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In 2006, cruisers will begin the process of being upgraded through the Cruiser Modernization program. Cruiser Modernization is a cost effective means to sustain or increase force structure and deploy new vital capabilities sooner. All cruisers in the fleet with the exception of CGs 47-51, will eventually go through modernization. Cruiser Modernization will improve warfighting capability by providing systems upgrades including Cooperative Engagement Capability and the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 with Multi-Function Towed Array. Cruiser Modernization also provides a viable platform for future Ballistic Missile Defense missions. A comprehensive service life extension work package, which includes the All-Electric Modification, SMARTSHIP upgrades, hull, mechanical, and electrical system upgrades, and a Type Commanders maintenance work-package, is included in modernization.
CG modernization begins in FY 2006. The first ship scheduled to undergo modernization is USS Cape St. George (CG 71). The remaining 21 baseline 2, 3 and 4 cruisers have varying capabilities. The cruiser conversion program will result in all 22 ships having a common warfighting baseline. Improvements include quality of life initiatives, better weapon systems, SmartShip upgrades, remote monitoring capabilities, force protection upgrades, optimal manning, open architecture, and many other improvements.