The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) is underway conducting sea trials off the coast of Southern California on February 21, 2013. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James R. Evans)
In the latest sign that the Navy seems to have finally given up on its issue-plagued 'little crappy ships,' the service reportedly plans on decommissioning the first four littoral combat ships in 2021 to save cash.
According to a December memo from the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the plan would decommission the littoral combat ships Freedom, Independence, Fort Worth and Coronado, all of which have "between 12 and 17 years of planned hull life remaining," Defense News reports.
That's the logic behind the so-called "Lightning Carrier" concept designed to turn those "Gator Navy" amphibs into ad hoc aircraft carriers — and the Corps appears to be moving slowly but surely into turning that concept into a new doctrine for the new era of great power competition.