Tag Archives: Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser

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.  

150 Years of Cruisers sent to Mothballs

Over the weekend, the Pascagoula-built Ticonderoga-class sisters USS Hué City (CG-66) and USS Anzio (CG-68) were decommissioned, ending the lengthy careers of the two cruisers. Ordered on the same day in 1987 as part of a money-saving bulk buy, they were the first and second U.S. Navy warships named after their respective Vietnam and WWII-era battles.

Commissioned just nine months apart (14 September 1991 and 2 May 1992) they served 61 years combined.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 4, 2016) The guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) transits the Atlantic Ocean alongside aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), not pictured. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco/Released) 160704-N-NU281-142

U.S. 5th FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Sept. 27, 2012) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released) 120927-N-FI736-273

They were preceded by the younger USS Vella Gulf (CG-72), decommissioned last month on 4 August just shy of 29 years of service, and the slightly older USS Monterey (CG-61), decommissioned on 19 September after 32.

A fifth Tico, USS Port Royal (CG-73), is set to decommission on Thursday– at Pearl Harbor– bringing a close to her 28th year with the fleet. Port Royal is the youngest of her class and will likely be the last cruiser ever built for the U.S. Navy.

Truly the end of an era.

NEW YORK CITY (May 20, 2009) The guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) transits the Hudson River during the Parade of Ships as part of Fleet Week New York City 2009. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David Danals/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 6, 2020) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61), front, the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), center, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) sail in formation with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), not pictured. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aimee Ford) 201006-N-VG565-0001

PEARL HARBOR (June 24, 2011) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) passes by the Waianae Mountains as the ship departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled deployment in the western Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker/Released) 110624-N-RI884-060

These five decommissionings strip the Navy of 610 strike-length VLS cells, 10 5-inch MK45 guns, 60 ASW torpedo tubes, 80 Harpoons, five helicopter hangars, and assorted Aegis systems with companion air defense commander suites.

It could be argued that six Flight III Burkes could more than replace the capabilities lost with the five paid-off cruisers and the Navy plans on buying two destroyers per year from FY 2023 through FY 2027 but that seems like a long way away, especially considering the 17 remaining Ticos are all set to be retired by then.

Meanwhile, the DDG(X) program, which is supposed to fill the gap left by the cruiser slaughter, isn’t set to even start fabrication until FY2028.