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USS Philippine Sea CG 58 interdicts over $2.8 million of heroin in North Arabian Sea.

| 2021

According to information published by U.S. Navy on February 2, 2021, the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), deployed to U.S. Fifth Fleet and operating in support of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), interdicted a shipment of more than 600 lbs. (275 kg) of suspected narcotics from a dhow in the international waters of the North Arabian Sea, Jan. 30.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) sails in the Mediterranean Sea (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

Seven bags of suspected narcotics were seized and tested, resulting in a seizure of approximately 600 lbs. (275 kg) of suspected heroin, worth $2.89 million wholesale. This seizure, conducted in direct support of CMF’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, marks the seventh CMF drug seizure since October 2020.

To mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, the boarding team undertook carefully executed precautionary measures during and after the boarding, to include decontamination of all seized contraband.

CTF-150 conducts maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf to disrupt criminal and terrorist organizations, ensuring legitimate commercial shipping can transit the region, free from non-state threats. CTF-150 is currently commanded by the Royal Canadian Navy, now leading the task force for the fifth time.

The USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) is a Flight II Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser on active service in the United States Navy. She was built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. Her keel was laid on 8 April 1986 and she was launched on 12 July 1987. Upon completion of her sea-trials after construction, Philippine Sea transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and was commissioned on 18 March 1989 in Portland, Maine.

She is powered by a General Electric LM2500 gas turbine that includes two controllable-reversible pitch propellers and rudders. She can reach a top speed of 32,5 knots (60 km/h). She has a length of 173 m, a beam of 16,8 m and a displacement of 9800 tons. The cruiser has a crew of 330 sailors.

The USS Philippine Sea is armed with 2 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems containing 122 × mix of RIM-66M-5 Standard SM-2MR Block IIIB, RIM-156A SM-2ER Block IV, RIM-161 SM-3, RIM-162A ESSM, RIM-174A Standard ERAM, BGM-109 Tomahawk, and RUM-139A VL-ASROC. The ship is also armed with eight RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, two 5 inches (127 mm)/62 caliber Mark 45 Mod 4 lightweight gun, two 25 mm (0.98 in) Mk 38 gun, eight .50 in (12.7 mm) cal. machine guns, two Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) Block 1B and to Mk 32 12.75 in (324 mm) triple torpedo tubes.

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