‘Better than new’ Aegis CGs

Cruiser Modernization: It’s Key to 313-Ship U.S. Fleet

In Defense News, Rear Admiral Vic Guillory writes:

The U.S. Navy has 22 Ticonderoga-class Aegis guided missile cruisers (CGs). Commissioned in 1986, Bunker Hill is the oldest and has the distinction of being the first to receive the full hull, mechanical and electrical, and combat systems “cruiser modernization” overhaul. This capability-enhancing, life-extending modernization program provides the most up-to-date warship at a fraction of the cost of new construction.

Upgrades include new computers, Block 1B Phalanx CIWS, Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, and new 5 inch/62 cal guns to replace the original 5 inch/54 cal guns.

The gun upgrade would have allowed the use of ERGM rounds, but that program was killed earlier this year.

Read the whole article for more details on the upgrades.


  1. Why update perfectly good ships when you can build whole new ones for billions more to fight an enemy and war that doesn’t really exist at this time, probably in the future too?

    Don’t these hulls get a certain amount of battering and stress on them that makes them structurally unsound after a while, no matter how much they update them? It sounds like a good idea, but if the basic ship itself is wearing out, slapping new paint and Flow Masters on it doesn’t seem to be much of a savings. Hopefully the experts deciding this stuff know.

    Did they do anything to address the top heaviness of the Ticos in this refit?

  2. Nanderbus: “The SPS-49 air-search radar was removed, reducing topside weight and improving stability.

    How much of an effect that will have, I don’t have the slightest clue.

  3. I agree that new ships will be needed eventually. They should take the plans for these ones, work out what worked and what didn’t, fix the problems, improve what can easily be improved, then bring out a new class which is an evolutionary improvement over the current one. By limiting how much new technology and how many changes are made, the risk of cost blowout or significant failure is limited. Until military procurement is fixed I think that’s the most they can really do.

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