During recent budget negotiations, the Pentagon again tried to retire the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) 25 years early, Defence News reported.
According to the magazine, this time the plan was withdrawn from the White House. The White House's Office of Management and Budget told the Pentagon that the Navy's budget submission did not include refuelling the Truman or maintaining its air wing and directed it to come back with a budget that restored funding to both the carrier and the air wing.
The Pentagon reportedly complied, but this is the second time this year that it has tried to decommission the Truman early, after making the same pitch in March in its budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year.
The plan from the 2020 budget cycle, and advanced again during negotiations for 2021, was to cancel Truman’s midlife refuelling and complex overhaul. Each carrier at around its 25-year mark is sent into dry dock and given enough nuclear fuel to operate its reactor for another 25 years. By not refuelling Truman, it would mean the Navy would have to decommission it with half its 50-year hull life remaining.
Pentagon and Navy have attempted to retire the Truman in 2019 to save costs but the plan was cancelled.
The “USS Harry S. Truman” entered service on July 25, 1998. The vessel is 332.8 meters long, with a displacement of 103,900 tonnes and carries up to 90 warplanes and helicopters. USS Harry S. Truman, was scheduled to have its nuclear reactor core refuelled in 2024. In 2024, the ship was to sail to Newport News shipyard for a Refueling & Complex Overhaul (RCOH) that was to be completed in 2028.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. military proposed retiring the USS George Washington, commissioned in 1992, to cut costs. To prevent a fight with Congress, the White House intervened, offering to provide additional funding.