The United States Navy built the first Aegis cruisers using the hull and machinery designs of Spruance-class destroyers. Ticonderoga was ordered as a guided missile destroyer, but redesignated as a cruiser before she was laid down.
The contract to build DDG-47 Ticonderoga was awarded to Ingalls Shipbuilding on 22 September 1978. On 1 January 1980, she was redesignated as a guided missile cruiser, CG-47. Her keel was laid down on 21 January 1980, the 35th anniversary of the devastating kamikaze attack on the Essex-class aircraft carrier Ticonderoga