The U.S. Navy has announced plans that will include decommissioning some of its newest warships due to some budget issues. They want to do this to nine ships in the Freedom class of littoral combat ships. These warships cost about $4.5 billion altogether to build. So, the Navy says in its budget proposal that the move would free up $50 million per ship annually for other priorities. This also reduces the size of the fleet that already surpasses China in sheer numbers.
What To Know
- The Navy is planning to decommission some new warships
- These moves are happening due to budget issues
- Decommissioning then would free up $50 million per ship annually
Navy Talks About Decommissioning Warships Amid Looking At Its Budget
The Navy is looking at decommissioning these warships as addressed by Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations. Gilday defends the proposal that emphasizes long-range weapons and modern warships. “We need a ready, capable, lethal force more than we need a bigger force that’s less ready, less lethal, and less capable,” he said Monday.
All told, the Navy wants to scrap 24 ships. This includes five cruisers and a pair of Los Angeles-class submarines as part of its cost-cutting needed to maintain the existing fleet and build modern warships. These cuts surpass the proposed nine ships to be built. Most of them are older vessels. But these littoral combat ships are young. The oldest is 10 years old. We get more from ABC News.
The Navy envisioned fast, highly maneuverable warships capable of operating in near-shore, littoral waters when it announced the program a few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The ships topped 50 mph — fast enough to chase down pirates — and utilized steerable waterjets instead of conventional propellers.
Mission Modules On Ships Came Up With Some Problems
The ships were supposed to be made versatile by plug-and-play mission modules. They were being targeted for surface combat, mine-sweeping operations, or anti-submarine warfare. The mission modules had problems, and the anti-submarine capability was canceled in the new budget. The speedy Freedom-class ships proposed for decommissioning feature a traditional steel hull.
U.S. Senate Armed Services Chair Jim Inhofe says the program was plagued by troubles from the start. He also says that “moving forward the Navy must avoid similar acquisition disasters.” U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Virginia, was more blunt, tweeting that it “sucks” to be decommissioning so many ships, especially newer ones. “The Navy owes a public apology to American taxpayers for wasting tens of billions of dollars on ships they now say serve no purpose,” she said.