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  • USS Montana (BB-67) Battleship

    USS Montana was to have been the most powerful battleship ever devised for the USN but the emergence of the aircraft carrier during World War 2 sealed her fate.

     Updated: 4/18/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    To counter the growing threats posed by Japanese warships, particularly the mighty IJN Yamato battleship - considered by most to have been the most powerful battleship ever built - the United States government authorized the construction of a new class of fighting surface ship on July 19th, 1940 to follow the preceding Iowa-class into service and further strengthen American naval power against what looked to be an imminent war with the Empire of Japan. The new breed, built around firepower and stout armor protection (though at the expense of speed), became the Montana-class and would entail the construction of five total ships. At least three shipyards were contracted with their manufacture - the New York Naval Shipyard, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

    The Montana-class of battleships would go on to become the last battleships to be authorized for production by the United States Navy - not only in World War 2, but in its storied history. The USS Montana (BB-67) would naturally become the lead ship the class and her proposed sisters were designated as follows: USS Ohio (BB-68), USS Maine (BB-69), USS New Hampshire (BB-70) and USS Louisiana (BB-71). However, by this time in naval history, the aircraft carrier had proven its worth for the American Navy, particularly during and after the Battle of Midway, and priority in the American war effort had now shifted to design and production of more aircraft carriers. This shift inevitably signaled the end to the battleship era and her reign as undisputed queen of the sea. The United States Navy had learned - and effectively shown the world along the way - that future battles at sea would be decided by air elements and not so much by big-gunned surface warships as in decades past. The lean towards aircraft carriers meant that no part of any of the Montana-class ships was ever produced or laid down - the USS Montana herself would exist only in drawings and scale models.

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    USS Montana (BB-67) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1940
    Type: Battleship
    National Origin: United States
    Ship Class: Montana-class

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Complement (Crew): 2,355
    Length: 920.5 feet (280.57 meters)
    Beam (Width): 121 feet (36.88 meters)
    Draught (Height): 36 feet (10.97 meters)

    Surface Displacement: 66,040 tons

    Installed Power and Base Performance

    Engine(s): 8 x Babcock & Wilcox 2-drum express-type boilers; 4 x Westinghouse geared steam turbines developing 43,000 horsepower to 4 x shafts.

    Surface Speed: 28 knots (32 mph)
    Operational Range: 14,773 nautical miles (17,000 miles, 27,359 km)

    Armament / Air Wing

    12 x 16-inch Mark 7 main guns in four triple-gunned primary turrets.
    20 x 5-inch Mark 16 cannons in secondary mountings.
    10 to 40 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft (AA) cannons
    56 x 20mm Oerlikon AA cannons
    12.7mm (0.50cal) caliber Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) for close-in self-defense as needed.

    Aircraft: 3 OR 4 x Vought OS2U Kingfisher OR Curtiss Seahawk floatplanes.

    Global Operators

    United States (cancelled)

    Ships-in-Class (5)

    USS Montana (BB-67); USS Ohio (BB-68); USS Maine (BB-69); USS New Hampshire (BB-70); USS Louisiana (BB-71)