skip to main content

Navy League 2024: US Navy leadership touts amphibious-ship investments as cost and readiness concerns continue

The US Navy lost amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard to fire damage. (US Navy)

US Navy (USN) leaders are touting the investments being planned for the country's naval amphibious fleet and associated resources, even as government analysts are questioning the costs of some of these acquisitions and the navy is studying requirements and maintenance issues associated with amphibious forces.

Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the chief of naval operations (CNO), confirmed that the USN and the US Marine Corps (USMC) will review amphibious warship readiness and maintenance issues on 8 April during a discussion with reporters at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2024 global maritime exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.

The USMC could not fulfil US emergency-response force needs on two recent important occasions, Bryan Clark, senior fellow and director of the Center for Defense Concepts and Technology at Hudson Institute, told Janes on 31 March in an interview in advance of the symposium.

Marines had to forego disaster relief for Türkiye and the service could not provide similar amphibious operations for Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) for South Sudan, Clark noted.

With the loss of amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), which was decommissioned in April 2021 after being damaged by fire, and other ships laid up for maintenance, there were no resources available, Clark said.

There also has been growing concern the US has neglected other forces while developing a force to counter China in its ambitions, Clark said.

Congress has been pressuring the navy to make sure the amphibious fleet size did not fall below the legally required minimum of 31 ships, he said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...