USN Decommissioning 5 Ticonderoga class cruisers

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USN Decommissioning 5 Ticonderoga class cruisers

Post by MikeJames »

Bowing to USN wishes, Congress has signed off on plans to decommission 5 Ticonderoga class cruisers this coming fiscal year 22-23.

While Navy has wanted to retire these ships, given their massive costs to maintain, repair and upgrade, Congress has been reluctant to see hundreds of VLS missile cells exit the service at a time when a war with China is seen as inevitable.

“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,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told the House Armed Services Committee last year.

Five of an identified seven ships will be retired,

USS Vella Gulf (CG-72)
USS Monterey (CG-61)
USS Lake Champlain (CG-57)
USS Hué City (CG-66)
USS Anzio (CG-68)
USS Port Royal (CG-73) and
USS San Jacinto (CG-56)

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Re: USN Decommissioning 5 Ticonderoga class cruisers

Post by BsHvyCgn9 »

which Tico's have been upgraded?

Bruce B2 :nuke: :nuke: :nuke: :nuke: :nuke: :nuke:
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Re: USN Decommissioning 5 Ticonderoga class cruisers

Post by MikeJames »

The US Navy is paying off more Ticonderoga class cruisers, having determined that many of them are no longer viable for refits and upgrades after 40 odd years of hard service, and want to pay them all off as soon as possible, or as soon as congress will let them.

After a Decade of Debate, Cruisers Set to Exit Fleet in 5 Years

By: Sam LaGrone, Mallory Shelbourne and Christopher P. Cavas

April 21, 2022 6:23 PM

NORFOLK, Va. – USS Vicksburg (CG-69) is in the middle of a $200 million repair period meant to keep the guided-missile cruiser in the fleet well into the 2030s. Shrouded in scaffolding and white plastic at BAE Systems Ship Repair, shipyard workers have been upgrading Vicksburg since 2020.

The repair work was part of a controversial decade-old Navy modernization plan to keep 11 of the remaining 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers in the service’s inventory into the 2030s to operate with carrier strike groups and host their air defense commanders.

But now the Navy wants to abandon the modernization as part of a wide-ranging cut of legacy platforms the service says cost too much to fix and maintain. In the next five years, the Navy plans to shed its entire cruiser force, including the ships part of the ongoing modernization program, according to the long-range shipbuilding plan released this week.

Should Congress allow the Navy to move forward with its plan, the service would decommission 10 cruisers in two years, bringing the cruiser inventory down from 22 ships to 12 by the end of Fiscal Year 2023.

“It really comes down to – for these ships that are all over 30-years-old – whether we want to continue to pour resources into them from a modernization perspective when only one of the five has actually delivered,” Vice Adm. Scott Conn, deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities (OPNAV N9), told reporters on Wednesday.

“Congress may not be happy, they may push back. There is concern at the waterfront. Having been down and visited Vicksburg last week, and walked that ship and they got a lot of stuff done. And they have a long way to go. So it’s just a part of our ‘get real’ perspective in the Navy in terms of assessing where we are. And is the investment we continue to make on these ships going to give us a return from a warfighting capability perspective?”

Along with Vicksburg, the Navy wants to decommission USS Bunker Hill (CG-52), USS Mobile Bay (CG-53), USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) in FY 2023 and is already cleared to decommission USS Monterey (CG-61), USS Hué City (CG-66), USS Anzio (CG-68), USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) and USS Port Royal (CG-73) this year.

All 22 remaining cruisers are set to leave the fleet by 2027.

The Navy’s proposal is expected to continue years of debate between the service and Congress, as lawmakers have repeatedly criticized the Navy’s push to get rid of the cruisers without a platform to replace them.

Shedding the cruisers has been a thorn in the side of the Navy – and lawmakers – for over a decade, with the service offering various proposals to mothball and later modernize the ships or to decommission them permanently. All of the service’s ideas have been repeatedly rejected by Congress.

The back-and-forth between the service and lawmakers is convoluted, changing in detail and reasoning from year to year, but consistent in the overall theme of the Navy pushing to reduce the cruiser force and Congress pushing to keep the ships until there’s a viable replacement.

“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,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told the House Armed Services Committee last year.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), the former executive officer of Anzio, has been a vocal critic of the Navy’s plan to decommission the cruisers in the face of China’s naval buildup. Luria and others have invoked the “Davidson window” – former U.S. Indo-Pacific Command chief Adm. Phil Davidson’s warning that China could move against Taiwan by the end of the decade.

“It’s a ship that we have, and the cost of modernizing and upgrading it for extending its service life 10 or so years is significantly lower than building a new ship,” she told USNI News last year.
“We need to look at what we have today and how we can use it and how we can use it most efficiently. The idea of divesting of current platforms that still have usable service life in order to invest in something that we might develop the technology for in the future – paired with our poor track record on [developing new] platforms – just makes absolutely no sense to me.”

The Navy’s current plan is to replace the cruisers with the upcoming Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The first Flight III, Jack Lucas (DDG-125), is set to commission next year. The destroyers will enter service at a rate far slower than the cruisers are leaving.

The service had planned to create a next-generation cruiser, CG(X), but the program was abandoned in 2010 due to cost.

In the mid-2010s, the service went ahead and took seven of the ships out of service, saying they would later be modernized to reenter the fleet as older cruisers reached the end of their service lives. The ships were not officially decommissioned, but instead entered a limbo state where crew numbers shrank to near-caretaker size. Stores, fuel and much of the ships’ equipment were removed, and at different stages the ships were “inducted” into a cruiser modernization program. Some shipyard work was done on the ships, but only in phases.

None of the ships inducted into the cruiser modernization program have returned to service. Two, Hue City and Anzio, are already slated for decommissioning this year and are in such poor condition the Navy determined they’re no longer worth repairing.

Earlier this month, Anzio could be seen at Naval Station Norfolk with no lifeboats, its painting turning pink and corrosion creeping up the hull from the waterline.

Conn said the new plan is “a realization that we have concern whether it will work. Gettysburg did deliver. I’m looking to see that ship get actually underway. Vicksburg has got a date. We’ll see if she can make that. … Nothing is carved in stone by the hand of God, it’s all on paper, it’s future decisions. There are people that can change it.”
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