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USS Roanoke: A No Fly Zone

In this blog, we’re going to be showing you a unique light cruiser from the Worcester-class. This ship is equipped with rapid-firing 152 mm guns that are equally effective at hitting enemy surface targets as well as aircraft that are at considerable distances and altitudes!

USS Roanoke: A Light Cruiser for the USA at Rank V


  • Dual-purpose 152 mm guns.
  • Strong armored deck.
  • Good mobility.
  • Excellent air defense capabilities.
Vehicle History

The Worcester light cruiser project was inspired by the successful actions of German aircraft against the British fleet off the coast of Norway and Crete. This ship was conceived with the universal means of combating surface and air targets — mainly bombers — and was built around the latest dual-purpose 152 mm guns with automatic loading at the beginning of the 1940s. The requirements for this ship were very ambitious, but most of them were in fact realized, including a strong armored deck, while maintaining fairly high mobility. The USS Roanoke became the second and final Worcester-class ship built. Unlike the lead ship of the series, Roanoke did not take part in combat operations — it was launched in June 1947 and withdrawn from the fleet in 1958. This light cruiser was the last American heavy artillery ship that had dual-purpose main battery guns.


Meet the USS Roanoke!

In the next major update, you’ll be greeted with a fantastic US Bluewater ship that features 152 mm main caliber guns that are fully capable of hitting ships AND aircraft effectively. In addition to this, this ship is armored excellently for its class and is also equipped with smaller automatic fed anti-aircraft guns. Let’s take a further look at the details!

Did you know? The USS Roanoke is named after the city of Roanoke, which is located in Virginia, United States.

There’s six turrets and twelve main caliber guns on the USS Roanoke, with each turret housing 2 x 152 mm 6”/47 caliber Mark 16 Dual Purpose guns. These guns are distinguishable from the familiar conventional Mark 16 guns by a greater elevation angle, a higher rate of fire and horizontal guidance, as well as the ability to fire at air targets. The selection of ammunition has remained the same — very good armor-piercing shells, plus three different types of high-explosive: regular, base fuze and remote fuze.

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Access to several shells means the ability to pick and choose the right shell for different engagements depending on the opponent, with each shell having their own pros and cons in battle. It’s also worth noting that in addition to the main guns, extra air and boat defense capability in the form of 76 mm guns are mounted in twin and single installations, with a total of 24 guns being present.

Interesting: At the stern of Worcester-class ships is an area for seaplanes. However, it was decided to abandon air mounted capability during the construction process. Later on, helicopters and even the first experimental UAVs were placed on board the ship!

When taking a quick glance at the USS Roanoke’s profile, there really isn’t much of a difference in comparison to other light cruisers. The main 127 mm armored belt is located at the waterline, the hull has anti-fragmentation protection, and the front of the turrets are decently armored (up to 165 mm) and the control tower (up to 114 mm). These protection numbers are already quite good by the standards of light cruisers in-game.

At closer inspection however, the USS Roanoke has a unique and interesting variation in her armor layout that offers important protection from above — a heavily armored deck. Worcester-class ships had to withstand a direct hit from a 1000 lb bomb dropped from altitude, so in addition to the upper 25 mm of armor on the deck, the Roanoke has an internal armored deck of 88 mm thick. Thanks to this, the Roanoke can be considered one of the most durable light cruisers in the game!


If you’re playing and are in a face-off with the USS Roanoke, you’ll have to move in and engage it at closer ranges, this however will expose you to the fast-firing 152 mm cannons, so perhaps engaging at distances using armor-piercing shells would be better. Despite the weight of the Roanoke’s armor alone exceeding 2,100 tons, this ship is not inferior in terms of mobility and getting around to other light cruisers. The Roanoke is capable of reaching incredible speeds of up to 33 knots — that’s more than 60 km/h.

In your matches by Igor, Naval Game Designer: I’d use the USS Roanoke primarily against aircraft and cruisers, thanks to this ship’s rate of fire and weapon systems. Keep in mind the armor on this ship is great for light cruisers, its armor belt is enough to stop light and some heavy cruiser shells, but won’t help against larger shells. Avoid shooting at Battleships from longer ranges as they’ll eventually zone in on you and take you out, unless you’re really close to them.

Coming to War Thunder in the next major update, the USS Roanoke will arrive at Rank V of the US’s Bluewater fleet tree as one of the most advanced light cruisers for this nation. That about wraps up today’s blog — continue to follow the news as more interesting blogs are coming soon!

You can greatly speed up the research of the USS Roanoke with this premium pack:

Arkansas Pack
Arkansas Pack
The Kit Includes:
  • USS Arkansas (BB-33), Rank V, USA
  • Premium account for 30 days
  • 3000 Golden Eagles
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