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calendar   Thursday - June 11, 2009

No Seasickness on this ship

USS Rancocas, LS-1



image

Where else? This one lives in New Jersey. In Moorestown actually. In the middle of a farm field.



Yes, the US Navy considers this to be an actual commissioned ship. The USS Ranconos is the 2nd and last LS ( Land Ship ) in the fleet, though it is designated Number 1.

The “Cornfield Cruiser,” or “Ship in the Cornfield”

It is the test facility for the U.S. Navy’s AEGIS Fleet Defense System. The facility is commissioned as USS Rancocas.

It is in a cornfield because the land upon which it is built is owned by a farmer that still grows corn there. The owners of the facility have a 99-year lease. Upgrades developed at this facility are then installed on the USS Norton Sound for testing at sea. The final product is then transfered to combat ships, USS Ticonderoga for example.

Every year, on the first Saturday in December, the Rancocas is decorated with flags that read “GO NAVY” and “BEAT ARMY.”

Description:  A complete cruiser ship’s bridge on a building.

The facility shown below is known as CSEDS, or the Combat System Engineering Development Site. It is used primarily to test the world’s most powerful and effective sea based radar known as the Aegis Radar system. The facility below is also the only landlocked commissioned US Naval vessel which is designated as the USS Rancocas and houses an entire crew of naval personnel.

While many of today’s passing motorists are amazed by the landlocked ship’s bridge, 30 years ago drivers were equally mesmerized by the giant “golf ball” at the same location.

From 1960 to 1975, a 15-story, 140-foot-wide, snow-white radar dome was a landmark. The radar station was built by Radio Corp. of America and operated by the Air Force as a prototype of a ballistic-missile early warning system.

The “golf ball” housed an 84-foot-wide antenna. The housing could protect the antenna from winds up to 180 m.p.h. and temperatures of 65 degrees below zero.

In 1972, some residents in Willingboro claimed the radar station caused buzzing sounds in their televisions, radios and intercoms.

The station was used to track satellites as the Cold War was winding down and was labeled obsolete as more sophisticated radar systems were developed. The “golf ball” was replaced by the ship’s bridge in 1976.

Another picture can be found here.

I have no idea why this ship is designated LS-1. It ought to be LLS-2, since LLS-1, the USS Desert Ship is still “afloat” at White Sands NM, as a missile launch test site ship.

Hey, at least in New Jersey our not-really-a-ship ship sort of at least looks a bit like a ship. Well, part of one anyway.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/11/2009 at 06:50 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffMilitaryScience-Technology •  
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