The United States Navy intends to decommission nine ships from the Freedom class of littoral combat ships (LCS) that were built at a cost of billions of US dollars as the class created huge maintenance and capabilities problems for the US Navy.
According to the US Navy’s budget request, the move would save money that could be used to fund other priorities.
Mike Gilday, the head of naval operations according to TIME, defended the plan and said that the need for the US Navy is to focus more on long-range missiles and modern warships while getting rid of other ships that can’t keep up with the current threats.
On Monday in Maryland, he spoke at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space symposium, stating, “We need a lethal, ready, and competent force more than we need a greater force that’s less ready, less lethal, and less capable.”
As part of its cost-cutting efforts to maintain the existing fleet, the US Navy intends to scrap 24 ships in total, including five cruisers and a pair of Los Angeles-class submarines, according to a Navy statement.
The vast majority of them are older vessels. On the other hand, the littoral combat ships (LCS) that are being decommissioned also are not surpassing even 10 years of active duty for the oldest of them.
The entire class of these ships also called Freedom class is affected by a propulsion problem that will be extremely expensive to fix.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee stated that the program had been beset by problems from the beginning and that “the United States Navy must prevent similar acquisition disasters in the future.”
United States Representative Elaine Luria, D-Virginia, was more direct, tweeting that it “sucks” that so many ships are being decommissioned, especially newer ones.