Photos United States Navy

Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine outbound from Bangor, Washington - December 15, 2023

Virginia-class Block III attack submarine USS Washington (SSN 787) coming into Norfolk, Virginia after 6-month deployment - December 15, 2023
An F-35C Lightning II prepares to take off from the flight deck aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73). Dec 12, 2023
Nimitz class carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) returns to Naval Station Norfolk after its Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Dec 17, 2023

USS Kidd (DDG 100) Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyer coming into Singapore - December 17, 2023

Lead ship of her class of landing ship dock, USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) transits the Pacific Ocean, December 17, 2023.

Arleigh Burke-class Flight II guided missile destroyer USS O'Kane (DDG 77) coming into San Diego. Dec 18, 2023

USS Colorado (SSN 788) Virginia-class Block III nuclear attack submarine coming into Groton, Connecticut after deployment - December 19, 2023
Independence class LCS, USS Canberra (LCS-30) in Sydney Harbour, July 2023

A depiction of an Arsenal Ship in action.

Arsenal ships were designed to be little more than a floating VLS (vertical launch system) battery, intended to carry as many as 500 missiles. Equipped with only the bare minimum of crewmembers to make sure the ship remained operational, the arsenal ship would be remotely controlled and directed by other warships or even airborne control aircraft (AWACS) when in combat.

Arsenal ships were primarily designed to provide extensive fire support for troops ashore, able to bring heavy missile bombardments when needed.This fire support mission led to some in the Navy to consider them as the spiritual successors to battleships. Some of the earliest concept work from DARPA even depicted the arsenal ships with the hull number "72", the next hull number available after the last battleship (the never built USS Louisana with hull number "71") ordered by the Navy.

The arsenal ship was intended to provide cheap firepower to other, more expensive multi-role warships. Ultimately though, they would be cancelled as the Navy already had extensive missile capacity through newer VLS equipped ships coming into service. In addition, the post cold war budget could not accommodate these ships.

However, the concept did live on. The United States Navy converted four of its Ohio class submarines into submersible missile platforms, able to carry over 140 tomahawk cruise missiles. In addition, newer attack submarines have more extensive capacity for carrying and deploying cruise missiles. While individually weaker than an arsenal ship, the large numbers of submarines gives the US Navy greater flexibility in addition to greater stealth.

Elsewhere, other Navies have also studied arsenal ships. China tested arsenal ship concepts before deciding on the submersible approach. South Korea is also looking at developing small, cheap arsenal ships to provide mobile missile batteries.
USS Iowa, USS Wisconsin and USS New Jersey at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The image was taken between May and June 1956 after the collision between Wisconsin and the destroyer USS Eaton
The Casablanca-class escort carrier was a series of escort carriers constructed for the United States Navy during World War II. They are the most numerous class of aircraft carriers ever built. Fifty were laid down, launched and commissioned within the space of less than two years.
Flight II Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Higgins DDG-76 and Flight IIA USS Dewey DDG-105 docked alongside United States Fleet Acitivities Yokosuka, Japan. Nov 2023

Flight IIA Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) and Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) conduct a replenishment-at-sea in the Arabian Gulf, Dec. 8, 2023

Lead ship of her class, landing ship dock USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), left, and Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Pacific Ocean, Dec 12, 2023.
Flight IIA Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) navigates San Diego Bay as she gets underway from Naval Base San Diego Oct. 31, 2023

Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and the lead ship of the Supply-class fast combat support ship, USNS Supply (T-AOE 6) conduct a replenishment-at-sea in the Arabian Gulf, December 7, 2023.

Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 conduct routine flight operations from the lead ship of the class, aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Dec. 11, 2023. The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is currently operating in the Mediterranean Sea
Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111), front, USS Chafee (DDG 90), middle, and USS Gridley (DDG 101) transit the Philippine Sea, Jan. 22, 2022.
Loved there frigates

The U.S. Navy USS Bronstein ( DE-1037 ) underway off the coast of Oahu / Hawaii ( Photographer's Mate First Class E.L. Goligoski / U.S. Navy ) ( August 28, 1972 )

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