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CAG-1 Boston

Boston and Canberra, two Baltimore-class heavy cruisers from WWII production, were converted to CAG 1 and 2 respectively in 1952. Guided missile conversions of Baltimore class heavy cruisers, this was only a partial conversion, with a full conversion to be carried out if the weapons were successful.

The forward 5" and 8" A and B turret guns were unchanged and the forward superstructure was somewhat modified; the two funnels were trunked to one and the entire aft superstructure was replaced. The aft 8-inch turret (including its armored barbette) and the aft 5-inch /38 twin had been removed. Two Terrier launchers fitted aft in X and Y (aft) positions in place of the original 5" and 8" guns. A lattice foremast carried an SPS-8 height-finding radar, while a new pole mainmast carried a CXRX hemispheric scan radar used for missile target acquisition. Aft of that there were two illuminators. Only two missiles could be airborne at a time, even though each launcher was doublearm.

By 1958 these "sister" ships had different guided missile guidance radars fitted, with Boston having a pair of Mark 25 Mod 7 types, while Canberra has two of the later, and larger, SPQ-5 types.

By 1960 Boston entered Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, for overhaul. New electronics antennas were received during this overhaul, among them a Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) "pot" atop the mainmast, antenna for SPS-29 air search radar (replacing a SPS-12) atop the pedestal aft of the mainmast, and two SPQ-5 guided-missile guidance radars (replacing the ship's original pair of Mark 25 Mod 7 types) just forward of the "Terrier" missile launchers.

By 1962 the large antenna for a SPS-37A air search radar (replacing the SPS-29 first fitted to Boston in 1960), was located atop the pedestal just aft of her mainmast. This antenna was later moved to a new location, atop Boston's mainmast.

Evidently, this was not a very good solution and could easily be saturated by even a small attack. Two more Terrier launchers would have been added forward, but the missiles were rapidly outdated. The ships were obsolete by 1964; various proposals for limited modernization or complete reconstruction were not carried out.

By 1965 the large antenna for a SPS-37A (or SPS-43A) air search radar is now located atop Boston's mainmast, replaced on the pedestal aft of that mast by a SPS-30 height finding radar. Her TACAN (Tactical Air Navigation) "pot" has been moved from the mainmast to the foremast.

Both ships became CAs in 1968, regained their original hull numbers. having her missile armament removed and the 8" guns considered the main armament. Though they retained her "Terrier" missile launchers, the swift advance of technology had made these pioneering weapons obsolete after little more than a dozen years' service, and her main battery was once again her eight-inch rifles, of which six remained in her forward turrets. Guided missile launchers and guidance radars were removed during March-July 1969. Both were decommissioned in 1970 and scrapped in the mid-to-late 1970s.

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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:36:34 ZULU