The U.S. Navy plans to decommission its 11 oldest cruisers over a six-year period, starting with the USS Mobile Bay and USS Bunker Hill guided missile ships in 2020, Defense News reported.
A decommissioning schedule obtained by Defense News says the 11 Ticonderoga-class cruisers will leave the Navy fleet by 2026, when they reach the end of their 35-year service life.
A source told the publication that none of the Navy’s force structure assessments require the military branch to extend the service life of the 11 cruisers to help the achieve its planned 355-ship fleet.
Lt. Seth Clarke, a Navy spokesman, said that the scheduled decommissioning effort aligns with the congressionally mandated ‘2-4-6’ cruiser modernization plan.
The ‘2-4-6’ plan requires the Navy to keep two ships inactive at a time for no more than four years, and put only up to six ships in the idle status at one time.
The service branch also aims to decommission USS Cape St. George in 2038 after 40 years of active service, including approximately four years in “phased modernization,” the report noted.