USS Missouri was the last of the Iowa-class battleships launched, the ultimate design of the big-gun ships. With 84 gun mounts, comprising 160 separate guns, the ship could hold its own against any ship in the world, and the class was the mainstay of air defence for the fast carrier fleets of the Pacific war. Able to hurl 2,700 lb. shells a distance of 42,300 yards, the Iowas saw action in every war fought by the US up to the Gulf War. The USS Missouri was the site of the formal surrender of the Japanese Empire, September 2, 1945.