Pentagon to Retire Dozens of Jets, Ships

Pentagon to Retire Dozens of Jets, Ships A-10 Thunderbolt II An A-10 Thunderbolt II. (Tom Dowd/Dreamstime.com)

By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 29 March 2022 11:36 AM

The Department of Defense plans to retire 24 ships and more than 150 aircraft over the coming five to six years, though the move may be blocked by Congress according to Task and Purpose.

The Air Force plans to retire more than 150 aircraft, including more than two dozen F-22 Raptor jets and 21 A-10 jets. However, Task and Purpose notes that the Air Force has tried unsuccessfully to retire A-10s in the past, only to be blocked by legislators.

The Navy intends to retire 24 vessels over the next fiscal year, including nine littoral combat ships that the news outlet notes are "widely disparaged," and are also referred to as "little crappy ships."

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that the LCS "fleet has not demonstrated the operational capabilities it needs to perform its mission. Operational testing has found several significant challenges, including the ship's ability to defend itself if attacked and failure rates of mission-essential equipment."

It also found that despite attempts to implement recommendations made following a previous review, "the Navy is facing challenges in implementing a revised maintenance approach … until the Navy determines the specific tasks Navy personnel will perform, it risks not being able to meet the maintenance needs of the LCS, thus hindering the ships' ability to carry out their intended missions."

The Navy would also retire five cruisers, as well as four dock landing ships, two oilers, two expeditionary transfer docks, and two submarines by the end of fiscal year 2023. Current budget projections suggest that the Navy fleet will shrink from 298 vessels to 280 by fiscal year 2027.

Despite these issues with the LCS fleet, Task and Purpose notes that because they are some of the Navy's newest ships. The Navy has received 17 littoral combat ships since 2008 and the GAO report states that the Navy plans to receive 35 in total for about $60 billion.