The U.S. Navy’s Aegis is the world’s most advanced air/missile defense system. Currently it is fitted in 22 U.S. cruisers and 64 destroyers, with more Aegis destroyers on the building ways. The system also is installed in several foreign warships.
Aegis owes some of its technology and concepts to a system that never was—the Typhon fleet air defense system. More than a half-century ago, in May 1957, the U.S. Navy began development of a radical new weapon system that was planned to replace the Talos, Terrier, and Tartar (3-T) surface-to-air missiles.
The Terrier was the world’s first operational shipboard surface-to-air missile, going to sea in 1955–56 in the converted heavy cruisers Boston (CAG-1) and Canberra (CAG-2). This was a medium-range missile, considered effective out to 20,000 yards and up to 40,000 feet. The Terrier was followed by the longer-range Talos and close-in Tartar missile systems, with the two CAG conversions followed by scores of conversions and new construction ships armed with the 3-T missiles.