List of cruisers of the United States Navy


Ships of the
United States Navy
Ships Grouped Alphabetically
Ships Grouped by Type

This list of cruisers of the United States Navy includes all ships that were ever called "cruiser", either publicly or in internal documentation.

CGN-9 Long Beach, commissioned in 1961, was the last cruiser built on a true "cruiser hull." All subsequent cruisers, including nuclear powered cruisers, were based on less expensive and less capable "destroyer hulls" - the one attempt since Long Beach to revert to the advantages of a "cruiser hull" design was the canceled CSGN nuclear strike cruiser.[1]

Overview of hull classifications

See also Hull classification symbol

Since the cruiser nomenclature predates the hull numbering system, and there were several confusing renumberings and renamings, there are multiple entries on these lists referring to the same physical ship.

Regarding the convention used on these lists:

  • An asterisk "*" following the entry indicates a ship that was canceled before completion, including missile conversion. When there is no additional text it indicates construction was never begun.
  • Ships in bold saw combat service.
  • A cross "" indicates a ship lost to enemy action.

Hull reclassifications and skipped hull numbers

CA-1, CA-6 and CA-10 were never used, as ACR-1 Maine, ACR-6 California/San Diego and ACR-10 Tennessee/Memphis were sunk prior to the 1920 redesignation, and their sisters' original hull numbers were carried over. CA-20 through CA-23 were skipped with the merger of the CA and CL sequences, which allowed the reclassification of the Washington Treaty CLs as CAs without re-numbering.

Heavy cruisers CA-149 and CA-151 to CA-153, light cruisers CL(AA)-154 to CL(AA)-159, hunter-killer cruiser CLK-2, and nuclear guided missile cruiser CGN-42 were canceled before being named.

Guided missile cruisers CG-1 through 8 and CG-10 through 12 were converted from World War II cruisers. CAG-1 USS Boston and CAG-2 USS Canberra retained most of their original gun armament and were later returned to their gun cruiser designations CA-69 and CA-70. CGN-9, Long Beach, originally held the last designation in the heavy-light cruiser sequence, CLGN-160.

CG-15 was skipped so the Leahy-class guided missile frigates (CG-16 class) could be redesignated without renumbering. The other missing numbers in the guided-missile cruiser series, 43–46, were not used so that DDG-47 Ticonderoga and DDG-48 Yorktown could be similarly redesignated. (It has been argued in some sources that the DDG-993 Kidd-class guided missile destroyers, which were essentially identically armed to the Virginia-class cruisers, should have been redesignated CG-43 through −46.)

Before 30 June 1975, CG-16 USS Leahy through CGN-38 USS Virginia were designated DLG or DLGN (Destroyer Leader, Guided Missile (Nuclear powered)). They were redesignated cruisers in the 1975 ship reclassification. CGN-39 USS Texas and CGN-40 USS Mississippi were laid down as DLGNs but redesignated CGN before commissioning. CG-47 Ticonderoga and CG-48 Yorktown were ordered as guided missile destroyers (DDG) but were redesignated to guided missile cruisers (CG) before any ship was laid down. CGN-41 Arkansas and CG-49 through 73 were ordered, laid down and delivered as guided missile cruisers, although as Virginia or Ticonderoga-class ships they had not been designed as cruisers.

The Navy has 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers (CG-52 through CG-73) in active service, as of the end of 2015. With the cancellation of the CG(X) program in 2010, the Navy currently has no cruiser replacement program planned.[2] The Navy is looking to the AEGIS-equipped Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to increasingly fill the role of the cruiser in the protection of the carrier strike group, as it could be well into the 2030s before any possible cruiser replacement program is up and running.[2]

Lists by type

Cruisers without hull designations

USS Atlanta, the US Navy's first cruiser

Armored Cruisers

USS Maine (ACR-1)

Officially these ships were e.g., "Armored Cruiser No. 1"

Protected and Peace cruisers

USS Newark (C-1), the first of the numbered United States protected cruisers.

In the pre-1920 period abbreviations were informal and nonstandardized; officially these ships were, e.g., "Cruiser No. 1"

While designated as patrol gunboats by the Navy and as sloops by the London Naval Treaty, the 2,000 ton displacement Erie-class gunboats were actually designed to fulfill the role of peace cruisers in Asia and the Caribbean.[3]

Scout cruisers

Officially these ships were, e.g., "Scout Cruiser No. 1", and sometimes abbreviated SC or CS

USS Chester (SCR-1), the US Navy's first light cruiser


The United States laid down its only six battlecruisers as part of the 1917 construction program; four were scrapped incomplete and two converted to become the Lexington-class aircraft carriers in accordance with the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty. The two carriers served in WWII.

  • Lexington class
    • CC-1 Lexington - completed as aircraft carrier CV-2 Lexington
    • CC-2 Constellation - canceled
    • CC-3 - completed as aircraft carrier CV-3 Saratoga
    • CC-4 Ranger - canceled
    • CC-5 Constitution - canceled
    • CC-6 United States - canceled

Heavy and light cruisers

On 17 July 1920, all First and Second Class Cruisers (armored and protected cruisers) still in service were reclassified as Armored Cruisers (CA). The armored cruisers had had their names changed from states to cities within those states to free up the names for battleships.

USS Brooklyn

In the 1920 hull designation system, of the Third Class Cruisers the fast Scout Cruisers became Light Cruisers (CL), and the slower New Orleans and Denver-class "peace cruisers" were reclassified Patrol Gunboats (PG).

On 8 August 1921 the system was revised; the surviving protected cruisers (except for the "semi-armored" St Louis class) and the peace cruiser/patrol gunboats were all grouped with the scout cruisers as Light Cruisers (CL).

The cruisers laid down between the Washington and First London Naval Treaties were originally designated Light Cruisers (CL) due to their light protection. In accordance with the London Treaty, they were reclassified as "Heavy Cruisers" (CA) in 1931 due to their 8-inch guns. Thenceforward heavy and light cruisers were numbered in a single sequence; the last armored cruiser of the original CA series, Seattle, was redesignated IX (Unclassified Miscellaneous) in 1941 as it was being used as a receiving ship.

Large Cruisers

German cruiser war prize

Command cruisers

Hunter-Killer cruiser

  • CLK-1 Norfolk, redesignated as Destroyer Leader DL-1 prior to launch
  • CLK-2 * canceled unnamed

Guided missile cruisers

CG-15 skipped to redesignate the Leahy-class frigates without renumbering

CG-43 to CG-46 skipped to allow redesignation of DDG-47 Ticonderoga without renumbering.

USS Lake Erie (CG-70)

Nuclear powered cruisers

USS Long Beach (CGN-9)

List by name

See also



  1. ^ Friedman, 1984, pp. 1, 413-425
  2. ^ a b Defense News 2021}}
  3. ^ Friedman, Cruisers, pp 167, 176-178
  4. ^ Friedman, Cruisers, pp. 414, 419-422
  5. ^ Friedman, Cruisers, pp. 421
  6. ^ Friedman, Destroyers, pp. 346–347


  • Friedman, Norman (1982). U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-733-X.
  • Friedman, Norman (1983). U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute]. ISBN 0-87021-739-9.
  • Friedman, Norman (1984). U.S. Cruisers: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-739-9.