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While most of the characters in Circle William are ficticious, the ship and its weapons systems which play such a large part in the story do exist or will shortly.  When USS WINSTON CHURCHILL, (DDG-81) goes to sea for the first time in 2000, it will be carrying the missiles and other systems described in the novel.  Below you will find brief descriptions of some of the technical marvels of the novel and links to official U.S. Navy websites that can provide you with more detailed information.

(Photos not otherwise identified are from one of two excellent on-line imagery collections, one provide by the  U. S. Navy and the otherfrom the Department of Defense.)

One system mentioned in Circle William, the Sea Ferret, is still in development.  The unique feature about this cruise missile is its capability to transmit real-time images and other sensor data back to its launch platform and command headquarters.  You can read more about the Sea Ferret and many other weapon systems on the extensive non-governmental site sponsored by the Federation of American Scientists.


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USS Winston S.Churchill (DDG-81)

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IN WAR  –  RESOLUTION
IN PEACE –  GOODWILL

Christened: April 17, 1999

Report from the Ceremony

Navy Report on the Ceremony

Commissioning:
March 10, 2001

 

Current Status & Lots More Specifics: Official Website

Length:
513 feet
Beam:
66 feet
Displacement:
9000+ tons
Speed:
31+ knots (35.7 mph, 57.1 kph)
Crew:
24 officers (including one British officer)
326 enlisted men & women
53 women (15% of the crew)

WEAPONS:

1  5″/62 caliber Mk-45 Mod 4 lightweight gun

2  MK-41 Vertical Launching Systems
  90 Cells (29 forward + 61 aft):

Standard Anti-Air Missiles
Tomahawk Land Attack
– ASROC

8  HarpoonAnti-shipping Missile Launchers (2-Quad)

2  Close-in-Weapons Systems PhalanxMounts (4500 rounds/min)
6  MK-46 Triple Torpedo Tubes
LAMPS MK III Undersea Warfare Control System with  facilities for two SH-60B helicopters

LINKS TO:
Navy Fact File

on Arleigh Burke Class DDG’s
A Brief History of US Navy Destroyers
Modern Destroyers

 


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Launch of DDG-81

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USS CARNEY (DDG-64)

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USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DDG-56)

The USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL,named for the World War II British prime minister (and son of an American mother) will bethe 31st of the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers (DDG).  This class of ships are equipped for multiple missions relying heavily on their AEGIS combat weapons system, which brings together advanced communications, radar and weapons technologies.


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STANDARD Air-to-Surface Missile

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Length:
14 feet, 7 inches (4.41 meters)

Range:
40-90 nautical miles
(46-104 statute miles)
Link to Navy Fact File
Surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile. Two major types, the SM-1 MR/SM-2 (medium range) and the SM-2 (extended range). Used against missiles, aircraft and ships.


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Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile

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Length:
18 feet 3 inches (5.56 meters)
Speed:
381-571 mphCruise altitude:
50-100 feetRange:
870 nautical miles
(1000 statute miles, 1609 km)Links to Navy Fact File
Long range, subsonic cruise missile used for land attack warfare.


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USS HARTFORD (SSN-768)

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USS ALBUQUERQUE (SSN-768)

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USS TUCSON (SSN-770)

Length:
360 feet
Beam:
33 feet
Displacement:
approximately 6,900 tons submerged
Speed:
Greater then 25 knots
Depth:
Greater than 800 feet
Crew:
127 enlisted personnel
14 officers
Links to Navy Fact FileUSS ALBUQUERQUE – Very informative
USS HARTFORD,  the 57th of the 62 Los Angeles class submarines, is equipped with the Tomahawk cruise missile system, giving it a significant land attack and strike capability.  HARTFORD also has a hardened sail and retractable bow planes for surfacing through the ice during Arctic missions.


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