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A heavy cruiser of the Chester class, Northampton had a displacement of 9,050 tons, a length overall of 600 feet and a beam of 66 feet. Her armament consisted of nine 8-inch guns, eight 5-inch, 32 40mm and 27 20mm anti-aircraft guns. She carried four aircraft for launch from two catapults. The complement of ships of this class was from 872 to 1,200 men.