1. A large warship, well armed and equally capable of operating in fleet air defense, anti-submarine, and flagship roles. Larger than a destroyer, it is usually the largest warship in most navies today, short of aircraft carriers. Few navies can afford to build cruisers or buy them second-hand, so a fleet with even a single cruiser is considered respectable. Although very common among navies until the end of the Cold War, cruisers are expensive to operate and are now only found in the navies of the United States (27), Russia (8), Peru (2), and Italy (1).
NATO standard designations for cruisers are: CL (light cruiser, no longer used), CA (heavy cruiser, no longer used), CC (command cruiser, no longer used), CB (battlecruiser, no longer used), CG (guided missile cruiser), and CGN (nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, now only in use in Russia).
The Argentine cruiser General Belgrano was sunk by a British submarine during the Falklands War of 1982. It is the largest warship sunk in combat since the end of World War Two.
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