Bunker Hill Sets Standard for Aegis Modernization
By Bunker Hill Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO – USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) completed a 12-month modernization period Feb. 11, during which the Aegis-class cruiser received extensive hull, mechanical, electrical, habitability, combat systems, and weapons upgrades.

This is the first time a warship has received such a large array of upgrades simultaneously.

“This was not just a change out of one or two isolated systems,” said Lt. John Odle, Bunker Hill’s systems test officer. “Every component of the Aegis Combat System including radars, guns, computers, software, and consoles are new.”

Throughout the past year, Bunker Hill has been the flagship for Aegis Modernization. The success of the overhaul is essential to the Navy's 21st century blue water dominance and the Surface Warfare Enterprise concept of producing advanced capability ships at low costs.

“Modernization of the Aegis Fleet is the clearest path to the 313 ship Navy”, said Navy director of surface warfare, Rear Adm. Victor G. Guillory.

The overhaul culminated with a week of combat systems testing during a post-modernization sea trials period held Feb. 2-6. Trials were focused on testing the Aegis combat system, with special emphasis placed on the SPY radar’s first 360 degree view and live firing of 100 rounds from the two new 5”/62 caliber main batteries. Bunker Hill completed the first phase of trials in December, when the smart ship, hull, and all electric engineering upgrades were tested.

“Everything is working as expected,” said Capt. Pat A. Piercey, Bunker Hill’s commanding officer. “That is testament to the quality of work done by the shipyards, supervisors, and ship’s force.”

Odle added, “There were some glitches along the way, but getting all of these components connected and talking to each other for the first time as one cohesive system was an impressive feat. The success and lessons we learn here on Bunker Hill will translate to easier, quicker, and more cost effective modernizations for other Aegis ships.”

The Bunker Hill modernization is an important milestone for the Navy. According to Rear Adm. James P. McManamon, deputy commander for surface warfare at Naval Sea Systems Command, “For the Surface Navy, modernization is a critical program. A modernized ship gives the Navy the capability we need at a fraction of the cost of a new ship.”