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Ticonderoga class cruiser
Ticonderoga class cruisers are the first warships in the world to use phased-array radar; the increased combat capability offered by the AEGIS combat system and the AN/SPY-1 radar system justified the changing of the classification of Ticonderoga and Yorktown from DDG (guided missile destroyer) to CG (guided missile cruiser).
In addition to the added radar capability, the Ticonderoga class built after Thomas S. Gates are outfitted with two Vertical Launching System (or VLS). The two VLS systems allow the ship to have 127 launch tubes that can carry a wide variety of missiles, including the Tomahawk cruise missile, the Standard surface-to-air missile, and the ASROC anti-submarine missile. However, more importantly, the VLS system enables all missiles to be fully standing by at any given time, shortening the ship's reaction time. The rest have MK. 26 twin arm launchers.
The 27 ships of the Ticonderoga class form the largest class of cruisers ever constructed by any nation in modern naval history (second and third are the Cleveland class and Baltimore class, also built by the United States).
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