US May Cut Missile Defence
Image Credit: US Navy

US May Cut Missile Defence


Budget reductions have forced the US Navy to consider reducing the number of surface warships. The cuts could include vessels devoted to missile defence – 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 US 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.

The Ticonderogas, each 570 feet-long, are among the world’s most powerful warships. They are equipped with Aegis radar systems and up to 122 long-range missiles.

The radar-and-missile combination makes the Ticonderogas ideal missile defence platforms. With tweaks to their radars and software, the cruisers can fire SM-2 and SM-3 missiles capable of intercepting enemy ballistic missiles. The Navy stations missile defence-capable Ticonderogas in California and Japan and could include the cruisers when it begins deploying missile defence ships to Rota, Spain, starting in 2015.

The smaller Burke-class destroyers, of which the Navy is building at least 74, can also intercept ballistic missiles.

The Navy routinely prepares multiple plans to account for budget uncertainties. It’s possible the cruisers will remain in service. If vessels do decommission early, though, they could leave a gap in the United States’ still-evolving missile defences. 

October 17, 2012 at 19:54

You are so arrogant. We don't think like you do. Have not you heard? The DOD Contractors are buying all their electronic chips from China. So if you think it is junk? Remember those are probably your chips.

October 30, 2011 at 03:02

but with the current administration that the philippines now has, i do not think that the philippines would like US and any other countries to meddle in their affair. filipinos do not like a new US BASE in the philippines….. but one thing is sure, philippines like WHEC ships,tomahalk missiles, cruise missiles, and all missile technology and radar technology of the americans for the philippine armed forces modernization

October 30, 2011 at 02:55

i do not think that china will hit vietnam not philippines because if that happens, there will be chaos in south east asia and that china cannot for sure occupy the entire south is because the U.N. thru the NATO for sure will butt-in in the situation.i agree that in order for a country to be respected by other countries, she must have a strong armed forces….

October 22, 2011 at 00:27

When we had the money we did pay for our Military Hardware just like in the 60′s when we acquired the Brand New F-5′s being one of the first in Asia to have a supersonic jet.

Now, we had Marcos and we have yet to get back to our feet with regards to Philippine standing in the pre-Marcos times.

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