In 1962, the first escort vessel and the third surface ship to be equipped with nuclear propulsion arrived at the US Navy. It was the USS Bainbridge destroyer, which was redesignated in 1975 as a cruiser to adapt her to the international classification of ships. She had installed two D2G nuclear reactors cooled by pressurized water that allowed her to have an almost unlimited range. Its main armament consisted of two twin Mk.10 Terrier SAM launchers, one forward and one aft of the superstructure, since its main mission was the protection of nuclear carriers. In 1974 and 1983 the so-called “Refueling and overhaul” (ROH) procedure was carried out. In this operation the spent nuclear fuel is replaced and large-scale modernizations are performed. Together with the nuclear cruisers USS Truxtun and USS Long Beach, they formed the escort of USS Enterprise nuclear aircraft carrier for years. The Bainbridge participated in the Vietnam War, was in Libya`s combat operations in 1988, in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and was involved in operations against the former Yugoslavia in 1994. The ship was decommissioned in 1996.
BAINBRIDGE gallery and more info