BAE Systems has received a $175 million contract from the US Navy to modernise the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg.

The Vicksburg will undergo approximately 18 months of work at the company’s shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, the ship’s homeport. The modernisation period (MODPRD) contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $175.1 million.

BAE Systems say it initiated the first phase of Vicksburg’s modernisation program in May 2017. The company will begin the final phase of work, called MODPRD, later this month.

“Under the new contract, the shipyard’s employees and industry partners will work on the ship’s weapons and engineering equipment, including its gas turbine propulsion system; restore crew habitability spaces, and support the installation of a new Aegis combat system, communication suite and CANES (Consolidated Afloat Network Enterprise System).

The Vicksburg’s MODPRD is scheduled to be complete in July 2021, allowing the ship to rejoin the operational fleet afterward.”

BAE Systems Norfolk shipyard also is performing similar work on the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg. The Gettysburg’s MODPRD work began in January 2019 and is expected to be complete in mid-2020. The Gettysburg and Vicksburg were commissioned in the early 1990s.

BAE Systems work is expected to extend the service lives of both ships into the mid-2030s.

“Over the last few years, BAE Systems has worked extensively on modernising the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet cruisers,” said Dave Thomas, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair.

“The Vicksburg and Gettysburg modernisations are big jobs. Our experience with cruisers and the expertise of our ship repair partners will return these vital combatants to the fleet with clear improvements and upgraded capability to carry out their missions.”

BAE Systems is a main provider of ship repair, maintenance, modernisation, conversion, and overhaul services for the US Navy. The company operates four full-service shipyards in California, Florida, Hawaii, and Virginia.

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Helions

While “a bird in the hand” – etc – is far better than a gaping vacuum in fleet numbers, the CG47’s have seen their best days and are maxed out in capability (particularly the hull form and power generation) compared to new designs coming online. While their large VLS magazines and AD capabilities are highly useful, the USN could probably get much of the same in the new FFGXs , Large Surface Combatants, and UMVs and in much higher numbers with expansion capabilities built in. I think the USN realizes this and could explain their proposals to cut short the… Read more »

James

But isn’t the problem that poor planning and decisions has meant they need to keep them longer because instead of growing the fleet its actually shrinking.
The inability to produce affordable ships in any great number is starting to catch up with them.

BB85

I’m sure the Navy wishes they saw sense a lot sooner with the DDGX program. They probably could have delivered and additional 20 Arleigh Burkes in the lifetime of that program for the same cost.

Helions

or 40 FFGX…

Helions

More along the lines of the inability of congress to pass a budget and making due on continuing resolutions as well as the automatic cuts associated with spending growth limits for several years prior to to that… Maintaining these legacy systems takes enormous amounts of guaranteed funding – just look at these projections:

https://news.usni.org/2020/01/07/estimated-380-billion-needed-to-maintain-navy-marine-corps-aviation-fleet-in-the-future

Cheers

pkcasimir

There is no way in hell Congress will allow the US Navy to retire any CVNs that aren’t already programmed to retire once a Ford class CVN is available to replace it.

Helions

I agree, but having said that, just the fact the USN was willing to do that speaks volumes about where they think naval warfare is headed. I personally think the GRF class will be capped at ~ 6 hulls and the majority of the Nimitz’s either retired early in the next 20 years with 3 -4 of the newer ones modernized for another 25 years of life.

https://news.usni.org/2020/01/03/top-stories-2019-u-s-navy-acquisition

Cheers

pkcasimir

I saw that article in usni also. The Navy is, as they say in the States, “whistling Dixie.” I think you totally underestimate the feeling of the Congress, both Senate and House, when it comes to carriers. Any cuts will come someplace else. not with the carriers. By law, the US must maintain 11 carriers and the US Navy just can’t get around that. It would take both Houses to amend that law and that is just not going to happen.

Helions

“Only time will tell”…

Cheers!

Joe16

You may also find this of interest, as an explainer for what you’ve noted; specifically the bit of the report that mentions that the USN is considering changing its force balance for fewer LCS and more SCS. It seems that the USMC’s move away from their assault carriers and the drive for distributed lethality is having a broader effect on the Navy’s thinking about its force structure.
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32109.pdf

Helions

The USN must be serious about a paradigm shift at the highest levels because the entrenched defense firms are starting to panic (through their bought and paid for congress proxies of course).

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/01/07/lawmakers-protest-proposed-cuts-to-shipbuilding

Cheers

Joe16

Yes, I think they must be- and I think it’s come as a surprise to everyone. Very similar in fact to how everyone seems to have been caught flat footed by the USMC’s new line of distributing their force more widely; I wonder if there have been new threat assessments behind the scenes that have decided that the threats from China (in particular) and Russia are serious enough that some major changes need to be made. The fact that the Royal Marines seem to be following on the same route suggests that it may be a widespread concern in the… Read more »

Helions
andy reeves

a crew of 300+ doesn’t help.

DaveyB

I have to be blunt, the Ticonderoga class cruisers are proper ugly ships! Due to housing the SPY-1A which is split between two separate deck houses, the ship has always looked extremely top heavy. The upgrade to the Tico’s will incorporate the new SPY-6 multi-frequency AESA radar. This radar is made up of 2ft square transmitter/receiver modules. It combines both a S band and an X band radar for target detection and tracking. Due to the greater buoyancy over the Arliegh Burkes, the Tico’s can have a larger area AESA panel, giving the radar exo-atmospheric search and tracking. The AB’s… Read more »

andy reeves

the t45 isn’t exactly a ‘looker’

Helions

Interesting Davey.

Thanks.

Cheers!

andy reeves

the Ticonderoga class cruiser is a long standing stalwart of the u.s carrier groups, they are facing early retirements at the rate of one per year. the royal navy hasn’t operated a cruiser since(my first ship, h.m.s. Blake was retired. the Ticonderoga with their aegis systems and huge tomahawk numbers are the ideal vessel for the modern long grange stand off warfare tactics, when a military conflict begins with a cruise missile attack. i’d have thought that Inquisition of one per year would be a massive boost to the royal navy’s capabilities. however, like all American Ticondarogas, they require crews… Read more »

Andy

Presumably these orders are putting BAE in a solid position for a US Type 26 order.

andy reeves

another case of BAE blinkers