U.S. has an idea for floating batteries with state-of-art AN/SPY-7 radar
WASHINGTON – The US Navy now has 21 missile cruisers Ticonderoga, seven of which can be written off in 2022, writes the portal The Drive, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. The US military believes that 30-year-old missile cruisers will be able to quickly and effectively strengthen the missile defense of bases in Guam.
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For the Pentagon, these ships have found themselves in the position of a “suitcase without a handle”: cruisers have served more than 30 years, their technical condition wants to leave the best, but Congress does not give “good” to write off and dispose of “Ticonderoga” purely for “saving taxpayers’ money”.
But in addition to the question “what to do with the Ticonderoga cruisers”, the Pentagon faces another question – “how to strengthen the missile defense of the island of Guam”, amid the growing military threat from China.
At the moment, the US military on the island of Guam has permanently deployed a battery of the THAAD missile system, on a “temporary” basis – deployed one of the two batteries of the “Iron Dome”, which in 2022 should be transferred to Ukraine.
The Pentagon believes that this is not enough to protect against China’s medium-range ballistic missiles aimed at Guam.
But there are no “firm” proposals on how to rectify the situation: for example, in 2020 the Pentagon formulated a plan to build an Aegis Ashore battery in Guam, but in March 2021 the head of the MDA missile defense agency, Vice Admiral John Hill, rejected the idea. By 2022, the US Congress is giving only $ 118 million to strengthen Guam’s missile defenses, and that amount doesn’t give much room for maneuver.
Against this background, the US military and the idea to turn ready to write off missile cruisers Ticonderoga in a kind of floating anti-missile batteries to protect Guam.
This idea has its pros and cons. For example, the main problem of Ticonderoga now is leaks in the casing and constant breakdowns of power plants. But this problem can be “balanced” by the fact that if the cruisers Ticonderoga will serve as navigable batteries moored to the berths of Guam, then maintaining the survivability of these ships will be much easier.
Ticonderoga-type missile cruisers are now equipped with obsolete (according to the US military) AN / SPY-1A / B radar stations. However, Lockheed Martin is ready to install a state-of-the-art AN / SPY-7 (V) 1 (LRDR) radar on these ships and integrate it into the Aegis fire control system.
The main argument “for” the use of “Ticonderoga” as anti-missile floating batteries – these ships have a vertical launcher at once 122 cells, each of which can be placed in particular “anti-missile” SM-3, and such “economy” should not be wasted just like that.
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