Tag Archives: cruiser Modernization Plan

Second CG finishes Modernization Program

Built at Ingalls in Pascagoula, USS Chosin was ordered in 1986 and delivered in 1991. She has been in modernization since December 2019– but that is soon set to end. Official caption: PEARL HARBOR (March 26, 2012) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) conducts exercises off the coast of Hawaii following a departure from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released) 120326-N-RI884-150

We reported last week about the old USS Gettysburg getting ready to return to sea after eight years with the completion of her drawn-out CG Phased Modernization Plan.

Well, she is fixing to get some company. Almost like an old home week for the Lehman-era 600-ship Navy.

This, from Seattle-based Vigor on G’burg’s sistership, USS Chosin (CG 65), finished her 1.7 million hour CGMP in just three years (well, technically Chosin was taken offline in 2019, so really like four years but who’s counting), while sister USS Cape St. George (CG 71) is set to follow:

Three-year, highly complex maintenance project was largest in Vigor’s history 

Seattle, WA (February 28, 2023) – Vigor, a Titan company, successfully completed a three-year modernization project on USS Chosin (CG 65) at its Harbor Island shipyard today, sending the U.S. Navy ship back to its homeport of Naval Station Everett. The project, which encompassed more than 1.7 million hours of work for Vigor employees, in addition to work by dozens of subcontractors and the U.S. Navy, was one of the largest, longest and most complex in Vigor’s history.  

“Vigor’s completion of USS Chosin in Seattle represents an incredible success for our skilled workers and the hundreds of people who worked on this project over the last three years,” said Adam Beck, Executive Vice President of Ship Repair for Vigor. “Vigor employees and our many partners successfully managed this very complex project through the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately returning the ship to the U.S. Navy to continue its service to our nation. We are honored to support the U.S. Navy, and are grateful to all who made this success possible.” 

Vigor employees devoted approximately 1.7 million hours to USS Chosin over the last three years, modernizing weapons, communications, and information systems, as well as upgrading many other areas of the ship. They worked in close partnership with the team from the Northwest Regional Maintenance Center (NWRMC) at Naval Station Everett, where USS Chosin is homeported.    

Work on USS Chosin commenced alongside USS Cape St. George (CG 71), which is also scheduled to be completed this year. Both maintenance projects were awarded to Vigor together in 2019.  

“This project was not only important to the Navy and our national defense, it also supported more than 600 family-wage jobs at the Harbor Island shipyard,” Beck said. “This steady work has allowed Vigor to grow the capacity of our skilled workforce in support of Navy readiness and supported industrial jobs and the local economy.” 

As USS Chosin leaves Harbor Island, two other U.S. Navy ships remain at the facility, including USS Cape St. George and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53). Vigor’s support for the Navy also extends beyond Seattle, with USS Tulsa (LCS 16) currently undergoing maintenance at Swan Island in Portland, OR, and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) nearing the end of its availability in Hawaii.  

Deeds Not Words…

After almost eight years locked in port as part of the Navy’s troubled CG Phased Modernization Plan, the Tico-class Aegis cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) saw blue water again last week on a short cruise under her own steam.

The Bath-built ship, commissioned on 22 June 1991, has been in what would have been described in the old days as “in ordinary” since September 2015 when she shifted homeports from Mayport to Norfolk and entered the CG Mod pipeline.

Gettysburg and sister USS Cowpens started in 2015, followed by USS Vicksburg and USS Chosin in 2016, USS Anzio and USS Cape St. George in 2017, and USS Hue City in 2019. 

Each upgrade, originally set for at least 11 cruisers, was set to be accomplished in three phases: tear out, repair, and modernization.

The thing is, it turned out the 25-year-old ships needed a lot more repair than was estimated, particularly with fuel tank issues, hull systems, and piping, then shipyard worker shortages, and finally supply chain issues all dog-piled to stretch the planned multi-month overhaul to multi-year. This was all compounded by the fact that the ships often sat undermanned with just 45 sailor crews for years waiting for the next phase of the program to get started.

“The cruisers right now and the modernization are running 175 to 200 percent above estimated costs, hundreds of days delay. These ships were intended to have a 30-year service life, we’re out to 35,” CNO ADM Mike Gilday told the House Armed Services Committee in 2021.

Speaking of cost, Hue City and Anzio alone were expected to run $1.5 billion each over the course of the CG Mod program, which led the Navy to add them to their “dead pool” of seven cruisers to decommission in FY22. To this was added Vicksburg, even though she was about 85 percent of the way through the CG Mod program meant to extend the life of the ship.

With all that being said, it is nice to see Gettysburg close to being complete. It’s been a long time coming.

Gettysburg in better days, seen here in a yard photo by Bath Iron Works in March 1991 on her builder’s trials. 330-CFD-DN-SC-91-07483