CG-47 Ticonderoga-class Construction
In 1980 the new DDG-47 class guided missile destroyers were upgraded to guided missile cruisers, but retained their original numbers to become the CG-47 class. DDG-47 Ticonderoga and DDG-48 Yorktown were subsequently redesignated CG-47 and CG-48. It is unclear whether DDG-49 and DDG-50 were formally assigned to Vincennes or Valley Forge prior to their designation as CG-49 and CG-50, though in any event the DDG numerical sequence resumed with DDG-51 Arleigh Burke. This reclassification required skipping the intervening CG series numbers (CG-43 through CG-46). Subsequently, more than two dozen new CGs have been built and are still in service.
The "Tico" cruisers, using the SPRUANCE Class hull, measure 567 feet from bow to stern. Their beam is 55 feet, and displacement is 9,600 tons. Four powerful gas turbine engines propel the ships to speeds greater than 30 knots, and two controllable-reversible pitch propellers assist in rapid acceleration and maneuverability.
Modifications to accept newly developed Aegis system equipments were phased in during the building process, with Ingalls shipyard receiving the building contract for the first ship of each new baseline:
- Baseline 0 (CG 47-48) -- Authorized in Fiscal Year 1978, TICONDEROGA's keel laying ceremony occurred on 27 January 1980. CG 47 and 48 have the basic Aegis Mk 7 system, with SPY-1A, Weapons Control System Mk 1, Standard SM-2 MR Block I missiles, and the Mk 116 Mod 4 UBFCS. These first two ships of the class have two SH-2F LAMPS-I helicopters instead of the SH-60B helicopter employed on later cruisers. These two ships used UYK-7 computers. Both have since had their combat systems updated to Baseline 1 status but do not carry towed sonar arrays. Both will have their electronic engineering systems updated to reduce maintenance costs. They are to be updated by builder with Mk 41 vertical missile launch groups in place of the Mk 26 launchers; 62-caliber, extended-range 5" guns in place of the Mk 45 mountings; UYK-43 computers in place of the UYK-7 and UYK-20 set; and upgraded weapons control and communications suites.
- Baseline 1 (CG 49-51) -- The first five Ticonderoga-class cruisers-Ticonderoga (CG-47) through Thomas S. Gates (CG-51)-have an early, less capable version of the Aegis combat system and do not have VLS or the capability to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. On CG 47-51, each Mk 26 Mod 1 missile-launcher magazine holds 44 missiles; the forward magazine formerly also held 20 ASROC. For Baseline 1 the RAST haul-down and deck-maneuvering system and SQQ-28 helicopter datalink were added for SH-60B LAMPS-III helicopters, SM-2 MR Block II missiles were carried, the Aegis system has improved data displays, and the EW suite was enhanced. Both masts are tripods vice quadripods. These units are to have their electronic engineering systems updated to reduce maintenance costs, the twin Mk 26 missile launchers are to be replaced by Mk 41 vertical launch groups, and the combat systems are to be updated as in the Baseline 0 pair.
- Baseline 2 (CG 52-58) -- Baseline 2 consists of the Vertical Launching System, TOMAHAWK Weapon System, and Anti-Submarine Warfare upgrades. The Mk 41 Mod 0 VLS was substituted for the Mk 26 twin-armed launchers and a vertical-launch Tomahawk capability with SWG-3 launch control system was added, as were an improved Link 11 and UYQ-21 displays. CG 52 Bunker Hill was the first unit to feature the revolutionary Vertical Launching System (VLS), a multi-warfare launcher designed to meet the threat of today and the future - well into the 21st century. BUNKER HILL with her VLS offers critical advantages to meet those challenges: larger magazine capacity, higher rate of fire, rapid weapon selection, 360 degree coverage, lower power requirements and higher survivability. VLS can accommodate a variety of missile types. All missiles are stowed vertically in corrugated steel canisters and fired straight-upward in rapid succession. USS BUNKER HILL has a total VLS capacity of 122 missiles, 61 per launcher. The ship can fire a multiple assortment of air, surface and land attack missiles. Congress initially mandated the omission of SPS-49 radars and the SQQ-28 LAMPS-III datalink in CG 54-56, but gave permission in 1984 to add the equipment. CG 54 and 55 had stand-alone SQR-19 towed sonar arrays and SQS-53A. CG 53 and later substituted a 24 ft Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) for the 26 ft motor whaleboat. CG 56 introduced the SQQ-89(V)3 integrated ASW suite, with SQS-53B sonar, SQR-19 towed array, and the Mk 116 Mod 6 UBFCS. All are planned to be updated by 2003 to perform Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD) missions and to employ the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), at a total cost of $137 million. The electronic engineering systems are also to be updated.
- Baseline 3 (CG 59-64) -- Baseline 3 includes the AN/SPY-1B radar and AN/UYQ-21 consoles. The lighter SPY-1B radar, with improved radiating characteristics, was substituted for SPY-1A, and new computers (UYK-43 and UYK-44 in place of UYK-7) are employed. CG 59 USS PRINCETON was the Navy's first cruiser equipped with the AN/SPY-1B radar system, which provided a significant improvement in the detection capabilities of the AEGIS Weapons System. This radar system incorporates significant advances over earlier radars, particularly in its resistance to enemy Electronic Countermeasures (ECM). With the SPY-1B radar and the ship's MK 99 Fire Control System, the ship can guide its Standard Missile to intercept hostile aircraft and missiles at extended ranges. In 1996, CG 61 became the first of this group to be upgraded with the SPY-1D(V) radar and received a combat system upgrade including all-new combat system computers, consoles, and displays. The upgrade will permit future installation of such planned upgrades as Cooperative Engagement Capability, Theater Ballistic Missile Defense capability, and new versions of the Standard missile.
- Baseline 4 (CG 65-73) -- Baseline 4 (CG 65-73) integrates the AN/UYK-43/44 computers [in place of UYK-7 and UYK-20] with superset computer programs developed for the DDG 51. CG 65-73 have the improved UYS-20 data display system and various decision aids. All ships of the group had the SQS-53C sonar and the SQR-17 sonar data processor. USS CHOSIN (CG 65) was the nineteenth TICONDEROGA (CG 47) class Aegis guided missile cruiser to join the fleet. The guided missile cruiser Port Royal (CG 73) was comissioned on Saturday, July 9, 1994. Port Royal was the last of 27 Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruisers scheduled to be built.
These new cruisers have replaced older, less capable ships that are being taken out of service as part of the Navy's overall plan to recapitalize the fleet. These ships were built in sections, called modules, which allowed improved access to all areas of the ship during construction. The modules were then moved together to form the hull of the ship, and the deckhouse sections were then lifted aboard. For launching, the ship was moved several hundred yards across land to the floating dry dock, which was used to actually launch the ship.
During their construction, hundreds of subassemblies were built and outfitted with piping sections, ventilation ducting, and other shipboard hardware. These subassemblies were then joined to form modules, which were then outfitted with larger equipment items, such as propulsion and power generation machinery and electrical panels. This represents an advancement from traditional shipbuilding in which these systems are installed in tight quarters below decks after the hull is completed. At Ingalls, four of these pre-outfitted hull and superstructure modules are joined together to form the ship shortly before it is moved to the water's edge and launched.
At the shipyards, this modular process is supported by an extensive Computer- Aided Design (CAD)/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) program that has significantly enhanced the efficiency of detail design, and has reduced the number of manual steps involved in converting design drawings to ship components. The three-dimensional CAD system is linked with an integrated CAM production network of computers throughout the shipyard. The CAD system directs the operation of numerically-controlled manufacturing equipment used to cut steel plates, cut and bend pipe, and form sheet metal assemblies.
Launching involved movement over land via a wheel- on-rail transfer system onto the shipyard launch and recovery dry dock, which is was ballasted down in order for the ship to float free and moved to an outfitting berth in preparation for the traditional christening ceremony. Upon completion of post-launch outfitting, the cruisers went through an extensive dockside and at-sea testing period to ensure the ship and crew were ready to safely go to sea.
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