Leadership: January 17, 2003


The U.S. Navy spends about $100 billion a year maintaining it's naval power and is faced with many ships built during the Cold War becoming too old, and expensive, to maintain, or becoming obsolete. The current plan is to accelerate decommissioning the older ships, even if warship numbers fall below 300. New ships, using more electronics and smaller crews are planned, with the building rate getting up to about eleven new ships a year. The "21st Century" fleet is planned to be about 375 ships, with 60 of them being small (2-4,000 ton) "close in" ("littoral") ships to deal with the small and lethal warships being built by potential enemies. 


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