But the same problems showed up. A Tomcat only carried 8 missiles. And the carrier only carried 24 Tomcats. At some point in time, the carrier battle group/task force was going to encounter more aircraft than the carrier could defend against. Eventually "leakers" would get through and the ships themselves would have to provide defense. Perhaps a faster launcher? The MK-26 launcher rectified the problem slightly with it's high speed reload capability. But the ship couldn't fire missiles faster than the director could guide them. A group of Spruance Class destroyers were modified to try out some new concepts and the end result was the AEGIS radar system.
Coupled with a new CIC, the revolutionary system should enable a ship to control a larger number of missiles in the air. The new system passed it's early tests and found it's way to acceptance. But where to put it? Concepts included everything from mounting it onboard the recently recommissioned battleships to mounting onboard the nuclear cruisers. In the end, a modified Spruance Class hull was chosen and worked up. The new MK-26 twin-arm launcher was chosen. This launcher handled ASROC rounds as well as the normal SM-2 anti-aircraft missiles. This meant that the ship could dispense with having to have a separate ASROC box launcher.
The concept was christened USS Ticonderoga and the newly commissioned ship broke records for performance and flexibility. The AEGIS system enabled a task force commander to have control of everything on, above and under the ocean with the ability to control an unlimited amount of missiles "in the air." The downside would be the capacity of the MK-26 system. This would be rectified with the MK-41 vertical launch system. Despite that shortcoming, the original five "non-vertical" Tico's would serve into the new millenium. Our kit is my first ever Skywave kit. The newest Navy ship on the block and everyone that built ships wanted one.
The Japanese were first on the scene with their Skywave brand pushing out modern British, Japanese, Russian and American ships. I picked up one of their Spruance Class destroyers and it was as flawless as you could get back in the day. I heard from the vendor that Skywave was coming out with a Tico cruiser and I pre-ordered it. It was very expensive (Skywave kits still are) but when it arrived, the detail was like night and day. The scribing and molding even now in 2014 is still breath-taking. The kits are pretty difficult to build as there are a lot of strange things that have multiple seams.
The plastic itself is multi-grade with paper-thin flight decks and thick bridge levels. The sprues are generous with their parts and spares of everything are included. The detail on the missile launchers and guns is amazing in this small of a scale. While slightly "over scale" for some of the parts, that only increases (in my opinion) the level of enjoyment. After all, **TECHNICALLY** you should not be able to see deck planks in 1/700th scale but many will agree that seeing them on a model enhances it. The photo etch is from the scraps box tho many vendors do Ticonderoga/Spruance Class etch sets. For my colors, I chose the Cold War Pacific Fleet dark grey, which measures out to Dark Ghost Grey in the Polyscale and Testors formulas. Highly recommended.