Navy Moves Smaller Coastal Craft To Persian Gulf As We Pull Big Ships -- Breaking Defense
Once again, the US Navy is moving more warships to the Persian Gulf. This time, though, we’re not sending an extra aircraft carrier or another task force. This is arguably a de-escalation of possible tensions with Iran. In a nutshell, the Navy is replacing big ships with small ones.
The three new ships – Tempest, Squall, and Thunderbolt – are Cyclone-class PCs, which stands not for “personal computer” or “politically correct” but “patrol, coastal.” They are relatively small vessels – 179 feet long, 380 tons displacement, and boasting just 28 crew. They are well-suited to shallow waters, protecting oil rigs, and working with our Arab allies’ modest fleets. Another two PCs, Hurricane and Monsoon, will join the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet next year, leaving just three in US home waters to do (primarily) counter-drug operations for 4th Fleet out of Mayport, Florida. Meanwhile, however, the Navy’s cutting back on aircraft carriers, destroyers, and even minesweepers on duty in the Gulf.
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My Comment: Big ships mean bigger targets. Smaller vessels with proper air support can be just as effective. This could also be reflection of the budget crisis in Washington ....less money means a smaller naval presence in the Gulf.