Navy Details 2022 Ship Retirement Schedule
ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has determined its planned ship retirement schedule for fiscal 2022. The list includes 22 ships, including 15 battle force ships. In a July 2 administrative message, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations announced the plans to decommission 19 ship ships from the fleet and remove from service three ships from the Military Sealift Command. The list includes two Los Angeles-class attack submarines (SSNs); seven Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers (CGs); five Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships (PCs) and four littoral combat ships (LCSs) — three Freedom-class and one Independence-class LCS. The PCs are forward deployed to the Persian Gulf; they are not considered battle force ships. The Navy is proposing to retire seven Ticonderoga-class CGs during fiscal 2022, including two — USS Hue City and USS Anzio — which were not previously planned for retirement. The material condition of the cruisers’ hull and mechanical systems has attracted considerable concern while the cost of keeping the cruisers in service has risen. Vice Adm. Jim Kilby, deputy chief of naval operations for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities, testified June 17 before the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee that retaining the seven CGs would cost roughly $5 billion across the Future Years Defense Plan. Retaining the ships for two years would cost more than $2.87 billion. He said the cost to modernize Hue City and Anzio alone would cost approximately $1.5 billion. Extending the service lives of the cruisers “is costing more than we thought it would be,” he said. “Initially it was $2.4 billion, but we’re adding a lot of money to do that.” The proposed cruiser retirements have been criticized by some in Congress as antithetical to growing the fleet to meet the demands of great power competition. The decommissioning of some littoral combat ships also has attracted congressional attention, given that they are relatively new ships. Congressional mark-ups of defense bills may challenge some of the proposed retirements.