Budget reductions have forced the U.S. Navy to consider reducing the number of surface warships. The cuts could include vessels devoted to missile defense – once a sacrosanct mission for the world’s most powerful navy.
Navy planners have drafted an alternative five-year budget that could go into effect if President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress decide to seek further spending reductions on top of the $40-billion-a-year savings agreed upon earlier this year.
The alternative plan would decommission nine 1980s vintage Ticonderoga-class cruisers from the current force of 22. The cuts would take effect in 2013 and 2014. With their 35-year service lives, the cruisers were originally planned to leave active service sometime in the 2020s.