The Naval Brief: Destroyer cut from budget; LCS’ unsure future; T-45s collide; and more...
Fewer ships in the new budget. The Navy is expected to request funding for just eight new ships in the 2022 defense budget, four fewer than planned under the final Trump “planning framework,” Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The Pentagon’s $715 billion request will include two Virginia-class submarines, one Arleigh Burke destroyer, one Constellation-class frigate, a John Lewis-class refueler, two Navajo-class T-ATS salvage and towing vessels, and one Auxiliary Ocean Surveillance Vessel, according to unnamed U.S. officials in the story.
Official budget details are now expected May 28.
What’s to become of the LCS? The Navy plans to decommission the first two littoral combat ships this year, more than a decade short of their expected 25-year service life, USNI News reported this week. The Navy last year proposed early retirement for the first four LCSs to save some $2.5 billion in upgrade costs, according to USNI.
The classes’ long-term future is also in question. A good story by the San Diego Union Tribune describes the design and equipment problems that mean, according to an official with the Government Accountability Office, that the LCSs are not likely to “find themselves part of the long-term Navy fleet alongside the aircraft carriers, destroyers and other surface combatants that have been around for decades,” especially with the new class of frigates.
Another naval aviation accident. Two T-45 Goshawks training aircraft collided in mid-air on Monday near Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas. The pilot and student in one of the aircraft ejected safely while the others landed safely at the airstation, according to a Facebook post by the Chief of Naval Air Training. One of the pilots was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries. The mishap follows the March crash of a T-45 at NAS Kingsville, during which the pilot and student ejected with minor injuries.
Sign up to get The Navy Brief every Thursday from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 1943, the Navy’s Tenth Fleet was established to coordinate anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic; it was reconstituted in 2010 to handle the service’s cyber operations.
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