The US Navy has produced some great warships but what are the best ship designs – the ones that opened new lines of development or set the standard for ships and navies that would follow? Just for fun, here’s my list.
1. Constitution – Old Ironsides revolutionized naval construction with a design that was strong enough to beat any ship in its class or even a bit above but retained a frigate’s speed. It instantly obsoleted every frigate in the English and French navies.
2. Albacore (AGSS-569) – The first teardrop shaped submarine, this sub set the pattern for all subsequent submarines and helped pioneer the use nuclear reactors, the now classic stern rudder forms, propeller shapes, and much more.
Ticonderoga (CG-47) – This Aegis cruiser class remains the
world’s most powerful AAW vessel and set the standard for effective air
defense. Recent adaptation to ballistic
missile defense further enhances an already impressive design.
4. Harris (APA-2) – Built just after WWI, this troop attack transport set the pattern for all subsequent attack transports that would become the backbone of US amphibious assaults in WWII.
(CV-6) – The first purpose built aircraft carrier,
the Enterprise Yorktown class set a new standard for aircraft carrier
development and performance. became the most famous Enterprise ship of WWII and carried far more than her share of
the combat load in the early years of the war. US
(SSN-688) – The 688 class dominated the undersea world of the Cold War and
remains one of the most powerful submarines in the world even today. Los
7. Forrestal (CV-59) – First of the supercarriers, this ship set the design pattern for all subsequent carriers.
8. Spruance (DD-963) – The finest ASW surface ship ever built, the Spruance class also demonstrated its versatility and value by providing the basic hull for the
Ticonderoga class. The
Spruance ASW capability has not been duplicated since.
9. Fletcher (DD-445) – This ship became the classic American destroyer and was the workhorse and backbone of the fleet in WWII. The combination of range and firepower remains impressive even today.
(CVN-65) – The world’s first nuclear powered
aircraft carrier not only served a long and combat filled life but set the
standard for every nuclear carrier since. Enterprise
What would you change about the list?