Home » Budget Industry » Navy Pitches Cruiser Layup Plan, Again


Navy Pitches Cruiser Layup Plan, Again

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) prepares to moor on June 24, 2014. US Navy Photo

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65) prepares to moor on June 24, 2014. US Navy Photo

A previous version of this post incorrectly outlined the Navy’s Two-Four-Six phased modernization plan as part of its Fiscal Year 2016 budget submission to Congress. The text has been corrected.

PENTAGON – The Navy has again submitted a controversial plan to layup some of its Ticonderoga-class cruisers as part of a modernization plan it says will preserve the air warfare capability of U.S. carrier strike groups into the 2040s as part of the service’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget submission to Congress.

Under a so-called Two-Four-Six phased modernization plan, two cruisers would enter in a modernization cycle each year, no cruisers will remain in layup for more than four years with no more than six cruisers out of service at one time, said Rear Adm. William Lescher, the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget in a late afternoon briefing to reporters.

“Last year [in the budget] request, the department had proposed to put into a long-term phased modernization 11 [out of 22] of the cruisers,” Lescher said.
“That led to a conversation with the Congress about the trade-off of savings achieved by that approach versus capacity and near-term risk.”

Lescher characterized the move as following the direction Congress approved in both Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations and authorizations bills approved as part of the overarching omnibus bill signed into law in December.

Congress allowed the Navy to move ahead with the first two ships in the estimated $350 million per hull effort – USS Cowpens (CG-63) and USS Gettysburg (CG-64). The Navy’s FY 2016 budget funds the modernization for USS Vicksburg (CG-69) and USS Chosin (CG-65).

“They can stand down two this year but [the bill] doesn’t address what they do in future years,” a legislative staffer told reporters in November.

The Navy plans to upgrade the ship’s hull, mechanical and engineering spaces, improve some aspects of the crew’s quarters, upgrade the cruisers to operate in the Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) concept and field Raytheon’s Standard Missile (SM) 6.
“Using that approach, the Navy would be able to maintain at least 11 operationally active cruisers (1 for each of the Navy’s planned 11 carrier strike groups) through 2034, with the last cruiser retiring in 2044,” read a description of the plan by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The Navy says it desperately needs to cruisers for their ability to field an air defense commander for embarked carrier strike groups – a capability that was to be included in a proposed Flight IV Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer. However the plan for the Flight IV was shelved due to the looming cost of the Ohio-class Replacement ballistic missile submarine.

The Navy’s plan met stiff opposition in Congress from members who felt the service would not reactivate the cruisers once they entered the layup portion of the modernization.

  • Bad mistake to layup the cruisers. Were gona need them for Missile defense. The US Navy doesn’t have anyone who at least has a Brain and knows how to use it.

    • NavySubNuke

      Please explain why these cruisers are better for missile defense then a Burke DDG. Thanks!

      • Think of it this way, while the Burkes are busy overseas, who’s guarding the Home front.

        • NavySubNuke

          So you think we should keep the cruisers so we can not deploy them and instead use them for local missile defense of the US homeland? That doesn’t really seem like a very intelligent plan – it would be easier and cheaper to just build an aegis ashore system in the US if that was actually something to be concerned about.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Isn’t that what the Canada/USA Chainmail Ballistic Missile Defense System of 1954-2009, is suppose to be for…

          • NavySubNuke

            Yes – SM-3s also aren’t used for terminal interceptions but I didn’t want to hit Nicky with too many facts at once – it can be disorienting…..

          • Curtis Conway

            That’s Northern Tier. The interest is submarine launched ballistic missiles launched from West Lant and Eastern Pacific patrol areas, which the Russians are (and the Chinese are considering) repopulating. It’s time to man up the ASWOCs and re-establish the ASW bases on both coasts.

            Three Aegis Ashore stations equal distance down both coast would help protect the coastal regions and adjacent territories. One on each end of the mid-continent missile fields would also help. Tie the radar pictures below 50K feet into the Air Traffic Control system and we can have safer air travel. Replace the older USAF radars/Regional Operations Centers with the newer AMDRs in Aegis Ashore and we have commonality of parts and training. The SM-3IIA can handle the terminal intercept task. The SM-2 is inappropriate for ICBM terminal intercept work, but we have several other interceptors that work quite well and can be placed around major population centers rapidly by putting them on rail cars or trucks.

            Some thought to the Southern Tier should be made but driven by the threat. There are a lot of countries to our South that are no longer our friend and working directly with both of our most likely adversaries.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            Are you planing to provide over-lapping coverage too. Because the “nominal” range for the Aegis SPY-1D Phased Radar System is ~200-statue miles of plane size objects and ~50-statue miles for “surface-skimmers”…

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            For a Land-Based Defense System, probably something like the Lockheed-Martin AN/FPS-117 Peace Shield, Long-Range Phased-Array 3-D Air Defense Radar System and the RIM-174 SM-6ERAM Missile Defense System or Rail Gun System…

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            How about converting an older Boomer into a Arsenal Submarine/Ship, Have them on a continuous patrol of the coast, when the nearest “Chain Home” radar sight receives a threat, They send coordinates to Boomer and Missiles Away…

        • Secundius

          @ Nicky.

          I think that’s where SOSUS (Sound Surveillance System) comes in. An underwater “chainmail” defense system for tracking Submarine, Ship’s and the Tupelov Tu-95 Bear Bomber’s…

          • We should still keep the cruisers until we have something online to replace them.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            There NOT decommissioning any of the Cruisers! Congress is Retire two Cruisers, and ten of the remaining twenty Cruisers are being Updated. The other ten will still be in Active service, until it comes time for their Upgrading…

          • I think they should keep the cruisers going and update them until we have a cruiser replacement.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Before that happens, Congress is going to do a “Beethoven” on the ship’s. Run then until they “fall apart”…

          • We have nothing that will replace the Tico cruisers.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            There are several Cruiser Plans and Design’s out there, but unfortunately none being funded. There’s nothing in the Foreseeable future either, even up to and including 2020. We’ll just have to see what the 2016 Administration has to bring to the table. A nice big “Shillelagh” should do the trick…

          • We’ll just wait and see

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            “Out with the OLD, and in with the NEW” more or less.

            Nicky, your NOT going to like it. But here goes, Navy Times article for 6 February 2015:

            1. 11 Cruisers are scheduled for Modernization from 2015 through to 2019,
            2. 2016 Naval budget calls for 264 ship building program too 2046. A 30-year build. Breakdown is 218 Combat Ship’s of various classes and 46 Logistics & Support Vessels of various classes.
            3. Marines will get 21 new Gator-Freighters, they want 34-ship’s, Congress is funding 33-ship’s. By 2044.
            4. Proposal for 350-ship Navy, by US. Navy. Congress, on the other hand, will only fund 306-ship Navy…

          • Then again, they need to cut the LCS and put more into Frigates and Cruisers

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            That’s going to take some “Intrepidity” and “Legerdemain”, and so far that’s in Very Short Supply, both in the Government and the Navy…

          • Then again with a Republican congress, it maybe possible

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Well i know She’s much smarter than them, but can they even out dumb themselves…

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Well you worst Nightmare has come true. The UK. is phasing out the Type 26 Frigate for the Type 29 Global Combat Ship (a UK version of the Independence class LCS/FF). Officially known as the Triton class GCS. Also a Trimaran-Hulled Vessel. NATO has gone completely BONKERS. It’s the END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOWN IT. Pull out your 1987 R.E.M. CD, get drunk and PUKE in you neighbors bushes AGAIN…

          • We may need to purge the idiots out and put in those with common sense.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Yeah, I thought you might be seeing thing’s in the same light of day. Lunacy begets lunacy. The only difference between Our’s and Their’s, is Their’s has a Bigger Gun. Probably a 4.45-inch (113mm/55-caliber) Mk. 8 Naval Gun…

          • Which the only place that may as well be building frigates is Germany

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Guess what Nicky, the German’s are replacing the MEKO 200 class Frigates, as well. So before doing anything “Rasch”.

            It’s called the F125/Baden-Wurttemberg class Frigate.
            It cost ~$741-Million USD. per ship.
            Displaces 7,200-tonnes (metric tons)
            Crew is 110 + 80 Deutsche Marines
            4,000nm. range
            maximum speed (diesels) ~20-kts.
            maximum speed (gas-turbines) ~26-kts.
            (1) Oto Breda 127mm/64-caliber Vulcano Lightweight Deck Gun, 35rpm @ ~18.6sm. standard range, and 74.6sm. maximum range.
            (8) Harpoon, ASM’s
            (2) RAM Block II (21-cell) SAM’s Launchers
            (2) Mauser 1.063-inch (27x145mm) Remote Auto Cannons.
            (5) 12.7×99 Hitrole Remote Heavy Machine Guns.
            (2) 12.7x99mm Manned Heavy Machine Guns
            (1) Water Cannon
            (2) NH-90 Helicopters
            (4) 11-meter RHIB’s for Deutsch Marines

            NOTE: Originally to be outfitted with Rheinmetall GmbH 6.1-inch (155mm/52-caliber) Naval Deck Gun. But got cancelled when trying to Navalize the Gun Mount. Also, NH-90 Helicopters are a bit of a “Shocker”, considering the “Teething” problems associated with the Helicopter’s production.

          • Which is why I think Germany and France still have frigate designs.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Realistically speaking, Nicky, I think the odd’s of Getting a Frigate replacement for our US Navy Fleet, from either Germany, France, Spain or any other country. Is between Nil and None. And getting a NSC design base Frigate, funded by our Congress is about 0.0%…

          • That’s unless the US get’s a New Congress.

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Depends on who Representing Congress. Right know I’m not sure on the Acting Participants…

          • Right now the country is in disarray

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            I tell you right Nicky, I’m a Moderate Republican. If Hilary wins and there’s and there’s a balance shift in both the House and the Senate. Maybe, just maybe the Navy will get the Fleet they want. But, if the Republican get a Bigger chunk of the House and the Senate. FORGET IT. They rather turn the US. into a 2nd World Country, then make it a NATION, among Nation’s…

          • Which I think the US Navy that we want will be nothing but history

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            YOU GOT IT. Probably more like a Bathtub Toy actually…

          • Which the only Frigate that the US has left is from the USCG

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            I don’t see it happening Nicky, the eight Bertholf class NSC are to supplement the remaining seven Hamilton class Large Cutters. And I don’t see the Government Stripping Peter too Save Paul, so to speak…

          • It’s why we need a new President

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            The President has no control of what Congress Will or Will Not do. It’s up to Congress to decide weather Lining Their Own Pockets is More Important, then the Welfare of the Country and it’s People…

          • Which I think we need a congress with those who served in the US Navy

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Out of 535 Members of Congress 97 have served in the Military, out of those 33 have served in the Navy or ~6.16%. Not looking very good, Nicky…

          • Nope

          • Secundius

            @ Nicky.

            Just letting you know, the ~$1.32286-Billion USD. Royal Navy Type 26 Global Combat Ship program is being started in Scotland. To employ ~1,700 ship worker’s, 600 of which to be Scottish ship worker’s…

          • Sailboater

            The USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) has been scrapped already

          • Secundius

            @ Sailboater.

            Ticonderoga, was Decommissioned in 2004, Sir…

          • Sailboater

            Sorry meant the Valley Forge was sunken as a target

      • Pat Patterson

        Larger magazine capacity.

        • Secundius

          @ Pat Patterson.

          What’s this “Square Peg In A Round Hole String Theory”. How can you exceed the boundaries of a known size, without breaking the laws of physics…

      • Marcd30319

        The Ticonderoga-class cruiser enmbarkes the Air Warfare Commander (AWC) of the carrier strike group who is typically the CO of that cruiser. This position is responsible for the integrated air defenses for the carrier strike group, and it is part of the composite warfare command structure of a carrier strike group.

        The current flights of Burke-class destroyers do not have the facilities to support this AWC assignment. Originally, the Flight IV Burke destroyers were to have taken over this mission but that entire flight was cancelled.

        Also, this is actually explained in the article itself:

        The Navy says it desperately needs to cruisers for their ability to field an air defense commander for embarked carrier strike groups – a capability that was to be included in a proposed Flight IV Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer. However the plan for the Flight IV was shelved due to the looming cost of the Ohio-class Replacement ballistic missile submarine.

        • Secundius

          @ Marced30319.

          To bad their not building anymore cruisers, AB 3.1 class Strike Cruiser program would have be a great ship. ~650-feet long, 22,500-tons, (~580) VLS and (3) 6.1-inch Rheinmetall GmbH 155mm/52-caliber LRLAP capable Gun Mounts…

          • Marcd30319

            Secundius, this is like the F-23 — that train has left the station a long, long time ago.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            One can wish and dream, just like everybody else on this forum…

          • Marcd30319

            To paraphrase a former secretary of defense, you go to war with the fleet you have, not the one you wish you had.

            If you want to do speculation, fime, fine, but this article is about the future budgetary and operational status of the Ticonderoga cruisers.
            It would be nice to stay on topic, but that’s just me.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            At the rate it keeps getting smaller, we’re not going to have the fleet we do have…

          • Marcd30319

            It’s about political will. Read Mayday: The Decline of American Navy Supremamcy by Seth Cropsey to keeo yourself awake at night.
            On a lighter, more speculative note, check out the Secret projects Forum, a UK site.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Just received my 2015 copy of Naval Institute Press Books Catalog. I’ll see if it’s in there, if not, I’ll try online, and it not there, I’ll see weather Library of Congress Online publishing has it, they should. [email protected]#$%T , the should, they have copies going back to “Cave Wall Painting Days”…

          • Marcd30319

            Mayday: The Decline of American Navy Supremancy by Seth Cropsey is NOT a book release from the Naval Institute Press.

            Try Amazon or Barnes and Noble or your local book store.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Found a copy from Edward R. Hamilton Booksellers for $4.95 USD…

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Another quote for you ever growing Quote Book you plan to publish someday.

            By former Chicago Cubs First Baseman Mark Grace, in 12 November 2012. “If you’re not cheating, you’re not try hard enough”…

          • Marcd30319

            Thank you for yet another timely and on-topic contribution.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            First I made a comment about how much I preferred the YF-23A Black Widow over the F-22A Rator. Then you started rattling off Quote’s to me. I just returned the favor, If you were offended. I’m sorry, I was wasn’t trying to offend you. Just trying to inject some HUMOR…

          • Marcd30319

            I stand by my posting from February 4th:

            It would be nice to stay on topic, but that’s just me.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            I’d like to stay on topic too. But there are those that keep insisting on a New Course Heading…

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Just want to let you know that I received my copy of MAYDAY: The decline of American Naval Supremacy by Seth Cropsey about 12:30 PM (EST), and shall read it at my leisure…

          • johnbull

            Yep, the navy’s in a big pinch now with it’s surface warfare. Hopefully when they get around to the large surface combatant they will decide to go high-low. Complete 12-15 true cruisers with great electrical generating capability, and rail guns, and suited to “ride shotgun” for the carriers in air defense. Then go low with a large number of destroyers for escort duty, ASW, and equipped well enough for air defense to supplement the and enhance the overall air defense of the battle group
            .

        • Curtis Conway

          Thank you Marcd30319. I had forgotten it was our CO that was the AWC instead of our embarked Flag Staff. Both times I was underway on two cruisers, and we were AAWC, we had embarked staff. In the Eastern Med off Beirut the embarked staff manned the position.

        • NavySubNuke

          I don’t know that I buy that argument – what does the AWC actually need that isn’t available on a Burke?

          • Marcd30319

            Since this blog goes nuts when anyone posts a hyperlink, let me suggest an article entitled “US Navy’s Cruiser Problem” by Christopher P. Cavas at DefenseNews dated July 6, 2014 that goes into a lot of detail.
            The reasons: that Tico cruisers are used in the AWC role are:
            1. Larger and better command-and-control and CIC facilities.
            2. Greater electrical capacity.
            3. Split configuration of its radar arrays and transmitters as opposed to the Burle‘s Aegis arrays being concentrated on its central deckhouse.
            Again, the DefenseNews article states the reasons very clearly. The Burle-class destroyers just are not able to do the AWC role for the entire CSG.

          • NavySubNuke

            It is interesting to see you say that they can’t – because they regularly do now that we have so few Tico’s. My buddy did his shore duty with one of the DesRons – he last deployed about 2 years ago – and I asked him about this after you post – he said they didn’t even have a cruiser in the CSG and always used a Burke.
            Now, that doesn’t mean a Tico isn’t the best option, but that is very different from saying it is the only option.

          • Marcd30319

            I did not say they (the Navy) can’t, but clearly Ticonderoga-class cruiser is the Navy’s preferred AWC platform because of the capabilties and faclities that Burke-class destroyer do not have. This is part of the Composite Warfare Command structure for carrier strike groups.
            Based on my reading about overseas deployments of carrier strike groups, particularly with the Fifth Fleet and Seventh Fleet, Ticonderoga-class cruiser invariably is paired with the carrier through that deployment.

          • NavySubNuke

            I wasn’t referring to you “they” as in the Navy — I was referring to “they” as in Burke’s. Sorry I should be more careful with pronouns. The root of my comment was your statement that “The Burke-class destroyers just are not able to do the AWC role for the entire CSG.” —-> clearly they can because they do when they have to, and they will continue to do so in the future since the Navy decided to make Burke’s pretty much the exclusive surface combatant of the entire Navy.

          • Marcd30319

            The root of my comment was your statement that “The Burke-class destroyers just are not able to do the AWC role for the entire CSG.” —-> clearly they can because they do when they have to,

            Yes, the Navy will make do as it always tries to do, but it is clear that they, the Navy, prefers the Ticonderoga-class cruiser has the capabilities and facilities that the Burke-class destroyers can not match. This is also part of the Composite Warfare Command structure for carrier strike groups. Based on my research of carrier strike group deployment, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser is always paired with the carrier as its AWC unit.

            and they will continue to do so in the future since the Navy decided to make Burke’s pretty much the exclusive surface combatant of the entire Navy.

            This is a non sequitur since this is not what this article stated. The Navy does want the Ticonderoga-class cruiser, but the question is how to maintain them, to do a particial withdrawal and upgrade as the Navy want to do, or to keep all of the cruiser operational as the Congress wants over fears that once withdrawn the cruiser will eventually be scrapped.

            For the long term, the question is what will replace he Ticonderoga-class cruiser? The flight IV Burke-class destroyer? or a new class of cruisers. Right now, because of the budget, the answer is neither but that does not mean that the Navy doesn’t want an AWC platform any less capable as the Ticonderoga-class cruiser. They Navy may have to make do with the Burkes, but not because they want to do so.

          • James B.

            As above, the only major capability a Tico has over a Burke is an O-6 skipper.

            P.S. Lots of us have done more than read about overseas deployments of carrier strike groups.

          • Marcd30319

            Thank you for your service, sir, but get stuffed.
            I have been a member of the United States Naval Institute since 1975, and I have had an active interest in naval issues and history since childhood.

            I did not serve because of health issues, so don’t denegrade. The U.S. Navy needs all the support it can get from its fellow American citizens, even from non-veterans.

        • James B.

          The Ticos are old; the last ship was launched in 1992. Burkes are newer, perhaps not as large, but all the electronics on a DDG are newer than any CG which has not been deliberately upgraded.

          The Navy’s head hurts because cruisers have O-6 captains, while destroyers have O-5 skippers, so a CG-less strike group would have a more junior AWC than the other warfare commanders, and the bureaucracy can’t stomach that.

        • James B.

          The Ticos are old; the last ship was launched in 1992. Burkes are newer, perhaps not as large, but all the electronics on a DDG are newer than any CG which has not been deliberately upgraded.

          The Navy’s head hurts because cruisers have O-6 captains, while destroyers have O-5 skippers, so a CG-less strike group would have a more junior AWC than the other warfare commanders, and the bureaucracy can’t stomach that.

          • Marcd30319

            There is no denying the fact that the Ticonderoga-class is older, but the ships remaining in commission are Flight II vessels with Mark 41 VLS as well as other systems upgrades.

            According to the DefenseNews article, the Ticonderoga-class cruisers has the facilities that can handle the size of large Air Warfare Commander staff that Burke-class destroyers . It’s no a knock on the Burkes which are excellent ship; it is the way that they were designed and built.

          • James B.

            Again, the NEWEST Tico in service, is only three years younger than the OLDEST Arleigh Burke. The only capability a CG has that a DDG does not have is an eagle on the CO’s collar.

          • Marcd30319

            Total non sequitur not found in this article, Navy operational doctrine.

            From “US Navy’s Cruiser Problem” by Christopher P. Cavas published in DefenseLink on July 6, 2014:

            “So the question is, who is going to fill the air defense commander void?” asked Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, the Navy’s director of surface warfare.

            Under the proposed modernization plan, Rowden said, the reduction to 11 active cruisers means a destroyer would fill the secondary role. But the DDGs are somewhat limited in taking on that mission.

            “We have done air defense with missile destroyers before,” Rowden said. “And clearly, we could take our destroyers and to a certain extent increase the level of expertise on those ships by putting a captain in charge. But the density of the ship, the ability to add staff to the ship, the reduced command, control and communications equipment on our destroyers really makes them not as optimal an air defense commander ship as our cruisers.”

            Rowden ticked off other factors. Destroyers, he pointed out, have only one radar transmitter, and all four radar arrays are on a single deckhouse. The cruisers split the radar arrangement, with two arrays and a transmitter in each of two deckhouses, providing redundancy in case of battle damage. And cruisers have more missile cells than destroyers, with four target illuminators rather than three.

            Cruiser communication suites — “radio circuits, satellite communications circuits” — are greater than a destroyer’s, Rowden noted. Extra space for the air defense commander’s staff also is available on a cruiser — space in the combat information center, with 20 consoles compared with a destroyer’s 16, and space in accommodations areas.

            Operationally, destroyers are called upon to defend other fleet units, including amphibious and logistics ships — not a role for cruisers, Rowden said.

            “It does not make sense to me to take a cruiser and all of the capability, capacity and expertise on that ship and use it to defend logistics, the sea lanes, the communications to bring support materials as they operate forward. But I see that as a significant role for the destroyers,” Rowden said.

            Capt. David McFarland, Rowden’s deputy in the Surface Warfare Division, is an experienced cruiser and destroyer commander.

            “You can use a DDG as a shotgun, but only in a tactical sense, not a command-and-control sense,” he said. “As a destroyer captain, I’ve been shotgun for a carrier, and I did it well, it’s just maneuvering. But I was also the area air defense commander when a cruiser wasn’t around and that is extremely difficult.”

            BTW – The first flight of Burke-class destroyers did not have any helicopter hangar facilities so even your own assertion is not factually correct.

          • James B.

            That is a great list of excuses, but no actual reasons. It sounds like they tried to take an additional staff and add it to a DDG, and are claiming the resulting overcrowding as the reason DDGs can’t be AWC ships.

            DDGs operating independently already have to maintain watches for all senors, all comms, and all weapons. Being the AWC does not need a whole new staff.

            As for the things a CG has more of:

            If you can’t manage the AWC mission with 16 screens, I don’t think 4 more is the only fix.

            VLS cells can carry multiple types of weapon, which means that having more cells doesn’t matter much when half of them aren’t loaded with SM-2s. (Actual loadouts are classified, but the TLAMs have to go somewhere)

            Helicopter hangars are vital for ASW support, irrelevant for AAW.

            So we are back to the rank of the captain on each class of ship; every other warfare commander is an O-6, giving AWC to an O-5 would reduce the need for O-6s in the Navy, and if you don’t think communities work like unions, try cutting them!

          • Marcd30319

            The DefenseNews article states the AWC mission requirements and why Ticonderoga-class cruiser are the preferred platform of choice, and by comparison, the current flights of Burke-class are not the preferred platform. Asserting otherwise when the Navy’s director of surface warfare and his deputy states those underlying reasons clearly seems like a highly suspect approach.

            This is also borne out with the Composite Warfare Command doctrine that states that the Air Warfare Commander (AW) is the “commanding officer of the cruiser in the battlegroup is often assigned as AW. Preferably, it is a Ticonderoga class CG operating the AEGIS weapon system. The Combat Information Center (CIC) of these ships is specially designed for inner air battle functions. A second cruiser within the battlegroup may act as an alternate AW to allow a 12 hours on – 12 hours off rotation.”

            The edit additions to your last posting strongly suggest that the AWC role is something that Ticonderoga-class cruiser. Yes, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser should be eventaully replaced as the AWC platform of choice, but they won’t because the CGX program was cancelled. Yes, the Burlke-class destroyers would to be upgraded to do the AWC role, but the Flight IV program was cancelled.

            Yes, due to budget considerations, the Navy may well be forced to use the current flight of Burlke-class destroyers under construction in the AWC role. But the fact that the Navy had wanted to start Flight IV series production strongly suggest inherent limits in the current flight of Burkess that retrofitting cannot overcome.

            In any case, the suggestion that the only reason to keep Ticonderoga-class cruisers in commision was to keep the AWC as a O-6 billet has been refuted … by you.

          • Secundius

            The problem the Tico’s, is not the Staffing. It’s the way the CIC is laid-out. Instead of Facing the Bow, there faced Port to Starboard. When the Cruiser’s make Fast Action Maneuvers, the CIC staffing tend to get Sea-Sick in the Maneuvers. Ideally they should Gimbal the CIC to prevent the Disorientation Problem. Without a visual reference point to focus on, I’m surprised that more of this doesn’t happen…

          • Marcd30319

            Secundius, beyond the fact this is is at best only tangentially relevant to this article, you are invoking the “gee, wouldn’t it be great” F-23 argument again.

            My counter-point is there isn’t money in the budget to rectify this supposed design flaw, so what difference does it make?
            Navy doctrine designates that Ticonderoga-class cruiser as the preferred Air Warfare Commander platform because of its CIC.

            Again, I appear to be the only one posting here who has made any attempt to find corraborating documentation although this blog goes nuts when you try posting any URLs.

            Finally, regarding seasickness and other maladies, I am reminded of the USS Triton‘s around-the-world submerged circumnavigation.

            One of the tasked to be done was testing the experimental SINS prototype. The unit was house in a former ship’s store closet that had very little ventilation. While a temporary air-cooling hose was jury-rigged, the temperature was still over 90 degrees. The Triton‘s skipper, Captain Edward L. Beach, said that it was bad but he knew his men would do their duty.

            Amen to that, Captain Beach. It’s just the job that needs to be done.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            I’m not knocking the Tico’s in general, only in specifics. I think there Great Ship’s or they won’t have been in service so long. A Cadet and three Chimp’s, could have performed a better deck layout then the designer’s did…

          • Marcd30319

            Ah, all is clear now. Thank you for this timely contribution to the discussion.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Oh, what ever could you mean???

          • Marcd30319

            I suppose whatever you want it to mean, including the obvious.

          • Secundius

            @ Marcd30319.

            Alright be Cryptic…

          • Marcd30319

            I did offer the obvious.

          • Secundius

            @ James B.

            Why can’t a TLAM, go into the same Quad-Canister Launchers that Harpoons do. And you Mount/Place them just about anywhere…

          • James B.

            Probably weapon length; I think the TLAMs are the longest loads in the VLS cells.

          • Secundius

            @ James B.

            The Mk. 141 Quad-Canister Launcher will accommodate a SLAM ATA (Block 1G) variant of the Harpoon Missile, which physical dimensions are very close to that of a TLAM…

          • James B.

            Interesting to know. I’m not sure why your solution has not been tried by any non-VLS ships. I had heard that newer DDGs (over about -100) had their Harpoon canisters removed to save weight, so I’m not sure the Navy is on the same page as you.

          • Secundius

            James B.

            Sorry nature call, somebody in my building is cooking with Garlic again, and I’m allergic to Garlic. I’m an Oscillatory (Edge) Thinker, always thinking outside the standard norm of Thought. Going to get me in trouble one day, if it already hasn’t. It’s like the best place to hide something, is to keep in plan sight. It’s probably why people keep repeating mistakes, because they don’t want to venture outside the prescription of established “norms”. If you want the perfect Arsenal/Bombardment Ship, get a Container Ship. There everywhere like 7-Elevens, on every corner. Design a Launcher to look like a standard Stacked TEU Tier. A TEU or Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (20′ x 8′ x 8’06”) by 5 TEU deep. Then casually move it around the worlds oceans as though it was a standard Container/Supply Ship. And nobody is going to notice a thing…

          • James B.

            I agree with the container ship idea, but I’d go a little further and make launchers and fire control modules totally modular, and move them around like regular cargo. I would also work to maximize the use of smaller weapons that could fit into a single container. If the launch pod were separate from the fire control, those containers could be expendable; just fire off a salvo of Harpoons and then dump the expended launcher overboard.

          • Secundius

            @ James B.
            The TEU or Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (20′ x 8′ x 8’06”), standard configuration weight is 53,000-pounds, light w/47,600-pounds of cargo capacity or combined weight of 100,600-pounds.

            The FEU or Forty-foot Equivalent Unit or (40′ x 8′ x 9’06”), 60,200-pounds, light w/58,400-pounds of cargo capacity or combined weight of 118,600-pounds.

            All the Modular Unit has to be is look visually form the out side like a 5-Tiered TEU or FEU stacked unit. If you keep the weight within the designed parameters. You can “Park/Moored” this ship to any cargo facility in the world, and nobody is going to see anything.

            The Mk. 140 (Lightweight) or Mk. 141 (Shock Hardened) Quad-Canister Launchers could be mounted on a modified K-Gun or Double-K Depth Charge Launcher for easy disposal. I don’t recommend the Y-Gun launcher for obvious reasons (Opposing-Directional Fire).

            A far a the reason why nobody thought of using Canister Launchers for the TLAM’s is suspect is cost. No-Profit in a “cheap cost” system. If you look a Tubular Launch Canister, it looks like 6-standard 55-gallon steel drums wielded together to form a single module with “Sweet Judy’s/Knock-Out’s” cover plates on either ends…

  • AKO

    This nation should be run by scientists, engineers, and tech geeks, PhDs etc. We would be the first of the first world countries. The ignorant, uneducated, lying politicians, slippery lawyers, church nuts, and thieving bankers are the constant drag on forward progress.

    • NavySubNuke

      So which first world country do you think is actually in front of us?

      • Keeper2

        That’s the wrong question to ask. Right now, none.. But what is our trajectory versus other countries and the general direction stability of the planet is going? Our trajectory has changed dramatically and our earned decades ahead of everyone advantage has been forfeited by shortsighted, penny wise, pound foolish parochial interests rather than strategy and objectivity. We no longer design and build to be superior, instead we pursue affordability and are handed compromise after compromise, which ironically has produced nothing cheaper.. F-35’s rolling off the assembly line are considerably more expensive than F-22’s and will struggle to perform to F/A-18 standards, which were far below the F-14 that was designed in the 60’s.. No torpedo tubes on a new submarine..?? Are they effing kidding? You can’t make this stuff up!!

        • Pat Patterson

          Unfortunately. Relying on subsonic cruise missiles when Russia and China have supersonic anti-ship missiles. Even our new designed LRASSM anti-ship missile is subsonic.

          • Secundius

            @ Pat Patterson.

            What about ArcLight LRASM, it travels at ~4,603mph…

        • NavySubNuke

          Which submarine do you think doesn’t have torpedo tubes?
          Also, while I think you are spot on about the F-35 you are definitely mistaken on the F-22 not being able to live up to the F-18 or F-14. Her coating makes her a bit of hanger queen but that is one bad a$$ airplane.
          The largest issue I see is the one Pat also mentions – we have sat around on our thumbs when it comes to missiles and now find ourselves in a world of hurt confronting new cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles generations beyond what we are capable of at this point. DoD is just now starting to address that point but if we lose the ability to dominate in the skies – likely given the F-35s faults – we are going to be in a world of hurt since TLAM and our other long range strike options just aren’t survivable enough any longer.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Northrop should have gotten the contract for their F-23 Blackwidow, instead of Lockheed-Martin’s F-22 Raptor. The Blackwidow was a better buy choice…

          • NavySubNuke

            Fair point.
            Northrop made the same mistake Boeing eventually made a few years later on JSF – though Boeing’s mistake was clearly more glaring – the plane wasn’t pretty enough. In both cases the plane that was more visually appealing was selected as the winner.
            There is no way the prima donna’s running the chAir Force were going to take the ugly girl to the prom again — having to do it once in high school was bad enough!

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            Of the two, I like the Blackwidow the best. It sort of reminds me of the Starfighter, Delicate but Deadly. As fare as the JSF, Boeing clearly cheated in the “cross country flight test”. But Lockheed-Martin “cooked-the-books” on the entire JSF program. And the Shenjang J-15, is a “New York Minute Wonder” after that Nothing. It’s like taking Vivarin w/Ex-Lax, “Plenty of Get-Up and GO”…

          • NavySubNuke

            On the F23 – it looks great from on the front but no better then the F22, on top it looks ok but kind of bloated, but from the back —- no, that tail killed it. It just wasn’t pretty enough to win.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            The Blackwidow, is “hourglass” shaped, whereas the Raptor, is kindof “chunky” shaped You have your Tastes, and I have my Tastes…

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            The only one I can think of is the nuclear-Powered Research Submarine NR-1…

          • NavySubNuke

            There was also Dolphin which I believe also had no torpedo tubes — but both Dolphin and NR-1 are razorblades now and the only submarine on the drawing board is the OHIO Replacement which does have torpedo tubes.

          • Secundius

            @ NavySubNuke.

            The NR-1 was scrapped, and is currently being sold “piecemeal” for souveinirs. The USS. Dolphin on the other hand was NOT scrapped, but transferred to the San Diego Maritime Museum in September 2009.

            As added note, the only armaments that the Dolphin carried were and assortment of Beretta M9 Pistol’s, M16’s and Remington 870 Shotguns…

    • Dan

      Scientists conceived the Atomic, Hydrogen and Nuclear bombs and all Chemical weapon’s, yes, let’s have them run the world. Great idea?

  • There has to be more at stake that just losing room for the AAW boss & his staff, right? The Ticos have a larger missile magazine (122 cells vs 96 in the Burke flight II on) and these ships are old, the Spruance class design they’re built from dates to the early 70s!
    Cramped, filled without outdated engineering and questionable hull quality, they’ll need to work damned hard to get full life out of these hulls till some kind of follow on (likely a new CG(X) since the DDG-51 flight IV is going to carry lots of the same space/modernization issues).
    Hopefully if congress either funds the ORP ouside the USN shipbuilding budget or (gulp) cancels the thing completely, they’ll have the funds to build a proper CG or DDG follow on by the 2030s.

  • Secundius

    Why don’t you START a New Class of Cruiser, NOW. By the time the Youngest of the Tico’s, has a Mid-Life Crisis. You’ll have a New Cruiser, to replace them with…

    • NavySubNuke

      The tried a few years ago with CG(X) and it died due to its own bloated weight. Given the size and capability of the current US “destroyers” I don’t really see a need for more cruisers. What I would rather see is an actual capable frigate – as opposed to the LCS “frigate” – something cheap enough we could build them in sufficient numbers but actually has the means to contribute to a carrier or amphibious battle group.

      • Secundius

        @ NavySubNuke.

        I’m in total agreement, WE DO NEED A NEW FRIGATE CLASS. But getting Congress to fund it, IS THE “STUMBLING BLOCK”…

  • Dan

    Aegis is everything, if the ship is not modernized with current version’s, then our crew’s are sailing with less than the best. The issue is simple, the Navy’s budget is being cut to levels they can no longer operate and maintain warship’s.

    • Secundius

      @ Dan.

      The problem with AEGIS is, it’s not a “One Size Fit’s All” system. What fit’s on the AB class Destroyers, will not fit on the Freedom/Independence classes LCS/FF’s. Than you also have “sub-types” and “sub-classes” of the same unit. It’s a Naval Technician’s Nightmare…

      • Dan

        Understood.

  • James Bowen

    Why do the admirals want to get rid of half the cruisers? I can’t really think of a historical precedent for admirals fighting to hard to reduce the size of the fleet.

    • Secundius

      @ James Bowen.

      What it comes down to is FUNDING. Congress doesn’t what to FUND IT. They rather see the country go into the “Crapper” then Fund it. Just because they don’t like the current Administration…

      • James Bowen

        My understanding is that it is Congress that is keeping these cruisers in commission, against the wishes of the admirals.

        • Secundius

          @ James Bowen.

          I apologize for the delay. The publication TheHILL, 2015 House and Senate Military Appropriations Bill of ~$585-Billion USD. States that two Cruiser’s are to be RETIRED, the two Cruisers are not mentioned by name or registration numbers. And half-of the remaining Cruisers are to drydocked for scheduled maintenance and upgrades. Projected cost of ~212-Billion USD…

          • James Bowen

            I did not know that. Thanks for sharing. However, for the past couple of years Congress has nixed Navy plans to retire half the cruiser fleet.

          • Secundius

            @ James Bowen.

            At any given time about 30% of the Fleet is deployed world wide and ~10% on maintenance and upgrades, The rest are Home Quartered as a Ready Reserve…

        • Secundius

          @ James Bowen.

          There were 22 Active Cruiser’s in the Fleet, 2 are about to be RETIRED and half of the remaining Cruisers. Drydocked for maintenance, that leaves 10 Active Cruisers on Active Patrol. 6 Cruiser, would have been better. Leaving 14 on Active Duty…

          • James Bowen

            The bottom line is that it is a bad idea to retire any cruisers.

  • Secundius

    If anybody really interested, DefenseNews has 2016-2020 Naval Budget for ten New AB class Destroyers, ten New Virginia class SSN’s, fourteen New LCS/FF classes, one New Gator-Freighter, five-plus New Fleet Tugs, seventeen New Oilers and five New LCAC Transporter Ship’s. Oh, don’t everyone get to EXCITED…

  • Secundius

    Reddit’d again. What for this time?

  • Rick Elkin

    This is a tough one to answer easily…Do we want to spend money on old hulls or do we maybe want to increase the production rate of Burke Class Destroyers??? The one thing the cruisers have going for them is that they are all in the water. It might be better to keep them active while waiting for more upgraded Burke’s to be produced at a faster rate that would make losing the Ticonderoga’s a moot point.

    • Secundius

      @ Rick Elkin.

      Currently Shipyards across the country operate on a 3-shift rotation. The only way you going to build more ships FAST, is to go to 5-shift rotation, like they had during WW2. And considering there’s no World War going on, the chances of that happening is between Nil and None…

  • This sounds like a good plan. Modernize ships in steps to keep the majority of them afloat. What’s to be against (aside from the fear of ships not being reactivated after the lay up)?

  • Secundius

    There’s a CG-74 through CG-96 design, based on the Arleigh Burke Fight IIA. Which extended’s the hull from 509-feet to ~575-feet and raises the displacement for 10,100-tons to ~14,000-tons. I don’t now how long ago it was drawn, but it looks doable…

  • Rick Elkin

    While we may need more ships for the BMD, remember that not many of the Ticonderoga Class Cruisers were modified for the BMD mission, which would mean that those hulls that have not been upgraded will either need to have it done or we will have to replace those ships with Burke Class Destroyers that have already been through the upgrade…AND that all further Burkes are equipped for the BMD role.

    Also keep in mind that if Iran is able to field a nuke, you will also need those hulls in the Med and the Atlantic…

  • Sailboater

    Okay. Our Navy has no Frigates. A lousy LCS. Great cyclone class PC’s. A good Destroyer no diesel boats. The Ticonderoga class a modified Spruance Now let’s keep it simple. Either build a new Cruiser based on a modified Qunicy class cruiser 700 x 70 feet. or just double the number of Burkes. And change them from DDG’s to CG’s On frigates I like the ROKN Inchoen class hull and the British type 26 class hull. Change the stupid law buy 30 hulls tow them to America for fitting out. And build 30 to more in America. How about a navy of low/tech mix. And the amphibious force, another sad mix Yes I like Diesel boats. Read (rumors) that some of these diesel boats have sneaked up on nuclear boats

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