Navy Upgrades More Than a Third of Cruisers

Navy Upgrades More Than a Third of Cruisers

The U.S. Navy is making progress modernizing its fleet of guided-missile cruisers, a class of warships engineered for anti-submarine warfare, surface missions and ballistic missile defense, service officials said.

The Ticonderoga-class of cruisers are engineered for Aegis ballistic missile defense, which uses a mix of computer, missile and radar technology to fire a Standard Missile-3 to knock an approaching enemy projectile out of the sky.

The 567-foot long warships are equipped with Tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, vertical launch tubes for SM-3s, SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters, 5-inch guns and Phalanx close-in-weapons-systems, among other features.

The Navy had planned to build a new class of cruisers called CGX – but that program was cancelled in 2010, paving the way for the upgrades of the existing Ticonderoga-class cruisers, Navy officials said.

Thus far, eight of the service’s 22 active Ticonderoga-class vessels have completed a comprehensive modernization program designed to extend the service life of the ships for about 15 years beyond what would have been expected, according to Lt. Kurt Larson, a spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command.

The overall lifespan of a guided-missile cruiser, including the modernization upgrades, is about 35 years, Larson said.

One analyst said the upgrades will ensure that the vessels will be advanced enough to combat potential threats in coming years.

“The upgrades to the combat systems, radar and displays are useful in helping the ships to do well against the fat part of the curve of the world’s threats — but there are other threats that are not on the fat side of the curve,” said Byran McGrath, managing director at FerryBridge Group LLC, a defense consulting firm based in Easton, Md.

“A modernized Aegis cruiser is among the most powerful and capable warships the world has ever created,” he added. “Cruiser modernization will make the ships better suited for many threats and get them to the end of their service life.”

The upgrades, which can cost up to $250 million a ship, include improvements to the hull, sonar, radar, as well as electrical, computer and weapons systems, Larson said.

Twelve cruisers have completed what’s called hull, mechanical and electrical, or HM&E upgrades, Larson said. Other elements are referred to as combat systems, or CS, improvements.  Thus far, eight cruisers have finished the combat systems upgrades, he said.

The latter “will ensure the cruisers remain tactically relevant into the future,” Larson said in a written statement. “The cornerstone of the combat systems modernization is an upgrade of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) computing infrastructure, incorporating the latest commercial computing technology, fiber optics, and software upgrades.”

The enhancements include improvements to the SPQ-9B radar system, an X-band radar designed for the littorals and engineered to detect anti-ship cruise missiles, the Navy website states. The radar is configured to interface with the Aegis system as well.

Weapons improvements include the MK 160 gun computing system, the technology used to remotely support the firing of the MK 45 5-inch guns. The effort also includes modifications to the ship’s vertical launch system to incorporate the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, or ESSM, to improve self-defenses, Larson added.

“ESSM is a medium-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar and mid-course data uplinks,” according to the service’s website. “The missile provides reliable ship self-defense capability against agile, high-speed, low-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles, low velocity air threats, such as helicopters, and high-speed, maneuverable surface threats.”

Another important part of the upgrades is improving the SQQ-89A(V)15 sonar suite with a multi-function towed array. The sonar suite includes hull-mounted  technology as well as several acoustic sensors and arrays designed to detect submarine threats.

Modernization is typically executed at the ship’s respective homeport, Larson said. Cruisers are slated to receive the work in San Diego, Calif., Norfolk, Va., and Yokosuka, Japan.

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Average lifespan 35 years?? What a line of upper echelon crap. The lifespan of the first six was 21 years. They were decommissioned and one has already been sunk as a target. I was second phase precom crew on the USS Ticonderoga. Built her. Took her to war. But because of bureaucratic ignorance and the need to either cut or destroy ships that still had service life, the technocrats joined the fight. Instead of upgrading the first six they killed them in order to buy crap. The LCS , the F-35 , hybrid electric amphibs. All technological pieces of junk that wasted billions and will cost lives. The Ticonderoga has been cleared for scrapping by SECNAV even though she is eligible for registry with the Federal Registry of Historic Places. Another great piece of American history destroyed by idiots and tyrants. She may be scrapped but she will never be forgotten. Her history is recorded.

Sadly, there can be no significant improvements to the stealth characteristics of the Ticonderoga Class cruisers. The ability to avoid acquisition by fifth generation weapons currently in production is a glaring shortcoming that will not be addressed until a Zumwalt Class derivative is programmed.

The expense is building a war capable “stealth” ship are going to be huge. DARPA is filled with techno geeks who believe the computer will be only way to win wars. Granted technology has improved starfighter capabilities and survivability. But when a warring nation explodes a nuclear device in the upper atmosphere and the EMP fries all these fancy pieces of electronic wizardry? I insured my sailors and soldiers new how to fight without GPS, computer failure, shooting by eye. Stealth and ship construction is like trying to hide an elephant in Walmart. It’s a fine idea but the amount spent trying to hide in plain sight is tremendous as well as ridiculous. Sea Shadow was the best design in stealth. But she was still found without super high tech devices. Mark I eyeballs on a small patrol missile boat can find, fix and f@#k this ship. It was scrapped after it was found to be cost prohibitive. What’s the price of a B-2 bomber? They are small compared to a Zumwalt. It is cheaper to invest in countermeasures instead of designing a ship shape that is stealthy yet can’t hold nothing due to these waste in space shapes.

Well that’s good. After wasting billions in the lame crap of the JSF we need to invest in our surface fleet and im glad our Cruisers are being upgraded hope they do the same with our destroyers.

The SecDef needs to support these upgrades and use the money saved from “RESHAPING THE PENTAGON” Bureaucracy. Billions of dollars vcan be saved form eliminating Overhead stafff positions at the headquarters of the Navy COmmands and sites.

SFC Pappy: One needs to distinguish between vulnerability to detection and vulnerability to homing weapons acquisition. In addition, the comparative costs of an improved Zumwalt and a Flight III DDG-51 are surprisingly close, if the DDG-1000 development costs are amortized across the first three.

I’m glad to see that there is a part of the Navy that still believes in WARSHIPS and not little crappy ships

First five, not six, have been decommissioned…CG 48 through 51 lasted 20 years or less, and that’s a goddamn shame…I served on the 6th one, USS BUNKER HILL (CG 52), from 1999 to 2001, and she’s going strong after 27 years…35 isn’t a stretch for CG 52 to 73, I don’t think. Going to have to happen anyway, with sequestration and the like. Agree with you on the bureaucratic B.S. but the F-35 is the only new aircraft program in the pipeline…and with an aging aircraft fleet (not the V22, that one’s fairly ‘young’), if the 35 gets scrapped, then what? If this gets jettisoned, sure as hell better have a better aircraft option in the queue, and fast. My heart sinks about CG 47 probably NOT going into the registry. These ships are just awesome.

Read this article on the US Navy request to decommission more Ticonderoga class cruisers and others. Obama has already approved it. With these mandatory defense budget cuts it will happen. Got to pay for those LCS hunk-a-junks. Plus the over budget overrated Zumwalt.


At 250 million per ship to upgrade to a baseline 9 AEGIS combat system, it looks like a bargain compared to a 7 Billion DDG-1000. We can modernize the entire cruiser fleet for the cost of one Zumwalt, with money to spare

USS Hue City shows no clue on naval ceremonial and tradition http://​www​.flickr​.com/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​s​e​a​w​a​v​e​s​m​a​g​/​9​2​4​8​1​030

My impression was that they dumped them because the Navy had a VLS fetish, and dearly wanted every ship afloat to have Mk 41’s.

I suppose they could’ve looked into retrofits, or perhaps sold them to foreign navies (Australia makes do with our Perries, for example), but no…

Or the Zums turn out better than we thought and we put money back into them. The only reason why the DDG-51 line remains open is perceived faith in the product vs uncertainty in the Zumwalts.

Can we rename these things back to destroyers? We all know what they really are.

Haven’t had real cruisers for some time now…

That has nothing to do with the topic and this will probably cost a great CO his job.… Traditions are just that, traditions. Sailors used to wear beards and spend money when they got drunk…lol!

interesting thought

perhaps the last real cruiser was CGN-9 at 15,000 tons and 721 feet

but on the other hand, Ticos have a lot more capabilities than Burkes do (while slightly smaller), so perhaps size is not the right variable

Modernized Tico received longer barrel Mk54Mod4 gun, but still retains the old style “non-stealthy” cupola, unlike the recent built Burke. How come?

The Ticonderoga class is the main ballistic missile defense support ship for a reason and not an Arliegh Burke class destroyer. The more advanced radar on the Ticonderoga class is needed for the complex tracking and resolution of targeting for the advanced SM-3 missiles. The US Navy had planned to replace the Ticonderoga with a new class of cruiser with 4KV electrical grids to handle an even larger version of the
AEGIS radar for the same reason. Now there isn’t money to do that and they will keep the Ticonderoga class in active service.

“Ticos have a lot more capabilities than Burkes do”

Is that mostly due to sizing of the SPY-1 and other radars?

Re Activate and modernize the mothballed Battle Wagons!!!!

I was SUPSHIP Pascagoula’s Ships Superintendant for the construction of TICONDEROGA. The first ships were rushed into service with MK-26 missile launch systems instead of the VLS then under development; years later they used the lack of VLS as one of the reasons these ships were to be taken out of service; it was “not cost effective” to upgrade them with VLS although, like the DD-963 class, they were constructed with modular upgrades in mind. BTW; I note that the average lifespan is 35 years WITH the 15 years gained from the modernization.….anybody see the problem with that?

There are a lot of Navy traditions that are ignored today.….do we just keep the ones that are politically correct? The HUE CITY just returned from back to back deployments and what you’re seeing is pride in unit; something that seems sadly lacking in todays PC Navy. I’m sure the CO will get relieved or at least admonished for this.….how you’ll crow at that!

Actually, the term ‘cruiser’ was never determined solely by size; rather by offensive capabilities. I recall the days of “Heavy” and “Light” cruisers; terms that had nothing to do with size or displacement. Given todays capabilities, it would actually make more sense to call the DDG-51 class ‘cruisers’ than the other way around.
All that aside, the classifying and naming of ships today has no bearing on how the Navy did it for years; a good example being the FFG-7 class frigates (much larger than WWII DD’s BTW) classified as “Guided Missile Frigates” when they have no missiles…,

The EMP concern is moot. There is no way any ship can operate if it’s electrical system is fried. If the wiring isn’t protected from EMP, that ship is susceptible. Ohh, and you would need a ballistic missile to launch a high altitude nuclear EMP (HEMP).… and not only do we have systems in place to defend against ballistic missile, but any nation who would launch one, would open themselves up to nuclear retaliation.….so.… kind of a moot point.

I thought the DDG-1000’s were ~$3B each, which why they capped them at three hulls.

At $7B, I don’t think they would’ve built them in the first place.

I work with the program, and they will come in for ~ 6.8 Billion each. This is before trying to maintain a 3 class program. Funny part is they take a different shore power than anything else in our fleet, and won’t have any shore power if it leaves it’s homeport. It will run on it’s own power for 25 years.

The Aegis class Cruiser is light years ahead of the Leahy Class and all predicessors.… They delivered the punch miles before all others.….Plankowner CG-54.…. Also did tours on the Worden and Dale…

It’s a shame that we could have sold some older Ticonderoga-class of cruisers with the Mark-26 Twin-Arm Launcher Variant to countries such as the Taiwan Navy, Royal Thai Navy or the Royal Australian Navy. I think we could have made two Ticonderoga-class of cruisers such as CG-47,CG-48-CG-49 and CG-51 for them and they could have put them to good use as well. I can see Taiwan and Thailand putting to good use the CG-47,CG-48-CG-49 and CG-51. They would just have to pay for the US to reactivate, refurbish and install any equipment they want.

Nah. Actually it wasn’t the Navy or Obama Admin. They wanted to decommission and scrap the Ticonderoga cruisers. It was the US HOUSE Armed Services Committee and McKeon who stipulated that the Navy was prohibited from decommissioning these cruisers as planned.

Hmm well, considering that a bunch pf navies are operating DDG-51 derived ships with VLS’s and all, wouldn’t the older Ticos have been up against some really stiff competition?

Which is why Nicky specifically omitted the countries with modern surface combatants: Japan and Korea.

The Australians are using a Perry with a tiny 8-cell VLS in place of their single-arm: conceivably they would do the same with the Ticos, and put in a small VLS cell.

How different were the Mk 26 ships from VLS? I was under the impression that the old systems stored missiles in internal magazines and it would not be as simple as cutting a hole on the deck and ripping out the magazines and launcher and putting in a Mk. 41.

More and more money for unnecessary high-tech and less money for folks who are fighting our wars. Shame on you, government and Pentagon bureaucrats!

Unfortunately, I think you meant to say “if” with respect to the zumwalt. Or am I completely off the mark and the DDG 1000 is not back on the ropes?

The three Zumwalt class DDGs are being built at Bath iron Works. Huntington Ingalls built the composte deckhouses. From what I have read, the first two seem to be progressing nicely, not sure about the the third. As of 29-March-2013, DDG-1000 was 82% complete and DDG-1001 was 58% complete. DDG-1002 fabrication was started in April 2012, and I have not seen figures on how much of that has been completed.

I did see something about difficulties in negotiating a good price from HI on the composite deckhouse for DDG-1002, leading NAVSEASYSCOM to revisit the possibility of a steel deckhouse for that third in class ship.

A recent press release about successful testing of the 155mm LRLAP mentioned having, “…completed four engineering verification flight tests, as part of the U.S. Navy’s System Design and Development program. During the tests conducted at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., four projectiles were fired at various hard and soft targets located 45 nautical miles downrange. All four targets were destroyed. …LRLAP is a 155-mm projectile fired from the Advanced Gun System for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation DDG 1000 destroyer.”

You are masquerading nonsense as fact.

DDG-1000 does not have unique shore power voltage requirements. DDG-1000 will require the very same 4160V (4.16kV) as LHD-8, LHA-6/7, and CVNs prior to CVN-78. Within those, average demand will be least with DDG-1000, far less than the CVNs which draw 2880 amps (21,000 kVA) peak demand with air wing,1800 amps (13,000 kVA) average demand without airwing.

How many Tico cruisers have ever fired a weapon in war? I am all for upgrading them — hell, I’m all for building CGX. But don’t run down LCS just yet. Give Freedom 21 years to write its history.

Does the Vincennes count?

And the Wainwright at Praying Mantis, plus GW1 onwards.

Ship stealth has miles to go before anyone can call it “stealth” with a poker face.

Just like Supship said above. The Ticonderoga hull was made with modularity in mind. The MK 26 system is larger both fore and aft than a VLS package. No operators control room. Plus the passageway next to the magazine still had room to expand, if needed , to accommodate a larger system. Ingalls and SupShip back then, were forward thinking. Knowing the VLS was undergoing trials and were going to be put on future ships of the class. Just as my Mount 51 on Ticonderoga was built on an adapta-ring that was bolted to a mount made for the 8″ gun that was being tested and was going to be used until funding was cut. One of the other reasons the first five were decommissioned was each one had an aluminum superstructure. Lessons learned from the British and the Fauklands showed the problem with mass use of aluminum. Also one of our sailors stuffed a half bale of rags in the exhaust for the ships dryers. The fire happened in the Med and melted half the aft superstructure plus severe damage to the two aft phased arrays. But those lessons learned then are being forgotten in the building of the LCS. (Little Crappy Scow) Everything wasn’t perfect when we commissioned and first went to Rosey Roads for full up testing of Aegis with the MK 26. We emptied the missile mags on drones that were actually aimed at us on orders from a great CNO. Not one leaker but a couple did take two missiles to knock them down. The closest was about 3000 yards out of the fantail. Then after rearming we went to Gitmo for RefTra. On arrival the inspector for the ships guns stopped the whole evolution until we TOTALLY emptied our 5″ projectile mags and fix the problem with the securing bars for each layer of rounds. We worked over 24 hours non stop until this was fixed to inspector standards. Six weeks later we left Gitmo 100% certified in all departments for combat and sea going readiness. The fastest any ship to that date met ALL requirements set forth by SecNav and the CNO. But back then sailors knew how to actually repair and maintain the ships systems without calling in a techrep to fix a burned out bulb. If anyone can remember the tender Dixie can tell others how long a ship can continue to actively serve the Navy. 21 years for Tico was like killing your dog just as he is good and broken in. To take and decommission the Valley Forge after only 18 years of service then less than two years later sink her as a target is a crime high as treason.

We commissioned Ticonderoga on 22JAN1983 in October of 1983 we deployed to the Med with the Independence Strike Force. December our first rounds were fired out of Mount 51, my gun, into the hills over Beirut hitting Shi’ite positions. By my simple math that is less than a year. Plus some of those fire missions were fired using Aegis. Ahead of time before the Navy thought the interface between the SPQ-9 and Aegis could actually happen. The LCS has not been tested enough. Not since RefTra was moved from Gitmo and standards were lowered has a ship class came close to besting the wartime performance of the Ticonderoga class.

Anyone who says Beirut wasn’t a war need to ask some Marines and Naval aviators. Oh. You can’t they were killed there.

Hey Blight. Maybe the Navy ought to restart the Philadelphia Project. Only way to make a large Navy combat ship stealthy is to actually make it invisible. What the geeks at DARPA need to research is making a system that actively nullifies the radar signal. Then it would only work on planes or armored vehicles . If a person in a rowboat, an RPG-7 and a tarp can use their MK-1 eyeballs and row close to a “STEALTH” ship. Pick up the launcher, sight in, and pull trigger, no amount of stealth will stop it. With the composite lightweight materials used in stealth plus thin mostly unarmored hulls that single RPG round can kill and destroy a large amount. No if the attacker has several launchers they can all be fired calmly and accurately before the GQ alarm stops gonging. People still worry exclusively about superpower attacks and forget about the dumb peasant using a tool that is available in the millions worldwide.

Bath upgraded it’s substation from CMP and still can’t fully supply enough power for the ship. They have to put paddles on the ship instead of blades since the electric drive isn’t reversible. (will have to put it back in dry dock before trials to install the real blades)You need a pass to get in the deckhouse because of the fumes the composite is emitting. They have an EMI issue around the VLS modules and have had to rerun shielded cables (more weight).I could go on.…

I don’t think you get the picture on why we need Naval upgrades.

Taiwan would have been a better sale.

The La Fayettes don’t have much missile capability. Even going mini-VLS like the RAN did with the Perrys is an option, but probably trades potential missile salvo size.

A combo of La Fayettes and twin-arm Tico would not be that bad; and the Ticos would provide SPY capability for the RoCN. I know it won’t happen, but it isn’t a bad force mixture…

Good weapons systems and a large most powerful in the world standing military is expensive, but war is more expensive.

Yes, think of what you could do with modernizing those great dreadnoughts. New engines, they could even carry ICBMS. Take off the 16 inchers and replace with you name it. They have great hulls that it would take an A bomb to penetrate. Yea the idea makes tears come to my eyes.

Bobby, agree with your assessment. However, the current commander in chief is smothering freedom. As a famous, or infamous Russian leader stated “we will burry you from within” . So in the end who won the cold war? Remember it aint over till it’s over, and it aint over yet.

Indeed, if we knew that we’d be using the large SPY-1 for missile defense we should never have decommissioned or SINKEX’ed any of them. We would have kept them in Hawaii and dispersed them through the Pacific islands, then networked them to DDGs and used their VLS to dump SM-3’s into the air. Or god forbid, a comprehensive theater-level network that would use both GMD and ship-based missiles.

Maybe if we put VLS on CG-47,CG-48-CG-49, CG-51 and make them available for the Taiwan Navy, Royal Thai Navy or even the Israeli Navy.

Depending on how far in we are to decommissioning putting them back together again would be an immensely expensive proposition. One of the Ticos is already SINKEX, I thought?

Why would ROCN, RTN require a giant cruiser anyways? Small navies with limited budgets probably couldn’t use them to their best strengths. With the SPY-1 they could act as command and control ships, and with twin-arm; rudimentary self-defense and with hypothetical retrofit VLS, limited strike capability.

If we end up procuring more Zumwalts they may try to pay for it by early retirement of more Ticos or early flight Burkes. And we may find homes for them in the navies of our Pacific allies, but not the overly puny ones like Thailand, or hot potatoes like Taiwan.

That said, we need more ship-mobile X-band radars…anyone think that a Tico with teeth would be better suited for near-the-North-Korean-coast vs a giant X-band that would need serious surface warfare escort? But what’s done is done.

That’s pretty distressing.

Curious if increasing automation aboard the ships we already have would offset costs. Of course, that assumes cost-of-automation is less than the personnel cost of each sailor removed. Hopefully not as much automation as LCS, but…

Obama only experience with ships was in the bathtube.

Maybe if Obama didn’t spend all his time on the golf course and on AF1.….

Stealth has really no place in Naval combat ships. These ships spend 99.9% of their life showing the flag and making their presence know to everyone. To make them stealthy would defeat the purpose of having them in the world’s oceans as a deterrent.

A stealthyship would only be stealthy for a shorttime. You can bet that everytime that ship goes on deployment it will be shadowedby a Russian or Chinese ship blasted it constantly with different radars to try and figure out how to defeat it’s stealth. Give it a couple goodyearsthen it will be visible on everyone’sradar.

“How many Tico cruisers have ever fired a weapon in war“
Tico: Earnest Will
Yorktown: Libya?
Vincennes: Shot down Iran Air 655, part of Earnest Will
Valley Forge: …?
Thomas S Gates: ..?
——- VLS
Bunker Hill: ODS/ODS, Gulf of Oman (counterpiracy)
Mobile Bay: ODS/ODS, OIF
Antietam: OIF?
Leyte Gulf: Counter-piracy, Indian Ocean; Libya (recent)
San Jacinto: ODS/ODS…

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine that the military would allow aircraft to fly without RCS reflectors. The Russians could send in some Bear bombers and buzz around Alaska until the F-22 showed up to point it home, then use the opportunity to hit it with different wavelengths of radar until you found a good one. It would be incredibly obvious; however.

Sounds like they didn’t have much of choice. US Congress seems to put road blocks when it comes to production decisions. CGX maybe a better ship had it been built, but seem like allot of indescision is looming around what to do. Ticonderoga Classes’s hull can’t be extended without higher cost. Changing equipment one thing, but not hull’s actual lifespan. Its metal. They grind the rust off it, what do you think rust used to be? It use to be metal the hull made out of. 35 years old going on how much longer till serious condition start developing. Stupid their continuing the DDG-52 Class in some form, they need new ship for new generation of hardware and software. Right now we barely can afford to maintain the fleet, never mind train its crews and fund its activies.

What about South American Navies such as Brazil, Columbia or Peru. I would think a Cruiser like the Tico’s would be perfect for ROCN and RTN.

He’s likely not listing CG-50 (Valley Forge) because it was disposed of via SINKEX.
But, the mere suggestion of trying to transfer any of the ships he has suggested is just ignorance.
CG-49 (Vincennes) was scrapped over two years ago, it doesn’t exist.
CG-47, CG-48 and CG-51 have all be stricken, and were decommissioned at least eight years ago. It is likely every damn piece of useful gear was ripped from their hulls long ago.
Hell, if Ticonderoga (CG-47) gets transferred to anyone, it will be the Mississippi Maritime & Warship Museum in Pascagoula, MS

Mmm, so correct me if I’m completely wrong here, but I thought that the electronic systems (AEGIS, AN/SPY-1) make up the bulk of a warship’s cost…the hull and the VLS can’t possibly be all that expensive. So if someone’s on the market for an Aegis-equipped air defense ship, why go for an old rail-launcher Tico when you could get a DDG-51 with a VLS and a fresh new hull that isn’t maintenance-heavy?

I served on the USS California (CGN-36). Nuke cruiser. We were decommissioned and sold for scrap.

As far as I can tell, the Tico had more room for a larger SPY-1, and used the SPY-1A or SPY-1B; whereas the DDG’s used a SPY-1D.

I don’t have actual experience with this stuff, so I can’t tell you what the real difference is.

Served aboard USS Chicago (CG-11) ’67-’68. Talk about showing the flag — her macks were taller than most buildings and the view from the bridge was breathtaking. She had NTDS, great grand daddy of Aegis, and Talos missiles. Problem was — most of that impressive superstructure was aluminum, and even then we understood aluminum burns. And two fifty caliber above the 0–9 level to deal with the Styx missile threat? Give us a break! I vote for steel first, stealth when we can afford it, and weapon systems that include a serious defensive component. Give the guys and gals we send to sea a fighting chance!

As 1941–1955 battleship sailor on BB-55 & BB-62 the hulls were not all that strong. I still remember when the USS North Carolina BB-55 wa torpodeoded in 1942 . we had a fair sized hole in the port bow. I will have to admit they were great war ships but I hate to think of them beeing obsolete. They were very expensive to operate. Burned a lot of oil, if refitting could possibly go to nuecular propulsion.
Guy Murray MM1/c

Not really David. The toilet would be more appropriate.

I remember going on a North Atlantic exercise with a Ticonderoga class back in the Fall of 1988. I was station on the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2), and old tin can destroyer built in 1959. The weather was so rough that it tore the hurricane bow of the brand new cruiser. The old tin can took everything the North Atlantic threw at it and sailed on smartly.

I was on the decommissioning crew for the USS Wainwright CG-28 back in 1993. It was commissioned in 1964. It was a test ship for the (NTU) ‚New Threat Upgrade combat system, that was a precursor to the Aegis system.I guest they don’t build them like they use to.

October 23, 1983. Not everyone has frogotten that one!

how about the heavy crusers 8″ guns fast smaller crew then the BB’s.

How to defeat a technocrat who imagines future wars fought solely by computers: “So, what happens when someone detonates an EMP?”

I guess they should keep their fingers crossed that EMP remains in the realm of strategic weapons, and nobody figures out how to use it in a directed, focused way that might overcome shielding.

Means that you detonate your EMP over his continent and his armies too, thus bringing the environmentalists wet dream to fruition: the retardation of human sprawl and terrestrial exploitation.

I would be interested to see NNS build a heavy cruiser, or something that may well be a battleship. They’re the last shipyard in the US with experience building large capital ships armed and armored to military specifications.

Saw Tyco on east coast when she first came out. We were able to see her almost 20 miles away using the big eyes using infra red lenses. As a sonar tech no ship is safe from the new threat of ulta quiet diesel subs. N Korea, Iran and Russia are ammassing collections of these. All they have to do is wait till you pass or get very close and you can not out run the torpedo. They retired the Spruance destroyers way early. It was a very good ASW platform with the towed array. They said it took to many men to man but it was already built and many already had been converted to VLS. They could still have been using theese ships while they were in a slower build of the Arleigh Burkes. Was with the Tyco off Lebanon in 83 on the Moosbrugger when the New Jersey was using her big guns. They pulled her off because she made the news and they found out some group wanted to try and crash a DC3 into her. That was a long cruise with the first stop being Grenada.

The navy has’t had a REAL cruiser since they scrapped the USS Long Beach CGN-9!!

Hrm, learn something new every day.

A number of the Spruances had a single 61x pack of Mk 41 VLS but no Aegis; I wonder why a Kidd-class style Mk 26 was opted for in early Ticos: money?

Take a Burke and make it a little bigger and you got a new cruiser desighn. Allot cheaper to do that then go back to the drawing board. Even though i did like the design of the California class cruisers. It is hard to have one type of ship (Burkes) to do all the work. Ant-sub,surface,air and balistic. Probably need Cruisers for anti-air,surface and balistic. with a minor in ant-sub where the Burkes would major in anti-sub and suface and minor in anti air and balistic. Something like that
unless they build the Burke a little bigger with the flight 3 Destroyers and do away with Cruisers

I was on Tico from 82–84. Yes we were off of Beirut in 83. Part of the Independence Battle Group. When the Caron and New Jersey were pulled off the gun line we moved up and fired NGFS into Shi’ite positions.

But to answer the follow on designs one could use the Iowa class hull. Use Azipods for propulsion. Small nuke plant for generation of electric power for the Azipods. A VLS system fore and aft of a size six times larger than any ship afloat. The highest power six array SPY-1 System you can build. By focusing the beam you can fry others electronics. I know, because when I was on deck working on my Mount 51 that damn thing would start reprogramming my digital watch. I checked with Combat and they were doing 3/4 power focused beam tests. That was first Generation.

Still have room for the new long range 155mm gun. EW suite. CIWS.

Next go back to hands on training in A and C schools. Get away from computer self paced training. BE&E proved that type of training only transferred 15% onto A school. Destroying Building 525 Gun School at Great Mistakes only proved the nickname of that base.

as an old Navy man the cruiser was either light (CL) or heavy (CA) the difference was to main guns. I served on CAG-1 and CA-69 USS BOSTON.

Despite all the improvements, there are still only two types of ships in the Navy — submarines and targets.

Rolling back to the early ‘80s, there is some serious ambiguity about what makes a destroyer or a cruiser; even if both eventually turned out to be around the same size.

Later Spruances had a single 61-pack VLS. The first few Ticos had Mk 26’s; as did the Kidd-class destroyers.

If it’s the Aegis system that makes a cruiser; then the Burkes and the Ticos are essentially cruisers. If it’s the VLS, then the later Spruances, VLS-Ticos and the Burkes are cruisers, non-VLS Spruance, Tico and Kidds become destroyers. The definitions are essentially meaningless anyways, especially as ships are becoming techno-swiss-army-knives.

I was there also on the USS SYLVANIA AFS-2.

Sorry there Tony C. The Tico had the AN/SPY-1A while the new DDG-51’s have the AN/SPY-1(D)V radar. There are many DDG-51 are being modernized for the BMD mission.

Were the older SPY-1A’s better than the original SPY-1D? What was the tradeoff when they’d initially ported it over to the Burkes?

I remember the Dixie from the late 60s and early 70s in the Pacific. Tied up to her a few times to have work done on the Richard B Anderson, DD786.

USS Topeka CLG 8 here (RD3) . I Know what you mean… And We loved it.

Working on figuring out the answer to question. Haven’t found anything except this questionable site: http://​www​.alternatewars​.com/​B​B​O​W​/​R​a​d​a​r​/​S​P​Y​_​S​e​rie

“AN/SPY-1A (also Engineering Development Model 3C / EDM-3C)
IEEE Band: S Band
NATO Band: F Band (3100–3500 MHz)
T/R Count: 4,096 Transmitters and 4,352 receivers grouped into 128 array modules; each with 32 elements each.
Antenna Diameter: 3.7 meters (12 feet)
Array Cost: $860,000~ (FY84)
Notes: Twelve units built and installed (CG 47–58) Generation II Ferrite Phase Shifters were used, at a cost of $200 (FY84) per shifter and they were 50% shorter than Generation I phase shifters allowing total AEGIS weight to be reduced by about 20 tons.

IEEE Band: S Band
NATO Band: F Band (3100–3500 MHz)
T/R Count: 4,350 Transmitters
Antenna Diameter: 3.7 meters (12 feet)
Notes: Twenty-seven units built and installed (CG 59–73). Development work began January 1980 with the first target track occuring in November 1984. IOC was achieved in 1989 when USS Princeton (CG-59) was commissioned. Introduced new smaller phase shifters; allowing much lighter weights. Also, some key anti-stealth features were implemented, although a full implementation had to wait for SPY-1D(V).
(Image of SPY-1A vs SPY-1B Phase Shifter)


Notes: Designation not used.


IEEE Band: S Band
NATO Band: F Band (3100–3500 MHz)
T/R Count: 4,350 Transmitters
Antenna Diameter: 3.7 meters (12 feet)

Notes: Forty-one units built and installed (DDG-51–91). By FY02, Garnet Phase Shifters cost only $100. By FY06; the cost was $80~.


Notes: Twenty-one units built and installed (DDG-92 to DDG-112). Full implementation of anti-stealth features. Introduced advanced waveforms which reduced background clutter, allowing much better detection of stealthy targets. New ECCM processing techniques were introduced to defeat several types of deceptive jamming. Performance against targets with land backgrounds was also greatly improved. Became operational in 2004 when USS Pinckney (DDG-91) was commissioned.”

This suggests that the –A on the Mk. 26 Ticos would have to be upgraded significantly (to –B or some future –B upgrade) to do the things the –D(V) could do. I suppose this might be why the Navy decided not to upgrade the oldest Ticos, since it would involve VLS upgrades *and* radar upgrades?

That said, it doesn’t seem like the cruiser upgrades include changes to SPY-1B. It only says ” The cornerstone of the combat systems modernization is an upgrade of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) computing infrastructure, incorporating the latest commercial computing technology, fiber optics, and software upgrades.”; which suggests changes on the backend, but not at the radar.

Then again, a full upgrade to AESA at sea would be nice. Take a Burke or a Tico and test SPY-3 on it. We cannot wait for the Zumwalts to put to sea before realizing that SPY-3 has its own problems…

In the 80’s and 90’s we attempted to get the chain of command thinking about the effects of EMP. Not sure if anyone ever acted. We advised them “don’t throw out your Stubby Pencils and paper forms”. Our MilVan mounted computer systems were not protected, and we were managing logistics throughout the Pac Rim and Western US

I can tell you what was stupid, getting rid of the Leahy and Belknap class DLGs. These were very capable ships that were upgraded with the NEW THREAT UPGRADE and then scrapped shortly afterward. I served aboard USS Leahy DLG16 from 4/70 to 10/73. She was one of the most powerfull surface unites in the Navy. They had been converted to fire and guide the new AGIS type of missiles. The only reason that they were scrapped was man power, they were in no way obsolete having had all their electronics up graded in the late 99s and early 2000s. i feel that with everything that has happened to the Navy lately they would still be very effective units.


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