The head of the U.S. Navy this week defended the military branch’s decision to scrap nine fairly new warships over the next fiscal year, CNN reports.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the vessels, which are anti-submarine ships, are unable to carry out their primary function.
Gilday told the panel on Wednesday, "I refuse to put an additional dollar against a system that would not be able to track a high-end submarine in today's environment.”
He noted that the ships’ anti-submarine warfare systems “did not work out technically,” and that this move would save about $391 million according to a budget proposal.
Bloomberg reports that the nine ships are part of 16 littoral combat ships that were built for the Navy by Lockheed Martin and were intended to last 25 years at sea. Many of the ships set for retirement have only been in service for five years or less. Three of these ships were only commissioned in 2019: USS Indianapolis, USS Billings, and USS Wichita.
The nine littoral combat ships cost the Navy roughly $3.2 billion. However, the Navy projects it will save $4.3 billion that would have been spent on maintenance and upgrades for the vessels.
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