USN plans on early retirement for USS Harry S. Truman

The Pentagon reportedly plans to send the USS Harry S. Truman, one of its Nimitz-class aircraft carriers into early retirement at least two decades early, shrinking the carrier fleet to save billions of dollars.

The U.S. military will scrap plans for a mid-life overhaul of one of its carriers, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The carrier is the USS Harry S. Truman, which was scheduled to have its nuclear reactor core refueled in 2024.

The Truman, which entered service in 1998, was set to serve for half a century, as is the case with all of the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. In 2024, the ship was to sail to Newport News shipyard for a Refueling & Complex Overhaul (RCOH) that was to be completed in 2028.

The plan to cancel the mid-life overhaul and retire this aircraft carrier, part of the soon-to-be-released 2020-2024 budget plan, would see the U.S. carrier fleet shrink in size from 11 to ten in the next few years.

While the Post estimated $4 billion in total savings, Breaking Defense writes that the decision may result in as much as $30 billion in savings over 25 years. The Post reports this decision was a compromise to ensure that the Navy could purchase two new Ford-class aircraft carriers, as the service announced last month.

This is not the first time the U.S. military has gone down this road, and there is a good chance that Congress sinks these plans.