USS Maine (ACR-1) was the United States Navy's second commissioned battleship and the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after the state of Maine.[a] Originally classified as an armored cruiser, she was built in response to the Brazilian battleship Riachuelo and the increase of naval forces in Latin America. Maine and her near-sister ship Texas reflected the latest European naval developments, with the layout of her main armament resembling that of the British ironclad Inflexible and comparable Italian ships. Her two gun turrets were staggered en échelon, one sponsoned out on each side of the ship, with cutaways in the superstructure to allow both to fire ahead, astern or across her deck. She dispensed with full masts thanks to the increased reliability of steam engines by the time of her construction.
Despite these advances, the Maine was out of date by the time she entered service, due to her protracted construction period and changes in the role of ships of her type, naval tactics and technology. The general use of steel in warship construction precluded the use of ramming without danger to the attacking vessel. The potential for blast damage from firing end–on or cross–deck discouraged en échelon gun placement. The changing role of the armored cruiser from a small, heavily–armored substitute for the battleship to a fast, lightly–armored commerce raider also hastened her obsolescence. Despite these disadvantages, Maine was seen as an advance in American warship design.