Page 9: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 15, 1985)

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Ships 1984-85 and the Navy

League's annual Almanac of

Seapower—are thumbnail descrip- tions of the major ships and craft for which funds are requested in the FY 1986 budget plan:

Acoustic Research Ship (AG): A twin-screw vessel capable of a 12- knot sustained speed, the AG will be converted from an existing catama- ran hull (the USNS Hayes) for use in the transport, deployment, and retrieval of acoustic arrays used by the Navy for ASW (antisubmarine warfare), mine warfare, and other underwater research. The converted ship will be 246.4 feet in length and have a 75-foot beam and 21.3-foot draft. The AG will be manned by the Navy's Military Sealift Com- mand (MSC). There are accommo- dations for a 36-man crew and 24 scientists. The FY 1986 budget re- quests funding for $86.9 million for the conversion, but does not name a prime contractor.

Battleship Reactivation: The four 58,000-ton Iowa-class battleships (BBs) are probably the most overt symbols of the Administration's program to restore U.S. naval supe- riority. The name ship of the class,

USS Iowa (BB-61), and USS New

Jersey (BB-62), already have re- joined the fleet. USS Missouri (BB- 63)—on which the Japanese surren- der documents were signed to end

World War II—is now undergoing renovation and modernization at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

The FY 1986 budget requests $76.2 million (including $1.0 million in research, development, test, and evaluation, or RDT&E, funding) for reactivation of the Wisconsin (BB- 64), fourth and last ship of the class. "Armed with new Tomahawk and

Harpoon missiles," Secretary

Weinberger points out in his an- nual report, "these ship are capable of striking land or sea targets from points over the horizon. Their origi- nal 16-inch guns provide a much needed boost in naval gunfire sup- port capability." An additional $435.6 million will be requested next year to complete Wisconsin's reactivation, if current estimates hold. No shipyard has been named to carry out the reactivation/mod- ernization program, but if the ear- lier public yard/private yard rota- tion is followed it seems likely a joint contract would be signed with

Avondale Shipyards (Westwego,

La.) and Litton's Ingalls Shipbuild- ing Division (Pascagoula, Miss), which combined on Iowa's reactiva- tion/modernization.

CG-47 Aegis Cruiser: Possibly the most technologically sophisticated surface ship in the world, the CG-47

Ticonderoga-class Aegis fleet air de- fense cruiser is designed to protect the Navy's carrier and battleship task groups by neutralizing or de- stroying incoming enemy aircraft and missiles. The name ship in the program, USS Ticonderoga (CG- 47), performed outstandingly as part of the multinational peace- keeping force off Lebanon. Armed with SM-2 and Harpoon missiles, two 5-inch guns, and other systems, the CG-47s also will be able to meet most surface-ship and submarine threats mounted against the battle groups they protect. More than 25

Circle 313 on Reader Service Card

Ticonderogas are planned; of that number, 16 have been previously funded. The new FYDP projects construction of 11 more through FY 1988, including three in FY 1986 (at a cost of $2,834.8 million) and three in FY 1987, ($2,988.9 million).

Other specifics: displacement, 9,200 tons full load; length, 567 feet; beam, 55 feet; speed, 30-plus knots; power plant, four General Electric

LM2500 gas turbines, two shafts, 80,000 shaft horsepower; aircraft, two LAMPS (light airborne multi- purpose system ASW helicopters; complement, 375 (33 officers, 342 enlisted); builders, Ingalls Ship- building and Bath Iron Works.

Carrier Service Life Extension

Program: The CV SLEP program, as it is inelegantly termed by the

Navy, augments the Nimitz-class nuclear supercarrier new-construc- tion program by prolonging the operating life of the Navy's older carriers. Three CV SLEPs were funded earlier; $156.8 million in ad- vance funding is requested for the fourth, USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).

An additional $521.9 million will be requested next year. All of the CV

SLEP modernizations are being as- signed to the Philadelphia Naval


DDG-51 Aegis Guided Missile

Destroyers: The Arleigh Burke-class

DDG-51s, which are equipped with many of the same systems as the

Ticonderogas, are designed for both offense and defense, and when de- ployed will be among the most (continued on page 12)

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Photo of Stirling Ash courtesy of Stirling Shipping of Scotland. :

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