USS Bunker Hill, a CG-47 Ticonderoga Class AEGIS cruiser, was launched in 1985. The Ticonderoga Class remains critical to American seapower, functioning as the fleet’s most powerful anti-air defense, and contributing substantial anti-ship and anti-submarine combat power to its assigned naval groups.
The Cruiser Modernization program aims to improve the CG-47 Ticonderoga Class by modernizing the computing and display infrastructure, and the Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E) systems. Weapons and sensor sets will also be improved, in order to upgrade their anti-submarine capabilities, add short range electro-optical systems that can monitor the ship’s surroundings without telltale radar emissions, and allow new air defense options like the quad-packed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. The modernized cruisers are expected to become more cost efficient to operate, as their lives are extended to serve in the fleet through the year 2030. The USS Bunker Hill is just one representative example of the work underway.
With the DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer program hitting prohibitive $3+ billion cost levels that have effectively terminated the program, and plans for the CG (X) class in flux, modernizing the Ticonderoga ships via planned upgrades and future possibilities like active aray radars will be critical to the USA’s naval and ballistic missile defense security.