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large, fast, moderately armed warship, intermediate in type between the aircraft carrier and the destroyer. During World War II, battle cruisers operated as small battleships, combining in one vessel maximum qualities of gun caliber, armor protection, and speed. Upon the retirement of the battleshipbattleship,
large, armored warship equipped with the heaviest naval guns. The evolution of the battleship, from the ironclad warship of the mid-19th cent., received great impetus from the Civil War.
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 from the major navies of the world, the cruiser became the largest of the conventionally armed warships in commission. The cruiser's primary mission in modern warfare is to provide antiaircraft defense and gunfire support for aircraft carriers. Light cruisers, lightly armed and very fast, are often employed in scouting, police duties, and other jobs where speed rather than defensive strength is important. The advent of guided missiles as the primary offensive weapon of modern warfare has led to the conversion of many cruisers into guided-missile cruisers. The guided-missile cruiser Long Beach (completed 1961) was the first ship since World War II to be constructed for the U.S. navy from keel up as a cruiser; it was also the first nuclear-powered surface fighting ship in the world.


See Jane's Fighting Ships (pub. annually since 1897); study by S. L. Poole (1970).



a surface warship intended for doing battle against light enemy naval forces, defending task forces of warships and convoys, supporting marine landing parties, providing fire support for the coastal flanks of ground forces, laying minefields, and performing other combat missions.

Cruisers (as a class of warships) appeared in Great Britain in the 1860’s (in Russia in the 1870’s). In Russia cruisers were subdivided in 1892 into first-rank cruisers (armor-clad and armor-decked) and second-rank cruisers, which were called light cruisers. During World War II (1939–45) the class of cruisers was divided into the subclasses of heavy and light cruisers. In the navies of certain nations (the USA and Great Britain) there was a class of line cruisers (the largest armor-clad ships after battle-ships, with heavy turreted artillery). In the 1960’s missile cruisers, air defense cruisers, antisubmarine cruisers, and other types appeared in the navies of various countries.

The principal weapons of present-day cruisers are rifled (102–203 mm) artillery and missile complexes. In addition, cruisers are armed with antiaircraft artillery, torpedoes (six to eight tubes), and mines (up to 200–300). Most cruisers have one or two light aircraft, which are launched by catapults, or one or two helicopters, which are used for reconnaissance and adjustment of fire. The basic dimensions of cruisers are as follows: length, up to 200–220 m; width, 20–23 m; draft, up to 8 m. The displacement of light cruisers is 7,000–9,000 tons, and for heavy cruisers it is up to 20,000–30,000 tons. The main engines are steam turbines with a capacity of 44.2–88.4 megawatts (60,000–120,000 horsepower), crew sizes range from 600 to 1,300, and cruising speeds go up to 30–35 knots (55–65 km/hr). The full cruising range is 9,000–12,000 miles (17,000–22,000 km).



(naval architecture)
A type of large warship, but smaller than a battleship, having a displacement of 6000 to 15,000 tons (5442-13,605 metric tons), moderately armed and armored, and capable of any naval duty except combat with battleships.


1. a high-speed, long-range warship of medium displacement, armed with medium calibre weapons or missiles
2. a pleasure boat, esp one that is power-driven and has a cabin
3. Boxing short for cruiserweight (see light heavyweight)
References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, the requirement to provide sustained fire support for forces ashore argued for the high payload volume offered in roomy, multimission guided missile cruisers and destroyers.
The escort includes two guided missile cruisers, a missile frigate, two missile destroyers and a submarine.
Guided missile cruiser Moskva is the flagship of Russia's action group in Syria, the ministry said, Itar-Tass reported.
A $56,967,490 undefinitized deal is being granted by a BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, VA, as altered to a previously granted a deal (N00024-11-C-4403) for the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) fiscal 2014 extended drydocking selected restricted availability.
The ashes of the "reluctant" icon of the 1960s space race were transported on the US Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea.
The first batch of the participating Russian vessels, including guided missile cruiser Varyag, returned to Russia's Strelok Gulf in the south of Primorsky Krai on Tuesday.
It also allowed me to view firsthand the types of challenges I might face should I be selected for a department head ride aboard a guided missile cruiser.
During a series of four tests, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie - upgraded with the BMD 4.
He later worked as a pipefitter at the Quincy Shipyard, working on the USS Long Beach, the first nuclear powered guided missile cruiser.
A guided missile cruiser, USS Vincennes, is to make a four-day visit to the territory from Saturday.
The strikes began with six Tomahawks shooting up in less than eight minutes from the deck of the guided missile cruiser Philippine Sea, their booster rockets turning night into day over the 567-foot-long ship as it lay some 50 miles off the coast of Croatia.
Navy, including support to the Next-Generation Cruiser [CG(X)] Program, the DDG 1000 Guided Missile Destroyer Program, the DDG 51 Class AEGIS Guided Missile Destroyer Program, the CG 47 Class AEGIS Guided Missile Cruiser modernization program, the LHD 8/LHA6 Amphibious Assault Ship programs, as well as a variety of ship system development and future force design programs.

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