Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gulde told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the submarine could not carry out its basic mission.
“I refuse to invest extra dollars against a system that would not be able to track advanced submarines in today’s environment,” Gulde told the committee. He said the main reason for his early retirement was that the anti-submarine warfare system on the ships “did not work technically.” According to the service’s proposed FY23 budget, dismantling the ships would save the Navy about ً 391 million.
But it receives only a fraction of the cost of the nine coastal warships, which cost a total of about 2 3.2 billion.
The USS Indianapolis, USS Billings and USS Wichita were all commissioned in 2019, meaning the Navy plans to eliminate ships that are only part of the route of their expected service life. The Navy also plans to retire six other Coast Guard warships, all single Hill Freedom variants, such as the Trimaran Freedom Variety. Both types can achieve speeds of up to 40+ knots.
Under the 2016 Navy Plan, Freedom Class variants were all for use in Homeport Mayport, Florida, primarily for Atlantic operations. Freedom class variations were homeported to San Diego, and primarily designated for Pacific operations.
This decision is tantamount to a shameful acknowledgment that some of the most advanced naval vessels are not fit for modern warfare.
Despite plans to dismantle the Navy’s warships, Congress has a final say on the military budget and has rejected previous requests to dismantle the ships. Reducing the number of warships could be even more difficult as lawmakers focus on the growing size of the Chinese navy and the differences between the US and Chinese navies.
But war-torn coastal warships have faced perennial problems, including frequent crashes and questions about their limited weapons.
The ships were hailed as part of a US deterrent against China because they were designed to operate in shallow waters such as the South China Sea. But the dismissal of many in one year is an acknowledgment that expensive fighters at the top have failed to live up to expectations.
‘We can’t use them’
“We can’t use them, number one because they’re not ready to do anything. Number two, they break even when they are,” said Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“They’re incredibly expensive, and they don’t have the capabilities we expected. So no matter how old they are, they need to spend a lot of money so that nothing happens. Yes, “said Washington State Democrat.
Jim Anhoff, a ranking member of the Republican Oklahoma Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized the Navy.
Emma Salisbury, a researcher at the University of London who focuses on US military weapons manufacturers, said many of the problems facing the Coast Guard warship program are due to a lack of mission focus during the design process.
Salisbury ironically told CNN that “LCS was primarily intended to solve each of the Navy’s problems simultaneously, and everything would be fine.” The ships’ missions included surface combat, landmine combat, and anti-submarine warfare, based on a modular design that allowed the navy to customize the ship for this role.
“It was basically a magical design that would solve everything,” Salisbury said. “So that was the problem – that, because he had all these options, he didn’t do very well with any of them.”
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby defended the program and the planes at a press briefing in mid-April, saying “they accomplished a goal.”
Yet as the Navy plans to eliminate nine of the various ships of independence, the newest ship in the class was named last weekend. USS Beloit marked the milestone with the presence of members of Congress and naval officials, as well as formally breaking a bottle of wine across the bow.
Navy Secretary Carlos del Toro said in a statement that the ship “will be ready to respond to any mission, wherever, whenever and when required.”
“The problem was identified after routine quality assurance checks and there is no risk to the safety of the sailors aboard the ship. Similarly, there is no safety hazard for the affected ships and That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there, “said Barbeau.
The Navy plans to retire these two independence ships in fiscal year 2024.
At the same time, the navy is working to develop a new class of ships that are more suited to the challenges of China’s rapidly expanding military and the threats posed to Russia. Kirby said the aircraft would have “more capacity than LCS” for possible future battles.