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US Navy prepares to sell littoral combat ships

The US Navy is preparing to offload two of its Independence Class littoral combat ships into the foreign military sale market during the financial year 2024.

The US Navy is preparing to offload two of its Independence Class littoral combat ships into the foreign military sale market during the financial year 2024.

The USS Jackson (LCS-6) and USS Montgomery (LCS-8) are part of a significant decommissioning plan laid out in a Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for Fiscal Year 2024, prepared by the US Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and released on 30 March this year.

The LCS-6 was commissioned in 2015 and LCS-8 in 2016, making them the oldest-serving vessels in their class. The high-speed trimaran design was originally promoted as a small and multipurpose warship designed to operate in nearshore engagements as a light frigate and patrol vessel.

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The report indicates both ships are excess to needs and neither has completed lethality and survivability upgrades.

“A total inventory of 17 Independence Class LCS leaves the Navy with two of those ships as excess to need supporting the wrong mission set (outside mine countermeasures and surface warfare),” the report said.

“These two ships will be replaced with new Independence Class ships that are delivering in the FYDP with more capability.”

The report recommends the decommissioning of a total of 11 ships in FY2024, including three decommissioning after their expected service lives.

These include guided missile cruisers USS Antietam, USS Leyte Gulf, USS Cowpens, USS Shiloh, and USS Vicksburg and the recycling of Los Angeles Class submarine USS San Juan and the dismantling of Island Class dock landing ships USS Germantown, USS Gunston Hall and USS Tortuga.

Other important timing from the report includes the upcoming recycling of aircraft carrier USS Nimitz scheduled in financial year 2026 and recycling of aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in FY2027.

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