The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

USS Little Rock from the bow

Finished with the walk through of The Sullivans, we walked up another gangplank to the stern of the USS Little Rock.  The Little Rock started out life in WW II as a Cruiser, then in the fifties, she was upgraded to a Guided Missile Cruiser with the addition of a TALOS guided missile system.  The TALOS is an impressive looking creature and they’re big.

TALOS Launcher stern mounted on the USS Little Rock

I did some basic research and found out the each missile was worth $386K.  That’s a ton of cash in fifties dollars but the flying missile is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cost.  A missile like the TALOS is a system and as a system it needs a bunch of other stuff to be effective.  These days, a missile is essentially a self contained unit, other than the launcher and the storage required for it and all of its little friends, it just requires a data tap into the ship’s sensor and data suite to give it an idea of where it’s got to go.  Most of it’s other systems are self contained and self determining.  It’s fire and forget.  The TALOS is what’s called a bore sighted weapon.  Basically you paint the target with Radar and the missile’s semi active homing array guides it into the big radar splotch in front of it.

A better look at the fire control (the small satellite looking dish) and the directional Radar units (The big drum looking things above it) Not the Blast doors at the rear of the missile. Those would flip open and the next missile would be loaded onto the rail launcher through an extending rail system from the interior of the ship.

The fact that these actually shot down three MIGs in Vietnam from long distance astounds me.  You’d have to be deaf to not hear the Radar alarm in your cockpit.  Well that and the fact that you were slowly melting in your seat but then their Russian advisers probably never covered that in their briefing.  Of course the really cool stuff is waiting just behind that open hatch.

A TALOS Missile sits on the rails ready to be brought forward to the launcher feed area

So once inside the ship you start to get an idea of the real estate a system like TALOS requires.

Assembled and ready to be loaded onto the rotating feed cradle

The rotating feed cradles. Note the center feed rail to guide the missile out onto the launcher.

Missile body and booster storage area. Standard ship’s compliment was fifty units.

The inside of one of the five inch guns.

The helm.

Inside the main gun turret.

The main gun turret.

USS Little Rock CG-4

As has been the case for the last few posts these shots are rendered using the HDR process.  I’m still learning though gaining in confidence how far I can push certain image parameters to get the look I want and bracketing my exposure is pretty much becoming standard practice these days.  I will say that HDR is very effective in lower light higher ISO situations (of basically static objects) and being able to control the level of rendering allows me to pull surface details out of the image that I think you’d miss otherwise.  I will continue to nail this process down, hope you’re okay with coming along for the ride.

2 thoughts on “USS Little Rock CG-4 Decomissioned

  1. don says:

    Some really great photos here, thanks for sharing! Particularly liked the missile handling rooms, wow what an operation it must have been to fire at maximum rates! Thanks again…


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