Saturday, May 20, 2017

There Is Still No Replacement For The U.S. Navy's Hardest Hitting Warship

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) transits in the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron Shelley/Released.

San Diego Union Tribune: Navy's hardest-punching but aging warship has no replacement in sigh

BOARD THE BUNKER HILL — Less than an hour after a recent dawn rolled west into the Pacific Ocean, Capt. Joe Cahill sat in his starboard chair, a lined face pointed toward a line of warships wheeling north around San Clemente Island.

In the lead, the destroyers Halsey and Higgins cut through the waves in a tight turn toward land, trailed by the looming flattop Theodore Roosevelt and the destroyer Sampson in its wake.

And in the far rear, like a bear protecting her cubs, was the San Diego-based Bunker Hill, the 10,000-ton cruiser that orchestrates the air defenses for Carrier Strike Group 15. It’s on guard in case there’s ever a need to blast to dots enemy jets, helicopters, drones and missiles arcing toward the flotilla.

The ships’ path last week was designed to mimic the world’s most dangerous sea channels — the bustling Strait of Malacca and the Singapore Strait, traveled by a third of the globe’s commercial ships, plus the Strait of Hormuz, a flash point between U.S. Navy vessels and the Iranian patrol boats and aircraft that pester them.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There are only 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers still active in the US Navy. And with estimates that their replacements will cost anywhere from $3.5 billion to $6 billion each .... a decision to replace them will most likely be delayed.

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