USS Mount Whitney LCC-20 Navy Department Official Mail April 12, 1978 w/Enclosure

USS Mount Whitney LCC-20 Navy Department Official Mail April 12, 1978 w/Enclosure

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USS Mount Whitney LCC-20 Navy Department Official Mail April 12, 1978 w/Enclosure

At the time of her commissioning, Mount Whitney joined her sister ship Blue Ridge as having the distinction of carrying the world's most sophisticated electronics suites. It was said to be some thirty percent larger than that of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, which had been the most complex. Mount Whitney was armed with a "main battery" of computers, communications gear, and other electronic facilities to fulfill her mission as a command ship. An extremely refined communications system was also an integral part of the ship's radical new design. Through an automated patch panel and computer-controlled switching matrix, her crew could use any combination of communication equipment desired. The clean topside area is the result of careful design intended to minimize the ship's interference with her own communications system. US Navy long-range communications were heavily reliant on high-frequency radio systems in the 1970s and have evolved to predominantly satellite communications in the 2000s. This is illustrated by the long wire antennas and the directional HF yagi or log-periodic antenna initially installed on Mount Whitney and later removed and replaced with a number of satellite communications antennas.