U.S.S. Norton Sound
1964(Spider Navy SN-3-03)
- Class: Currituck -- 1 missile test ship of 1949
- Displacement: 9,106 tons standard / 13,590 tons full load
- Dimensions: 540'5" x 69'3" x 21'6"
- Machinery: 2-shaft steam turbines, 12,000 shp = 19 knots
- Guns: removed
- Missiles: 1 twin Mk 26 Mod 0 launcher
- Complement: 369 + 87 civilian technicians
- Builder: Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock, Los Angeles, CA
- Laid down:
- Launched: 28 Nov 1943
- Commissioned: 8 Jan 1945
- Decommissioned: 11 Dec 1986
- Notes: Built and commissioned as AV-11, one of four Currituck-class seaplane tenders. Converted to a test and evaluation ship for advanced weapon and electronic systems in 1949, she was redesigned AVM-1 on 8 Aug 1951. Among the systems tested on board were the Loon (American version of the German V-1), Aerobee, Viking, Lark, Regulus I, Terrier, Sea Sparrow, Standard SAM, and Tomahawk TASM. In 1958 she launched multi-stage missiles carrying low-yield nuclear weapons that were detonated 300 miles above the ground as part of Project Argus. In 1962-64 she was fitted with the large SPG-59 Typhon guidance phase-array radar, as shown here. It was removed when the Typhon frigate program was cancelled. In 1974 she was reconfigured to test the Aegis air defense system with its SPY-1 radar.