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USS Antietam Successfully Completes Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials
By ENS Mike Keating, USS Antietam Public Affairs Officer
SAN DIEGO CA – USS Antietam (CG 54) successfully completed Combat Systems Ship Qualifications Trials (CSSQT) May 13th with outstanding results.

The robust qualification that commenced on 14 March followed a year long CNO Availability and the conclusion of the Aegis Modernization Team’s work. ANTIETAM’s extensive modernization process was validated through CSSQT’s rigorous two months of testing, culminating in multiple successful Standard Missile firings. The ship demonstrated its ability to defend against multiple surface and air threats simultaneously. After spending six months in dry dock, five months pier side, and completing Sea Trials and modernization, the 24-year-old Ticonderoga-class cruiser is now capable of meeting global threats well into the next decade.

Over the course of two months, ANTIETAM and the CSSQT team validated the $84 million Cruiser Modernization and upgrade of the ship’s Aegis operating baseline from 2.0 to 8.1. ANTIETAM’s crew experienced extensive technical and tactical training, culminating in successful live-fire tests of the AEGIS, Main gun, and underwater weapons systems. Two primary objectives were met during CSSQT; an in depth examination of Aegis System performance, and the collection of data on specific weapon performance. ANTIETAM is the first cruiser to fire a MK 54 torpedo, by both Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket and Surface Vessel Torpedo Tube, and the first to fire the 5” Multi Option Fuse-Navy round. Additional weapons demonstrated included the Close in Weapons System (CIWS), multiple 5” batteries and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).

CSSQT Project Officer Craig Williams, and his team of 30 provided technical assistance an event Mr. Williams described as, “An absolutely picture perfect CSSQT. Of the 6 or so CSSQTs I have taken part in, ANTIETAM’s stands out. Absolutely every objective from the test plan was completed on schedule with utmost perfection and professionalism. The crew performed superbly.”

Mr. Williams attributed the success to Commanding Officer Captain Tortora’s philosophy of undivided crew support for the CSSQT team. Additionally, he complimented superb planning by Operations, Combat Systems and Weapons Department and the long hours put in by the entire crew.

Commands involved in CSSQT included Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme, and included ISEA engineers, NSWC Louisville, NSWC Port Dahlgren, CSCS San Diego, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumann, and SWRMC San Diego.

Through CSSQT, ANTIETAM’s warriors gained invaluable training and a sense of self confidence in weapons delivery and in the weapons themselves. The crew will capitalize on the CSSQT training and material readiness. Now performing at the highest level of material condition and readiness experienced in years, ANTIETAM stands ready to operate in a multi-threat environment.

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