Military Capabilities

USN seeks to stay the course on MCM transition

25 January 2017

Key Points

  • The USN plans to retain its 11 remaining Avenger-class MCMVs between 2019 and 2024
  • Work continues to mature and certify airborne and unmanned MCM systems for operation from the LCS

The US Navy (USN) is still planning to start retiring its remaining MCM-1 Avenger class mine countermeasures vessels from 2019, despite myriad problems that have afflicted the littoral combat ship (LCS) mine countermeasures (MCM) mission package, the service's expeditionary warfare director has confirmed.

The 14 Avenger-class vessels were commissioned between 1987 and 1994, designed as dual-role mine sweepers/hunters capable of finding, classifying, and destroying both moored and bottom mines. USS Avenger and USS Defender were both decommissioned in 2014; USS Guardian was stricken and scrapped in 2013 after running aground on a reef off the Philippines.

Of the remaining 11 ships, four are forward deployed to the 5th Fleet in Bahrain, four are based in Sasebo, Japan, and three are stationed in San Diego.

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