Boston class guided missile heavy cruisers - The first guided missile cruisers

Boston class heavy cruisers - The first guided missile cruisers


Would you like to see the Boston class guided missile heavy cruisers added to the game?
  • Yes
  • Maybe
  • Unsure
  • No
0 voters
As these ships reverted back to heavy cruisers late in life, would you like to see them potentially also added in as a heavy cruiser?
  • Yes, I would like to perhaps see one added as a guided missile cruiser and another as a heavy cruiser.
  • No, I want to see them in-game but I don’t think they should be added in their heavy cruiser configuration.
  • Uncertain
0 voters

Background & History
The Boston class-guided missile heavy cruiser was a class of two Second World War Baltimore class heavy cruisers which in the 1950’s were slated for conversion into missile armed ships and would be the first guided missile cruisers to enter service. Being the first guided missile cruisers in the US navy the two ships being the Boston and Canberra underwent partial conversion in order to test the upcoming Terrier missiles.


The Boston class would after entering service would also mark the start of the transition to missile armed ships as they were followed by the first guided missile destroyers, more guided missile cruisers, and further conversions of more cruisers into missile armed ships. In service both ships would be fairly active being involved in the crisis in Lebanon in 1958, the Cuban missile crisis, and in particular both ships during the Vietnam war in the 1960’s.

By the time of the Vietnam war the pace of technology was so rapid that despite it being just over 10 years in service the Terrier missiles they had were obsolete and the ships were reclassified back to heavy cruisers with the systems for the missiles being removed as they mainly took part in shore bombardment. While there were proposals to have the ships undergo limited modernization or full on conversion all these were turned down and as such were both taken out of service in 1970 and sold for scrap in 1980.

As mentioned before the two Boston class cruisers were only partial conversions meaning that they retain much of their larger guns. In terms of gun armament the ships had 6 8-inch(203mm)/55 caliber Mark 15 guns in two triple amounts along with a secondary armament of 10 5-inch(127mm)/38 caliber Mark 12 guns in Mark 32 mounts, and an anti air armament of 8 3-inch/50 caliber guns in 4 Mark 33 mounts. The main feature of the armament however was the missile armament with the ships having two twin-arm Mark 4 missile launchers with the ships carrying 144 RIM-2 Terrier surface to air missiles total.


Important note: Over the course of making this suggestion some sources have proved to not have the most accurate information compared to others, as such some of what is included in the specifications may not be accurate. In particular this may apply to the sensors and systems section and the electronic warfare section. In the case of the sensors and systems I have attempted to rectify this where I could however some details may have missed or could be mixed up, however please do not treat either as 100% accurate.


Specifications
Displacement
13,589 tons standard
17,947 tons full load

Length
673 ft 3 in (205.2 m) (Overall)
Beam
71 ft 10 in (21.9 m)
Draft
26 ft 10 in (8.2 m)

Powerplant
4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
120,000 shp (89,000 kW)
Propulsion
4 shafts; 4 sets General Electric geared steam turbines

Speed 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)

Sensors and systems
As completed (USS Boston)
AN/SPS-6 radar
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-12 radar
AN/SPS-8 radar
2 x Mk 25 mod 7 radars

As completed (USS Canberra)
AN/SPS-6 radar
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-12 radar
AN/SPS-8 radar
2 x AN/SPQ-5 radars

1960 Refit (USS Boston)
AN/SPS-6 radar
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-29 radar
CXRX radar
2 x AN/SPQ-5 radars

1960’s Refit (Canberra)
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-13 radar
AN/SPS-29 radar
CXRX radar
AN/SPS-37A radar
AN/SPS-30 radar
2 x AN/SPQ-5 radars

1962 Refit (USS Boston)
AN/SPS-6 radar
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-37A radar
CXRX radar
2 x AN/SPQ-5 radars

1965 refit (USS Boston)
AN/SPS-6 radar
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-30 radar
AN/SPS-37A radar
CXRX radar
2 x AN/SPQ-5 radars

1969 refit (USS Canberra) (Reclassification back to heavy cruiser)
AN/SPS-10 radar
AN/SPS-13 radar
AN/SPS-29 radar
CXRX radar
AN/SPS-37A radar
AN/SPS-30 radar

Electronic warfare
As completed
SLR-2 ECM suite

1960’s Refit
WLR-1 ECM suite
ULQ-6 ECM suite

Armament
As completed
Primary armament
6 x 8-inch(203mm)/55 caliber Mark 15 guns (2 x 3)
Secondary Armament
10 x 5-inch(127mm)/38 caliber Mark 12 guns (10 x 2 Mark 32 Mod 0 mounts)
Missile armament
2 x Mark 4 twin arm missile launchers
(144 RIM-2 Terrier surface to air missiles)
AA armament
8 x 3 inch(76mm)/50 caliber guns (4 x 2 Mark 33 mounts)

1968 Refit (Conversion back to heavy cruiser)
Primary armament
6 x 8-inch(203mm)/55 caliber Mark 15 guns (2 x 3)
Secondary Armament
10 x 5-inch(127mm)/38 caliber Mark 12 guns (10 x 2 Mark 32 Mod 0 mounts)
Missile armament
(None as they were made inoperable as they reverted back to heavy cruisers)
(By 1969 they were fully removed from Canberra at the very least)
AA armament
8 x 3 inch(76mm)/50 caliber guns (4 x 2 Mark 33 mounts)

Armor
belt: 152mm - 102mm
deck: 64mm
barbettes: 160mm
turrets: 203mm - 38mm


More images

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Sources

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BALTIMORE heavy cruisers (1943 - 1946), NORTHAMPTON command ship (1953)
Cruiser Photo Index CA-69 / CAG-1 USS BOSTON - Navsource - Photographic History of the U.S. Navy
Cruiser Photo Index CA-70 / CAG-2 USS CANBERRA - Navsource - Photographic History of the U.S. Navy
Boston-class cruiser - Wikipedia
USS Boston (CA-69) - Wikipedia
USS Canberra (CA-70) - Wikipedia

Image Sources

Spoiler

Cruiser Photo Index CA-69 / CAG-1 USS BOSTON - Navsource - Photographic History of the U.S. Navy
Cruiser Photo Index CA-70 / CAG-2 USS CANBERRA - Navsource - Photographic History of the U.S. Navy

1 Like

I love ships in the early stages of the missile age! So beautiful… +1 from me

I heavily disagree with having missile warships in Naval (unless they split the matchmaker between more modern ships from ships from WW2 and before) but I can get behind this ship in its heavy cruiser refit.

IMMEDIATE +1

I was just thinking about making USS Boston Suggestion, thank you for saving me some time!