Flight II Nimitz: Okay, so what's the deal with these ships? Looking at it it looks like the Ford-class hull but without all the fancy new subsystems. I'd like confirmation, because there are certain parts of the Ford design that can be put off and others that really shouldn't.
Actually, the Flight II Nimitz is a direct continuation of the ordinary Nimitz. I didn't show it because I haven't listed launch dates on any of the ships (which may have been a mistake), but the Nimitzs were actually very much delayed to free up funds for other things. Sure they got one more ship, but the average time between launches was over 6 years. The USS Constellation, the 10th Nimitz listed, commissioned in ∼2015, as opposed to the 2009 of OTL.

Let's check out those fleet comps next.

1995: Minor thing, but what happened to JFK? I'm assuming the Langley-class are those Flight II Nimitzes you talked about? Otherwise, you've got too few Johnston-class. The US Navy had 7 Burkes already at the start of the year and commissioned more.

2005: Still confused about what Langley's deal is. And where JFK went. And what Constitution is supposed to be. Also, I'm identifying a general problem with your timeline: you've dramatically slowed US Navy procurement of large surface combatants. Take the 2005 fleet: you have 54 post-Spruance surface combatants. OTL the US Navy had built 71: 27 Ticonderogas (though they were divesting of the first 5 Mk. 26 vessels), and 44 Burkes, 16 of which were IIA Burkes. You have an overall larger surface fleet due to retaining the Spruances longer and still holding onto the Des Moines and Iowa classes (again, will get to those later). A further problem is that what shipbuilding you do retain is biased towards the post-Cold War fleet, which from a financial perspective is the much less opportune time to do so compared to the 1980s.
Langley is JFK. When I said ships larger than destroyers are rarely named after people, I meant it. USS Constitution is, well, USS Constitution. There's only one ship named that in commission, and I am most certainly not going to decommission her.

There are fewer Johnstons (OTL Burkes) due to them being built later (1993 rather than 1991). There are fewer Ticondergoas because ITTL the Ticondegoa is not something to build en masse. Unless you cancel the CSGNs, you're not going to be building 27 Tico-equivalents by 2005. And as you noted, this is balanced by A - holding on to the Spruances, and B - the ships being more powerful.

2025: And here's the piece de resistance of nonsense: somehow, your 2025 fleet is inferior to the current 2020 fleet. You have 16 frigates to 21 LCS. 84 large surface combatants to 90, and that's counting the Iowas, Des Moines, and escort carriers, which I really shouldn't. Yes, the individual ships are (arguably) superior, but numbers matter: look how many headaches the US Navy is going through to meet its obligations with the current fleet, to say nothing of your smaller one. Also, how the hell did you somehow outproduce the Virginia program from the same starting point, and how the hell are you maintaining a 2020 LA fleet in 2025.
15? Wait, did I... yep. Crap. I only modeled the frigates to 2015. Oops. As for the other ships, I really don't have a choice, the CSGNs take up so many resources to build you have to delay the Johnstons until 1993, and the Lake Eries until 2003.

Okay, two things. First, the US Navy was faced with a similar situation with its Terrier cruisers in 1991. They'd all just been expensively upgraded to NTU standards, some in 1991, and with Standard-ER missiles had a capability that even the new VLS-equipped AEGIS ships couldn't match until 1999. The US Navy still got rid of all of them by 1995 because they were old, expensive to run, and ill-suited to the post-Cold War threat environment. All of this applies to the Des Moines-class.

Second, okay, but why is NGFS viewed as so critical? Especially when the fleet has a bunch of 8" guns running around anyway.
I was unaware of that, interesting. Perhaps I'll have to get rid of the Des Moines then, which Is a shame, they are the best-looking cruisers ever built IMVHO. Oh well, maybe I'll retcon their upgrade date to 1982 and say they saw action alongside the Iowa's before being retired in 92.

As for NGFS, that's because at some unspecified point the Navy conducted a study and concluded that guns give much, much higher bang-for-buck firepower than missiles. Which led to the Mk. 71s being adopted. More on this in a second.

This is not going to cost $600 million. I know where you're pulling the numbers from, and that $500 million was solely to reactivate the two battleships. A modernization was estimated to cost $1.5 billion, and this is going to cost at least that much given you're putting an entire DDG's worth of new combat systems on board. Probably going to cost more.

Hell, even the 80s work was pretty damn expensive. Almost a billion dollars per ship in 2010 dollars.

All of this with ships running headache-inducing steam plants and with hulls that are severely worn out. You're missing the point with my comparison to Texas. The Iowas being 30 years younger does not mean they have 30 years of hull life left. It means they're 30 years from falling apart at the seams. That's a really, really big difference, and in fact when they moved Missouri recently she was leaking noticeably. And yes, regular maintenance helps - but that's even more money to spend on crew-intensive ships with expensive boutique parts and steam plants. The Des Moines class run into the same problems.
Okay, that's a problem. Admittedly this is a CSGN thread, so the Iowas are not strictly needed. But I don't want to give up on them just yet. Maybe... what if we built a new class of ships in the 2020s and put the 16" guns from Iowa and Wisconsin on them? The 16" guns are very important, as far as I'm aware the scramjet shells were only designed in that caliber. And this way we can name one of them Arizona! Then again, I might be getting ahead of myself. Let's try to work out the CSGNs and everything else in the 1980s to 90s before getting into the future.

I'd also submit that the Navy's skepticism regarding guided shells makes very little sense. Skepticism regarding extended-range shells? Certainly! That's been a shitshow and a half in the many decades of R&D money the Navy has thrown at the concept. But frankly, if the Army could successfully design a laser-guided 155mm shell in the 1970, then the Navy can certainly do the same with their 8".

And in fact, they were planning to do exactly that with the Mk. 71. There was supposed to be a laser-guided shell so they could drop a shell right on top of a bunker in NGFS. Like, going back to your strong support for NGFS, I think it's telling what the US Navy originally planned to do once their old gun cruisers started getting decommissioned. They didn't ask to bring back the battleships. They designed a new 8" gun and planned to give it a laser-guided shell. It's a much more practical and much cheaper alternative than all this mucking around with ancient WWII-era ships in the goddamn 2000s.
I, in my infinite stupidity, managed to get guided and extended range shells mixed up. Oops. Basically, the US navy found that extended range shells were not worth looking into, so the 8" guns were needed over the 5" guns. This saved them a lot of money in wasted development later on. They did eventually go back on this decision with the SGPs. Which I am very confused about as to your lack of a comment on that. Does that mean I got the details right?

Huh. I may have gotten my figures slightly wrong on that. Still, a hundred million dollars is a hundred million dollars. I'm pretty sure if you take all of the money saved by not doing various projects in this TL, you might even have the 3 billion needed to modernize the Iowas (it wasn't just shells, there's way more that I haven't yet covered). Maybe.
 
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Okay, so to be clear, the fact they're nuclear isn't an issue? Or, more accurately, it is, but they can't get rid of it? Interesting. I'm curious what you think of this then (the final design is on page 22): http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=4497
Nuclear is an issue, in that it adds considerably to the upfront and operational costs. But nuclear is vital to the CONOPS for the Strike Cruiser, and frankly since the Strike Cruiser is your POD it's something that can and should be handwaved a bit to work. In all honesty, it's the later stuff that I have more of a problem with it.

They were an OTL proposal. Hell if I know why. Just that they look cool, they were planned for IOTL, and IIRC there were also plans for reducing the number of supercarriers in favor of smaller conventionally powered ones. Maybe 5 is too much, but I wanted one to be named for every major naval battle in WWII with "sea" at the end of it, as well the original USS Leyte Gulf, since Samar was famous for the escort carriers (and destroyers) there. I considered adding a 6th and naming it USS Pearl Harbour, but that might be a bit too much. If it comes down to it, I could just cut it to 2 or 3 ships, and give the names to later cruisers I suppose. But no matter what, the US Navy needs at least one escort carrier named in reference to Leyte or Samar, in my opinion. I might be able to settle for a helicopter cruiser (carrying Harriers or F-35s), though, if it turns out they really are too expensive.
Unless you can elucidate a decent CONOPS for these ships I'd remove them and apply the money to the original nuclear CSGN. Smaller conventional carriers are a poor use of carrier money.

I took the numbers from a thread over on shipbucket. The thread is here (1st page, scroll down to the bottom for the final design): http://www.shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5303
As I suspected, you forgot to remove the aft triple 8" on your writeup.

got the idea from this:

https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/08aa4d77-0718-40f2-bb4a-c61352d22946/d7bdgr6-c42515f0-a130-4b52-ac0e-6ff671235e2a.png?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJpc3MiOiJ1cm46YXBwOjdlMGQxODg5ODIyNjQzNzNhNWYwZDQxNWVhMGQyNmUwIiwic3ViIjoidXJuOmFwcDo3ZTBkMTg4OTgyMjY0MzczYTVmMGQ0MTVlYTBkMjZlMCIsImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTpmaWxlLmRvd25sb2FkIl0sIm9iaiI6W1t7InBhdGgiOiIvZi8wOGFhNGQ3Ny0wNzE4LTQwZjItYmI0YS1jNjEzNTJkMjI5NDYvZDdiZGdyNi1jNDI1MTVmMC1hMTMwLTRiNTItYWMwZS02ZmY2NzEyMzVlMmEucG5nIn1dXX0.hVYwzU6v5qfBrdHch7NFl36X7rR-5d__2BGvo3yxjiM
I'll admit to not knowing if the VLS and Sea Sparrows would work in reality. But at the end of the day, it's the 16" scramjet shells that will make or break the ship, so I don't think it matters to much. At the very least, I know they could fit a few more CIWS on her, and she already has a bunch of Tomahawks, so it's probably fine. If it turns out the VLS and Sea Sparrows don't work I'll remove them.
Much like Navy Matters, Tzoli has... issues. Mostly in that he models a lot of ships that are actually impossible and doesn't always say so.

In this case the Sea Sparrows are not possible. As I mentioned they considered placing them in the 80s but the gun blast was too much for the electronics. As for the VLS, I'm not 100% sure their placement is physically possible and in any case I'm distinctly nervous about placing so much jet fuel and solid rocket fuel right next to the hot gasses of the funnels.

It's a dedicated ASW platform, what with the 6 helos. Not entirely sure if it's worth it, I might end up replacing them with more Lake Erie's. But they would be perfect for escorting merchant / amphibious assault fleets and such (then again, they already have the Leyte Gulfs for that).
Not worth it. The merchant escort role evaporates after 1991 and amphibious assault fleets a. include their own ASW escort vessels and b. can carry extra ASW helicopters on the amphibs themselves if they need more of them. Frankly, more Lake Eries is a better use of funds.

I'm not sure how easy a massive engine upgrade would be on an existing hull, but I suppose it's possible. Also, make no mistake, the tumblehome hull is still in the works, they just aren't cramming every single new piece of technology into a single ship at once (the Mk. 57 VLS and new gun were tested on previous ships first). The hull the Atlanta-class uses is literally identical to the San Diego, which is just an extension of the Lake Erie. So it's cheaper to develop.
The US Navy has studied backfitting a similar propulsion system to the Flight IIA Burkes and by all accounts it's practical, the US Navy is just broke currently. So yes, the engine upgrade is possible.

Actually, the Flight II Nimitz is a direct continuation of the ordinary Nimitz. I didn't show it because I haven't listed launch dates on any of the ships (which may have been a mistake), but the Nimitzs were actually very much delayed to free up funds for other things. Sure they got one more ship, but the average time between launches was over 6 years. The USS Constellation, the 10th Nimitz listed, commissioned in ∼2015, as opposed to the 2009 of OTL.
Hmm. You'd have to shell out for an SLEP for America to make that work, at the very least. I think I'd need to see the construction schedule, this very well might be a dealbreaker.

On a related note, I don't think continuing Nimitz production that long is a good idea. As many problems as the Fords have had, they're a necessary step forward in two critical areas: reactors and hull design. If you want to avoid all the problems with the Ford class a better idea would be to leave the EM catapults, advanced arrestor gear, and especially the new weapons elevators ashore while building the new hull with its new reactors for a ship or two. They'd be a step forward solely by getting rid of the permanent list the Nimitz class has.

Still, at some point you're going to have to bite the bullet and add in the new Ford systems.

15? Wait, did I... yep. Crap. I only modeled the frigates to 2020. Oops. As for the other ships, I really don't have a choice, the CSGNs take up so many resources to build you have to delay the Johnstons until 93, and the Lake Eries until 2003.
Not necessarily. Financially, things can be kept on schedule in the 80s by delaying the OTL Ticonderoga design until '87 or '88 and cutting the buy to 15, with the 8 Strike Cruisers slotting in on independent action and the Iowa SAGs. And then once the Peace Dividend hits you have enough AEGIS cruisers to cover your reduced carrier fleet. Alternatively, if things are getting delayed that far back perhaps recycle the Burke hull architecture in an enlarged form to fit all the Ticonderoga systems.

Alternatively, 27 Ticondergas would get you 18 nuclear Strike Cruisers. Though I should note I'm engaging in a little handwaving to let the CSGN meet the late 70s estimated unit cost.

Okay, that's a problem. Admittedly this is a CSGN thread, so the Iowas are not strictly needed. But I don't want to give up on them just yet. Maybe... what if we built a new class of ships in the 2020s and put the 16" guns from Iowa and Wisconsin on them? The 16" guns are very important, as far as I'm aware the scramjet shells were only designed in that caliber. And this way we can name one of them Arizona! Then again, I might be getting ahead of myself. Let's try to work out the CSGNs and everything else in the 1980s to 90s before getting into the future.
What do these super-long-range scramjet shells bring that a missile or bomb-armed fighter doesn't? Keep in mind that the US Navy, as of now, has essentially given up on NGFS in favor of sanitizing the shore with missiles and guided bombs.

Fundamentally, lugging those 16" guns to a combat zone is a really expensive way to get relatively small payloads in place.

I, in my infinite stupidity, managed to get guided and extended range shells mixed up. Oops. Basically, the US navy found that extended range shells were not worth looking into, so the 8" guns were needed over the 5" guns. This saved them a lot of money in wasted development later on. They did eventually go back on this decision with the SGPs. Which I am very confused about as to your lack of a comment on that. Does that mean I got the details right?
I'm not sure what you mean?
 
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Having 2 VTOL aircraft per ship is an extremely limited capability. They can only fly once a day for about an hour, and without a deck run and ski jump can carry virtually no weapons.
 
Nuclear is an issue, in that it adds considerably to the upfront and operational costs. But nuclear is vital to the CONOPS for the Strike Cruiser, and frankly since the Strike Cruiser is your POD it's something that can and should be handwaved a bit to work. In all honesty, it's the later stuff that I have more of a problem with it.
Unless you can elucidate a decent CONOPS for these ships I'd remove them and apply the money to the original nuclear CSGN. Smaller conventional carriers are a poor use of carrier money.
As I suspected, you forgot to remove the aft triple 8" on your writeup.
Much like Navy Matters, Tzoli has... issues. Mostly in that he models a lot of ships that are actually impossible and doesn't always say so.

In this case the Sea Sparrows are not possible. As I mentioned they considered placing them in the 80s but the gun blast was too much for the electronics. As for the VLS, I'm not 100% sure their placement is physically possible and in any case I'm distinctly nervous about placing so much jet fuel and solid rocket fuel right next to the hot gasses of the funnels.
Not worth it. The merchant escort role evaporates after 1991 and amphibious assault fleets a. include their own ASW escort vessels and b. can carry extra ASW helicopters on the amphibs themselves if they need more of them. Frankly, more Lake Eries is a better use of funds.
The US Navy has studied backfitting a similar propulsion system to the Flight IIA Burkes and by all accounts it's practical, the US Navy is just broke currently. So yes, the engine upgrade is possible.
I don’t see any problems here, I’ll probably do all of that. It’ll change a lot of stuff, so it might take a while to write up. Also, I might abandon the detailed ship lists, they are more trouble than their worth. I’ll figure out all their names and such after I have their numbers set in stone,

Hmm. You'd have to shell out for an SLEP for America to make that work, at the very least. I think I'd need to see the construction schedule, this very well might be a dealbreaker.

On a related note, I don't think continuing Nimitz production that long is a good idea. As many problems as the Fords have had, they're a necessary step forward in two critical areas: reactors and hull design. If you want to avoid all the problems with the Ford class a better idea would be to leave the EM catapults, advanced arrestor gear, and especially the new weapons elevators ashore while building the new hull with its new reactors for a ship or two. They'd be a step forward solely by getting rid of the permanent list the Nimitz class has.

Still, at some point you're going to have to bite the bullet and add in the new Ford systems.
It was mostly as OTL until 1989. I‘ll see what I can do about getting more detailed info like launch dates on the ships in the next revamp. And for the record, I imagined the flight II Nimitzs did have all of that - they just added it incrementally instead of all at once.

Not necessarily. Financially, things can be kept on schedule in the 80s by delaying the OTL Ticonderoga design until '87 or '88 and cutting the buy to 15, with the 8 Strike Cruisers slotting in on independent action and the Iowa SAGs. And then once the Peace Dividend hits you have enough AEGIS cruisers to cover your reduced carrier fleet. Alternatively, if things are getting delayed that far back perhaps recycle the Burke hull architecture in an enlarged form to fit all the Ticonderoga systems.

Alternatively, 27 Ticondergas would get you 18 nuclear Strike Cruisers. Though I should note I'm engaging in a little handwaving to let the CSGN meet the late 70s estimated unit cost.
Really? That’s great news! I was under the impression that, since the Ticos were a direct result of the cancellation of the CSGN, they would get butterflied.

What do these super-long-range scramjet shells bring that a missile or bomb-armed fighter doesn't? Keep in mind that the US Navy, as of now, has essentially given up on NGFS in favor of sanitizing the shore with missiles and guided bombs.

Fundamentally, lugging those 16" guns to a combat zone is a really expensive way to get relatively small payloads in place.
Cheeper muntions, more expendable, much harder to detect, much much much harder to intercept, will scare the pants off your enemy if they don’t know you have them.

Also, that new battlship I proposed would only have 2 or 4 guns, the rest of her payload would be missiles. And 30” thick triple-spaced armour with graphene woven into it, that would probably be quite heavy too. I did some maths on SpringSharp and such a ship, weighing 120,000 tons, could reach 36 knots, interestingly enough. No idea if it would be practical, and now were getting even further off topic, so I’ll stop.

I'm not sure what you mean?
The Navy OTL didn’t adopt the 8” because they thought extended range 5” shells would be just as good. ITTL they realised that was wrong and developed the 8”. Later they once again started developing extended range shells with the SGP program (the scramjet shells).
 
It was mostly as OTL until 1989. I‘ll see what I can do about getting more detailed info like launch dates on the ships in the next revamp. And for the record, I imagined the flight II Nimitzs did have all of that - they just added it incrementally instead of all at once.
But then you're not building a Flight II Nimitz. The new technologies constitute an entirely new class. In fact, every major new technology put on the Fords besides the radar and advanced arrestor gear require the kind of changes that mean a new class. The EM catapults eliminate a ton of steam infrastructure. The weapons elevators require considerable internal changes. The new hull and flight deck layout goes without saying. The reactors need a redesign of the compartment.

I eagerly await the construction schedule for the Nimitz-class.

Really? That’s great news! I was under the impression that, since the Ticos were a direct result of the cancellation of the CSGN, they would get butterflied.
Eight strike cruisers is not enough to provide AEGIS coverage for the carrier battle groups, and in fact the cost of the ships makes that impractical. The Ticonderogas are 2/3 the cost of a Strike Cruiser and a much more economical way to get AEGIS to sea in numbers. The logic that led to them thus still holds.

Cheeper muntions, more expendable, much harder to detect, much much much harder to intercept, will scare the pants off your enemy if they don’t know you have them.

Also, that new battlship I proposed would only have 2 or 4 guns, the rest of her payload would be missiles. And 30” thick triple-spaced armour with graphene woven into it, that would probably be quite heavy too. I did some maths on SpringSharp and such a ship, weighing 120,000 tons, could reach 36 knots, interestingly enough. No idea if it would be practical, and now were getting even further off topic, so I’ll stop.
I seriously doubt a 16" guided scramjet shell is going to be cheaper than a Tomahawk missile, because you're essentially building a scramjet missile except you have to harden everything to withstand the acceleration of the gun. Fundamentally, this is the problem with all extended-range powered guided gun munitions: you're basically building a shittier missile, so why not just build a missile? And it's definitely not cheaper than a JDAM.

But this is all a bit moot considering the limited stock of spare barrels. Once those wear out the ships are fucked.

The Navy OTL didn’t adopt the 8” because they thought extended range 5” shells would be just as good. ITTL they realised that was wrong and developed the 8”. Later they once again started developing extended range shells with the SGP program (the scramjet shells).
Ah, gotcha.
 
But this is all a bit moot considering the limited stock of spare barrels. Once those wear out the ships are fucked.
Having read the thread I was thinking about this issue, or the OTL Turret explosion on Iowa. How much of a stockpile of powder was kept is another though or would the USN continue to invest in that area as well?
 
Having read the thread I was thinking about this issue, or the OTL Turret explosion on Iowa. How much of a stockpile of powder was kept is another though or would the USN continue to invest in that area as well?
Gunpowder isn't a problem, the mid-2000s reactivation plan would've simply restocked the powder. Pretty easy, just use current powder suitably scaled up into the silk bags the Iowas used.
 
Something I haven't seen, maybe I haven't looked properly, is mention the Sea Control Ship of the 70s. If you want to have 6-8 VTOL aircraft at sea then the SCS is the way to do it, rather than having a half pregnant carrier-cruiser hybrid.
 
Okay, that makes much more sense. I assumed they were ordinary escort ships. With the role you specified, those are actually pretty good ships! Although I still think the armor should be just a tiny bit thinner - it would free up tonnage for better compartmentalization, which ultimately is more important
In the Springsharp computations, it came up with compartmentalization being excellent; that was one of the requirements when I designed it. The ship being a good sea boat was a total surprise.
Armor is more important for preventing nastiness from getting inside in the first place, and the subdivision being good--which it is--helps stay on top of the water when something does go in. You save a LOT when you cut top speed to ~ 22 knots.
Another unique benefit: Diesel-electric allows better subdivision, as well as much improved maneuverability. She'll never lack for electric power. The reason for diesel electric was
PM me if you want more about her. (There is some discussion in The Masquerade, but you'll need to wade through a lot of stuff that's not Monitor-related.)
 
So, I fished modifying a few things. Here's the latest version.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spruance-class destroyer:

Built:
1972 - 1982

In commission:
1975 - 2019

No. Commissioned:
31

Spruance-class destroyer [flight I]

First ship launched:
1973

Displacement:
6,800 to 8,200 tonnes

Size:
533 (wl), 563 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 5" guns
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
1 x ASROC launcher (8 missiles)



Spruance-class destroyer [flight IA]

First ship upgraded:
1980

Displacement:
6,800 to 8,200 tonnes

Size:
533 (wl), 563 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 5" guns
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
1 x ASROC launcher (8 missiles)



Spruance-class destroyer [flight IB]

First ship upgraded:
1983

Displacement:
6,800 to 8,200 tonnes

Size:
533 (wl), 563 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 5" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
1 x ASROC launcher (8 missiles)



Spruance-class destroyer [flight II]

First ship upgraded:
1985

Displacement:
6,800 to 8,200 tonnes

Size:
533 (wl), 563 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 8" gun
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
1 x Mk. 26 missile launcher (34 missiles)



Spruance-class destroyer [flight II]

First ship upgraded:
1985

Displacement:
6,800 to 8,200 tonnes

Size:
533 (wl), 563 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 8" gun
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Sea Sparrow launcher (8 missiles)
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
1 x Mk. 41 VLS (64 missiles)



Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate:

Built:
1975 - 1989

In commission:
1977 - 2015

No. Commissioned:
54

Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate [short]

First ship launched:
1976

Displacement:
3,000 to 4,200 tonnes

Size:
408 (wl), 445 (oa) x 45 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 1 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 3" gun
1 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Mk. 13 missile launcher (40 missiles)



Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate [long]

Displacement:
3,000 to 4,200 tonnes

Size:
416 (wl), 453 (oa) x 45 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 3" gun
1 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
1 x Mk. 13 missile launcher (40 missiles)



Helena-class strike cruiser:

Built:
1980 - 1987

In commission:
1983 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
8

Helena-class strike cruiser [flight I]

First ship launched:
1981

Displacement:
16,500 to 18,000 tonnes

Size:
680 (wl), 720 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Nuclear

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 8" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
4 x Tomahawk quad launchers (16 missiles)
2 x Mk. 26 missile launchers (88 missiles)



Helena-class strike cruiser [flight II]

First ship upgraded:
1986

Displacement:
16,500 to 18,000 tonnes

Size:
680 (wl), 720 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Nuclear

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
2 x 8" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
4 x Harpoon quad launchers (16 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
3x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (192 missiles)



Ticonderoga-class cruiser:

Built:
1981 - 1988

In commission:
1984 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
15

Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser [flight I]

First ship launched:
1982

Displacement:
7,100 to 9,900 tonnes

Size:
529 (wl), 567 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar

Armament:
2 x 5" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2 x Mk. 26 missile launchers (68 missiles)


Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser [flight IA]

First ship launched:
1985

Displacement:
7,100 to 9,900 tonnes

Size:
529 (wl), 567 (oa) x 55 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar

Armament:
2 x 5" guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)



Leyte Gulf-class escort carrier (if built):

Built:
1985 - 1991

In commission:
1988 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
? (ideally 4 to 6)

Leyte Gulf-class escort carrier [flight I]

First ship launched:
1986

Displacement:
22,000 to 24,900 tonnes

Size:
625 (wl), 680 (oa) x 76 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Nuclear

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 10 VTOL aircraft and 12 STOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2 x Tomahawk quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)



Notes:
The ship class was named after the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where escort carriers played an important role in the engagement. Ships of the class are named after important carrier-based naval battles from WWII.



Johnston-class destroyer:

Built:
1988 - 1997

In commission:
1991 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
28

Johnston-class guided missile destroyer [flight I]

First ship launched:
1989

Displacement:
6,900 to 8,300 tonnes

Size:
466 (wl), 505 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Landing pad, no hangar

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 25 mm chain guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
64+32 x Mk. 41 VLS (96 missiles)



Notes:
The ship class was named after the USS Johnston, a Fletcher-class destroyer that sacrificed herself to protect US landing forces in the Battle off Samar. Several Johnston-class destroyers were named after other ships from that battle.



Quincy-class cruiser:

Built:
1997 - 2011

In commission:
2001 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
33

Quincy-class guided missile cruiser [flight I]

First ship launched:
1998

Displacement:
9,000 to 12,000 tonnes

Size:
511 (wl), 550 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-1 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 5" gun
2 x 25 mm chain guns
2 x 20 mm CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)
2x64 x Mk. 41 VLS (128 missiles)



Harold R Stark-class frigate:

Built:
2005 - 20xx

In commission:
2009 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
xx

Harold R Stark-class trimaran frigate [flight I]

First ship launched:
2007

Displacement:
2,300 to 3,100 tonnes

Size:
388 (wl), 418 (oa) x 104 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
Standard radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 3" gun
1 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
2 x Harpoon quad launchers (8 missiles)



Notes:
The ship class was named after the USS Harold R Stark, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate attacked and almost sunk in the Iran-Iraq war.



Atlanta-class cruiser:

Built:
2011 - 20xx

In commission:
2016 - 20xx

No. Commissioned:
xx

Atlanta-class guided missile cruiser [flight I]

First ship launched:
2013

Displacement:
10,500 to 13,500 tonnes

Size:
528 (wl), 567 (oa) x 59 (wl) ft

Propulsion:
Gas turbine

Sensors:
AN/SPY-3 3D radar

Aircraft:
Flight deck and hangar for 2 VTOL aircraft

Armament:
1 x 8" gun
2 x SeaRAM CIWS
2 x triple torpedo tubes
20x4 x Mk. 57 VLS (80 missiles)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aircraft carriers

Nimitz-class CVN: 8 commissioned as of 2025

USS Nimitz CVN-68 (laid down 1968, launched 1972, commissioned 1975)

USS Yorktown CVN-69 (laid down 1970, launched 1975, commissioned 1977)

USS Intrepid CVN-70 (laid down 1975, launched 1980, commissioned 1982)

USS Hornet CVN-71 (laid down 1981, launched 1984, commissioned 1986)

USS Lexington CVN-72 (laid down 1984, launched 1988, commissioned 1989)

USS Halsey CVN-73 (laid down 1986, launched 1990, commissioned 1992)

USS Saratoga CVN-74 (laid down 1991, launched 1993, commissioned 1995)

USS Ranger CVN-75 (laid down 1993, launched 1996, commissioned 1998)

Constellation-class CVN: 3 commissioned as of 2025 (halfway between Nimitz and Ford)

USS Constellation CVN-76 (laid down 2003, launched 2006, commissioned 2009)

USS United States CVN-77 (laid down 2008, launched 2011, commissioned 2013)

USS Enterprise CVN-78 (laid down 2013, launched 2016, commissioned 2018)

Philippine Sea-class CVN: 1 commissioned as of 2025 (OTL Ford class)

USS Philippine Sea CVN-79 (laid down 2015, launched 2019, commissioned 2025)

These ships are all close enough in design to each other that they are sometimes referred to as one class, in a similar fashion to the Yorktown and Wasp classes.



Strike cruisers

Helena-class CSGN: 8 commissioned as of 2025

USS Helena CSGN-1 (laid down 1980, launched 1981, commissioned 1983)

USS Astoria CSGN-2 (laid down 1981, launched 1983, commissioned 1985)

USS Houston CSGN-3 (laid down 1982, launched 1984, commissioned 1985)

USS Indianapolis CSGN-4 (laid down 1983, launched 1984, commissioned 1987)

USS Juneau CSGN-5 (laid down 1984, launched 1985, commissioned 1987)

USS Northampton CSGN-6 (laid down 1984, launched 1985, commissioned 1987)

USS Vincennes CSGN-7 (laid down 1985, launched 1986, commissioned 1988)

USS Chicago CSGN-8 (laid down 1985, launched 1987, commissioned 1989)

The dates for these ships are mostly from the OTL Ticos with a few tweaks. The names are taken from US cruisers that sank in WWII. I was originally going to name them after battles like the Ticos, but instead decided to name them after cities since they are bigger than most modern cruisers, and this way the naming for the Ticonderoga-class leadship can stay the same.



Guided missile cruisers

Ticonderoga-class CG: 15 commissioned as of 2025

USS Ticonderoga CG-42 (laid down 1981, launched 1982, commissioned 1984)

USS Monterey CG-43 (laid down 1982, launched 1983, commissioned 1985)

USS Princeton CG-44 (laid down 1983, launched 1984, commissioned 1986)

USS Vally Forge CG-45 (laid down 1984, launched 1985, commissioned 1987)

USS Gettysburg CG-46 (laid down 1984, launched 1985, commissioned 1986)

USS Bunker Hill CG-47 (laid down 1984, launched 1985, commissioned 1987)

USS Antietam CG-48 (laid down 1984, launched 1986, commissioned 1987)

USS San Jacinto CG-49 (laid down 1985, launched 1986, commissioned 1987)

USS Mobile Bay CG-50 (laid down 1985, launched 1986, commissioned 1988)

USS Vella Gulf CG-51 (laid down 1986, launched 1987, commissioned 1988)

USS Port Royal CG-52 (laid down 1986, launched 1987, commissioned 1989)

USS Chancellorsville CG-53 (laid down 1986, launched 1987, commissioned 1989)

USS San Jacinto CG-54 (laid down 1987, launched 1988, commissioned 1989)

USS Normandy CG-55 (laid down 1987, launched 1988, commissioned 1990)

USS Cowpens CG-56 (laid down 1987, launched 1988, commissioned 1990)

These are basically the same as OTL, built out of extended Spruance hulls. I changed up the names a bit though. Also, the earlier ones will eventually be refit with VLS.

Quincy-class CG: 33 commissioned as of 2025

USS Quincy CG-57 (laid down 1997, launched 1998, commissioned 2000)

USS Pasadena CG-58

USS San Fransisco CG-59

USS Macon CG-60

USS California CG-61

USS Chosin CG-62

USS Cheyenne CG-63

USS New York CG-64

USS Birmingham CG-65

USS Maryland CG-66

USS Rayleigh CG-67

USS Montpelier CG-68 (laid down 2001, launched 2002, commissioned 2003)

USS Brooklyn CG-69

USS Denver CG-70

USS Columbia CG-71

USS Dallas CG-72

USS Omaha CG-73

USS Detroit CG-74

USS Philadelphia CG-75

USS Baltimore CG-76

USS Portsmouth CG-77

USS Wichita CG-78 (laid down 2004, launched 2005, commissioned 2007)

USS Newark CG-79

USS Seattle CG-80

USS Boston CG-81

USS Montgomery CG-82

USS Oakland CG-83

USS Pensacola CG-84

USS Huron CG-85

USS Richmond CG-86

USS Trenton CG-87

USS Charleston CG-88

USS Roanoke CG-89 (laid down 2008, launched 2009, commissioned 2011)

I was going to write out the launch/commission etc times for all of those, but there wouldn't be much of a point. So just for a few of them. As for the ships themselves, they're built out of an extended Johnston-class hull, with a similar weapons loadout to a Tico.

Atlanta-class CG: 5 commissioned as of 2025

USS Atlanta CG-90 (laid down 2011, launched 2013, commissioned 2016)

USS San Diego CG-91 (laid down 2012, launched 2014, commissioned 2017)

USS New Orleans CG-92 (laid down 2013, launched 2015, commissioned 2017)

USS San Fransisco CG-93 (laid down 2014, launched 2016, commissioned 2018)

USS Minneapolis CG-94 (laid down 2015, launched 2016, commissioned 2019)

USS Portland CG-95 (laid down 2016, launched 2017, commissioned 2020)

USS Cleveland CG-96 (laid down 2017, launched 2018, commissioned 2021)

USS Los Angeles CG-97 (laid down 2018, launched 2019, commissioned 2022)

USS Oklahoma CG-98 (laid down 2019, launched 2020, commissioned 2023)

USS Galveston CG-99 (laid down 2020, launched 2021, commissioned 2024)

USS Des Moines CG-100 (laid down 2021, launched 2022, commissioned 2025)

Not much to say about these. They're basically a Zumwalt's systems and superstructure on the hull of a Johnston-class.

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What do you guys think?
 
Very interesting!

Spruance-class: no complaints here. Upgrading some or all of the Spruances to DXG standards is a sensible way to get more AAW firepower at reasonable cost with the initial reduction in AEGIS ships available. And the radar architecture would serve to make them more useful once the Mk. 41 grid is backfitted in. Just should note that the magazine should be 24 missiles, not 34.

Strike Cruiser: 64 missiles per Mk. 26 launcher, not 44.

Ticonderoga-class: If you're going to build Ticonderogas, they're going to be delayed due to all the money going to the Strike Cruisers. And if that's going to happen might as well build all of them with VLS.

Stark-class: why stick with the 3"? The US Navy did not like that gun.

Atlanta-class: 12 ships, with the next 12 being the tumblehome version? The original plan was for 32 DD(X)s, but that was always unrealistic and even more so here with the bigger and more expensive Flight III Burkes instead of the IIAs. It's also a good enough number to give two to every carrier strike group.

Carrier schedule: As OTL until 1998. Good. That allows the Navy to decommission all the Forrestals and your alt-JFK (the US Navy did not like her). Instead, America gets the full SLEP she didn't get IOTL. And she needs it, given the later events. In 2009 Constellation commissions (and you're going to need a different name for her, as CV-64 is still commissioned instead of decommissioning in 2003), replacing Kitty Hawk. United States commissions in 2013, replacing Enterprise and Constellation and knocking the fleet down to 11 ships. Enterprise commissions in 2018, three or four years after America's retirement knocks the fleet down to 10 ships briefly and brings them back up to 11. And from there Philippine Sea and her sisters can start replacing the Nimitz-class.

Side note, but with the all-nuclear carrier fleet 11 ships is the ideal. 9 on regular deployments, allowing for three to be at sea at any given point. One forward-deployed to Japan. And one in RCOH.

The cruiser schedules look workable.
 
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