USCG Cutters to Re-Use Weapons from Decommissioned Frigates

Engineers at Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES), Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division are harvesting weapon system components from decommissioned U.S. Navy frigates (FFGs) for re-use on Coast Guard cutters.

The harvesting of components from four decommissioned frigates will result in more than $24 million in cost avoidance, with more expected from a fifth ship. The Navy’s leveraging of decommissioned ships’ assets shows a judicious use of resources and collaboration between services.

Abe Boughner, with Auxiliary Ships/Acquisition Support Branch at NAVSSES, said:

The Navy’s FFGs will all be decommissioned by the end of fiscal year 2015, but the Coast Guard cutters have the same gun weapons systems.

The equipment includes MK 75, 76mm/62 caliber gun mounts, as well as gun control panels, barrels, launchers, junction boxes and other components. The Coast Guard can use all of this equipment on cutters during the course of the ships’ expected service life, which spans into the 2030s.

The harvesting effort began in December 2012 when Roger Raber of Naval Sea System Command’s Surface Warfare Readiness Directorate proposed a plan to harvest equipment from five decommissioned FFGs docked at the Navy’s inactive ship maintenance facility in Philadelphia. Raber coordinated with NAVSSES engineers E. Alan Karpovitch, the Navy’s propulsion program manager, and Ashley Ferguson, mechanical engineer, to oversee the daily operations of removing items from the frigates. The Coast Guard also provided a team to assist with removal of components from the FFGs.

Some of the MK 75 mounts will be placed into the overhaul cycle at the Coast Guard Yard Ordnance Shop and returned to service onboard Famous Class cutters. One mount is slated to support the Coast Guard’s sustainment program for parts no longer manufactured or in short supply. Other components will also be placed in the overhaul cycle for later return to service.

Press release, Image: US Navy