The U.S. Navy is cutting its fleet in its budget message for 2021, which won't materially impact the status of the U.S. as the dominant naval force in the world. Notably, eight of the nine ships are focused on littoral operations, an already shortchanged part of the force structure.
The U.S. Navy plans to inactivate nine ships in fiscal 2021, the service said in a message to the fleet.
According to a June 30 message from the chief of naval operations, four littoral combat ships (LCS), three coastal patrol ships (PC) and one dock landing ship (LSD) are to be decommissioned. The Military Sealift Command will remove from service one fleet ocean tug (T-ATF).
As planned in the Navy’s 2021 budget proposal, the service plans to decommission the first two Freedom-class LCSs — USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth — and first two Independence-class LCSs — USS Independence and USS Coronado. Three of these ships have made major deployments to the western Pacific and all have been used as development platforms to mature the type’s concept of operations. The four LCSs, all based in San Diego, will be placed in reserve status.
The three Cyclone-class PCs to be decommissioned are all based in Mayport, Florida, and used to train crews for the 10 PCs based in the Persian Gulf with the U.S. 5th Fleet. The three PCs being decommissioned — USS Zephyr, USS Shamal and USS Tornado — will be scrapped.
The Whidbey Island-class LSD being decommissioned is USS Fort McHenry, which will be placed in reserve. The move will leave seven ships of the class still in service.
The Powhatan-class T-ATF being removed from service is USS Sioux, which will be scrapped. Its removal will leave two T-ATFs in service. The class is being replaced by the Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ships.
All eight commissioned ships listed above are to be decommissioned by March 31, 2021. The Sioux is to be removed from service by Sept. 30, 2021.From here.
Prior to the decommissioning, there were 19 LCS that were commissioned and in service, with 35 (including these 19) planned.