The USS Ticonderoga missile cruisers were developed from the Spruance-class family of ships designed and built during the 1970's to replace aged World War 2-era designs. The vessel was the lead ship in the Ticonderoga class and served from early 1980 to mid 2004 before being relieved of duty with the United States Navy. Her class consisted of four other ships in the same mold and were designated the USS Yorktown, USS Vincennes, USS Valley Forge and USS Thomas S. Gates. The USS Ticonderoga is identified with being the first such ship to implement the potent AEGIS combat system which allowed the vessel to track and engage multiple incoming targets - a vast departure from the single-minded warships previous decades.
Weaponry became the heart of the Ticonderoga-class family and the USS Ticonderoga was fitted with a myriad of weapon types to accomplish multiple services in the role of fleet defense. This included 2 x Mark 5" Mark 45 cannons positioned forward and aft. Twin Mk 26 missile launchers were positioned behind each main gun and could engage with AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles orr RIM-66 SM-2 missiles. Should any enemy aircraft or missile proceed past this level of defense, 2 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon Systems) and up to 4 x 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine guns provided a final resort. For anti-ship assault, the USS Ticonderoga could call upon 2 x 324mm Mk 32 torpedo tubes. With a flight deck aft (just forward of the rear Mk 26 missile launcher), the USS Ticonderoga could also sport up to two Sikorsky-type SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.
Power for the USS Ticonderoga centered around four General Electric LM2500 gas-powered turbines. These operated twin shafts at 80,000 shaft horsepower provided a speed of up to 32 knots. The vessel displaced at about 9,600 tons, was crewed by 387 personnel and her profile was characterized by the centralized superstructure and twin masts.
The USS Ticonderoga missile cruiser was first ordered in 1978 (then known as the DDG-47), laid down in 1980, launched in 1981 and officially commissioned in 1983. She is currently listed in an inactive status and was decommissioned in 2004, struck from the Naval Vessel Register on September 30th, 2004. As of this writing, she resides a the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia. She is affectionately known as "Tico".