Of all the ships in the US Navy inventory, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser (CG) is one of its most recognizable surface combatants and has been serving the branch since the 80s. Ships under the class primarily perform multi-mission roles, including air warfare, undersea warfare, naval surface fire support, and surface warfare, capable of supporting carrier battle groups, amphibious forces, or even carrying out independent operations, among many others.

Nicknamed the “Aegis Cruiser,” Ticonderoga-class warships are equipped with the sophisticated Aegis Combat Management System capable of scanning, tracking, and guiding missiles for threats and intercept. Built by Ingalls Shipbuilding (now part of HII) and Bath Iron Works (a subsidiary of General Dynamics) for the US Navy beginning in 1980 with the lead ship Ticonderoga (CG-47) until 1994 with Port Royal (CG-73) as the last battle cruiser delivered. It preceded the four nuclear-powered Virginia-class (CGN-38) guided-missile cruisers that served the Navy until the mid-to-late 1990s. Since its commissioning, the warships under the class have served significant campaigns in the 1990s and conducted various operations across the globe well into the 21st century.

Initially, the Ticonderoga-class cruisers were set to become guided-missile destroyers (DDGs). However, they were reclassified as CGs shortly after the keels for Ticonderoga (CG-47) and Yorktown (CG-48) were laid down due to the cutting-end technology features added.

As of writing, 17 ships remain active, with the rest of the warships to be progressively decommissioned from service. It is expected that a new fleet will be developed under the Navy’s DDG(X) program will succeed it, equipped with newer, more advanced technologies, with construction beginning in the late 2020s to early 2030s.