The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the East China Sea on March 9 with warships of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. (US Navy Photo/Sean Castellano)
Tyler Rogoway, The Drive: The Navy Now Says It Can Get More Service Life Out Of Its Existing Fleet
Now that shipbuilders' order books are filling up, the Navy claims it can get more service life out of the ships it already owns.
After pushing to retire and mothball existing ships so that it can field new ones, the Navy now says it can squeeze significantly more life out of the majority of the fleet it already has. This is all in reaction to the controversial goal set by the Trump Administration to grow the Navy's fleet size from roughly 275 hulls it has in service today to 355 hulls in the future. A similar goal was set by the Obama Administration of 308 hulls.
Much has been made about Trump's dream of a 355 ship Navy, including how his 2018 budget didn't reflect this policy and how America's shipbuilding industry would be challenged to meet such a goal. Now the Navy suddenly thinks that the majority of its ships' planned service lives can be extended at a fairly nominal cost, keeping some of its most costly surface combatants in service for 30 or 35 years, or even longer, instead of just 25 years.
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WNU Editor: Aircraft carriers have a lifespan of about 50 years .... and it is done through maintenance. So what not do the same to the other ships?