The U.S. Navy plans to inactivate 22 ships in fiscal 2022, according to a message to the fleet sent from the chief of naval operations earlier this month.
The CNO’s message notes that the proposed ship inactivation schedule is not written in stone, as lawmakers continue work on their own versions of the next fiscal year’s defense bill.
But the schedule offers a glimpse into Big Navy’s priorities going forward.
As expected, the schedule calls for scuttling littoral combat ships Detroit and Little Rock, which have faced issues with combining gear but which were commissioned in 2016 and 2017, respectively, according to the Naval Vessel Register.
The Navy’s schedule also seeks to do away with the LCS Fort Worth and Coronado, which each have served less than a decade.
While the U.S. House of Representatives is set to begin marking up its version of the FY22 defense bill soon, a proposed budget passed by the Appropriations Committee late last month would stop the early retirement of three LCS in Big Navy’s sights.
House appropriators proposed $1.7 billion more for weapons procurement and $1.6 billion less for development and testing of cutting-edge technologies meant to deter China.
“None of the funds made available by this Act may be obligated or expended for the purpose of decommissioning the USS Forth Worth, the USS Detroit or the USS Little Rock,” according to the legislation, as reported by sister publication Defense News.
Whether Big Navy will be allowed to cleave those LCS from a program that has perennially underperformed remains to be seen.
The Navy would continue its long goodbye to the Ticonderoga-class cruisers under the proposed inactivation schedule, which would move the warships San Jacinto, Lake Champlain, Monterey, Hue City, Anzio, Vella Gulf and Port Royal into reserve status, according to the message.
Among other ships leaving the service, this month’s inactivation schedule includes five Cyclone-class patrol boats, which are slated for foreign military sale.
They include Tempest, Typhoon, Squall, Firebolt and Whirlwind.
The amphibious assault ship Whidbey Island will also be moved into the reserve, while the submarines Providence and Oklahoma City are listed for recycling.
Fleet ocean tug Apache, along with the roll-on/roll-off ship 1st Lt. Harry L. Martin and the cargo ship LCpl. Roy M. Wheat will be scrapped.