USS Cowpens to Get Capabilities Upgrade

The guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) was inducted as the first ship to undergo a modernization effort that will significantly upgrade its capabilities in multiple mission areas, Sept. 25, at Naval Base San Diego.

The CG Phased Modernization Program is designed to balance the Navy’s long-term requirement for a carrier strike group air defense commander (ADC) platform and its future shipbuilding requirements.

The modernization process will include major upgrades, including the AEGIS weapon system with naval integrated fire control-counter air (NIFC-CA) capability, SPQ-9B multipurpose radar, electro-optical sight system, AN/SQQ-89A(V)-15 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) suite with multi-function towed array (MFTA), and significant hull mechanical and electrical (HM&E) upgrades.

Upon completion of the modernization, Cowpens will have a 29-year-old hull but the most modern and capable combat system available, and an extended life from 35 to 44 years.

The guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) is also scheduled to be inducted and undergo the same phased modernization as Cowpens on Sept. 30th.

As a part of the transfer, the ship also underwent a change of command. Lt. Cmdr. Horst Sollfrank assumed command, relieving Capt. Michael Sciretta.

Sciretta graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in administration of justice, and was commissioned in 1992 through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corp. He is scheduled to take command of the USS Lake Erie (CG 70) later next month.

Sollfrank is a native of Cortland, New York, and graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 2001, receiving a degree in diplomacy and military studies. He previously served as the commanding officer of Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Crew Dominant.

Image: US Navy

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