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Trump Administration's Plan To Cut Numbers Of BIW-Built Destroyers Faces Tough Opposition

R.J. Stratchko/U.S. Navy
via Wikimedia Commons
The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke, the lead ship of the class, transits the Chesapeake Bay on its way back into port.

A proposal being floated by Trump adminstration officials to cut numbers of the kind of destroyers built at Bath Iron Works is going nowhere. That's according to two members of Maine's congressional delegation who serve on their respective Armed Services Committees. Maine independent U.S. Sen Angus King, and Democratic 2nd District Rep. Jared Golden, say they were very surprised when the Navy report surfaced last month. Golden says it abandons the long-held goal of the Navy to have 355 total vessels in service, and he believes that it's dead on arrival.

King points out that in all of the hearings held on the future needs of the Navy no one has called for a reduction of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

“It’s inconsistent both with what the Navy, the Department of Defense and the Congress have been saying for the past decade about the importance of rebuilding our naval forces," King says.

Sixty-two Arleigh Burke destroyers have been built and another 42 are planned. Both committees are expected to question Navy leaders about the report in the weeks ahead.