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“US Plan to ‘Retire’ 19 Warships Next Year Criticized in Face of Expanding Chinese Navy”

However, the US Navy's plan to reduce the number of warships has drawn criticism from its own representatives, who are concerned about the nation's Navy's ability to counter the Chinese Navy.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) – Following the announcement by the United States Air Force of the retirement of 250 of its fighter aircraft next year, the United States Navy is now planning to decommission 19 of its warships next year.

The decommissioning of these 19 warships includes 10 vessels deemed “relatively new.”

As usual, US authorities intend to utilize the cost savings from retiring these warships to construct new ones for the country’s Navy.

However, the US Navy’s plan to reduce the number of warships has drawn criticism from its own representatives, who are concerned about the nation’s Navy’s ability to counter the Chinese Navy.

Representative Joe Courtney (Democrat-Connecticut) reportedly characterized the plan to decommission a number of US warships as “imprudent” at a time when the Chinese Navy is expanding.

Aegis Ashore

At present, the US Navy has only 291 vessels, while the Chinese Navy is projected to possess 440 warships by 2030.

 “There is an urgent need to expand our submarine fleet. This is neither a wise budget nor a good plan,” he said regarding the proposal to allocate a budget of US$250 billion (RM1.12 trillion) to the US Navy and the US Marine Corps.

Among the US warships slated for decommissioning next year are the nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class submarine USS Helena (SSN-725), the cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) and USS Normandy (CG-60), the Littoral Combat Ships USS Jackson (LCS-6) and USS Montgomery (LCS-8).

The US Navy also plans to retire the Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships USS Sentry (MCM-3), USS Devastator (MCM-6), USS Gladiator (MCM-11), and USS Dextrous (MCM-13).

Nonetheless, the US Navy will utilize its budget for the next year to construct its second Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and two additional Ford-class aircraft carriers.

Last week, the United States Air Force (USAF) announced its intention to retire 250 of its combat aircraft next year, including its primary fighter jets such as the F-22 “Raptor,” F-15, and F-16.

USS Helena
USS Helena

 

The retirement of 250 combat aircraft in 2025 will reduce the total number of aircraft in the US Air Force to approximately 4,900, compared to over 5,000 currently.

“The retirement of 250 combat aircraft belonging to the US Air Force will result in savings of approximately US$2 billion (RM9 billion),” according to US Air Force Major General Mike A. Greiner.

Among the US Air Force fighter jets to be decommissioned in 2025 are 22 F-22 “Raptor” fighter jets, 65 F-15 C/Ds, 56 A-10 “Warthogs,” 26 F-15Es, 11 F-16 C/Ds, and 16 KC-135 tanker aircraft.

The savings will be directed towards modernizing the US Air Force, particularly by acquiring more advanced combat aircraft. This includes planned acquisitions of 42 F-35 fighter jets and 18 F-15EX fighter jet variants. — DSA

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