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Future of Navy destroyers now in question; 27 could go away by 2034

A new report says the Navy has decided to cancel plans to do service life extensions on DDG's.

NORFOLK, Va. — It's been the workhorse of the fleet for nearly three decades, but now the future of the Navy's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is in question.

Reports surfaced over the weekend that the Navy plans to cancel planned upgrades on the oldest of those warships.

Through the years, the Navy has liked the guided-missile destroyer enough to build 67 of them. But Defense News reports that the Navy has decided to scrap, as not cost-effective, plans to perform service life extensions on the Arleigh Burkes.

As a result, between 2026 and 2034, the Navy would lose 27 of the destroyers.

"Without those 27 ships, the Navy never gets to 355 ships. It's not possible," said retired Navy Captain Joe Bouchard, a former destroyer commanding officer.

He says it's a bad decision for national defense, and it's going to hurt local ship repair yards who'd do the work.

"That is a lot of good business that isn't going to happen now," he said.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is critical of cuts to military programs, when, money is being taken from the military budget by the billions to build the border wall.

"It looks like the total this year ill be $13 billion, more than a billion a month, taken our of Congress' appropriated budget for your needs, the nation's needs to be used for a non-military emergency that's not mentioned in the national defense strategy," he said.

Kaine said with that same $13 billion, you could buy one new aircraft carrier, four new submarines or, six new destroyers.

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