U.S. Navy Plans To Cancel Six Planned Service-Life Extensions On Its Oldest Cruisers

The cruiser San Jacinto is one of the six cruisers the Navy plans to decommission by 2022, according to defense officials. (MCSA Brianna Thompson/U.S. Navy)

Defense News: Once again, the US Navy looks to scrap its largest combatants to save money

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy is considering canceling six planned service-life extensions on its oldest cruisers, meaning the service will be short six of its current 22 largest surface combatants by 2022, according to defense officials who spoke to Defense News on background.

The plan, as it will be proposed to Congress, is to decommission the cruisers Bunker Hill, Mobile Bay, Antietam, Leyte Gulf, San Jacinto and Lake Champlain in 2021 and 2022, foregoing plans for service-life extensions that have previously seen support in Congress.

All the ships will be at or near the end of their 35-year service lives when they are decommissioned, but the Navy has yet to decide on a replacement for the cruisers, which are the largest combatants in the fleet with 122 vertical launch systems cells. This comes at a time when the Navy needs as many missiles downrange as it can field as it squares off with the threat of Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles.

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WNU Editor: The Pentagon is preaching on the need for more missiles, but here they are cancelling a program to extend the life of 6 cruisers that carry missiles more than anyone else. What am I missing here?

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