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US Navy approves service life extensions for four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers

The US Navy (USN) Surface Warfare Division has approved service life extensions for four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, the USN confirmed on 2 August.

The extensions will enable each ship to operate beyond its estimated service life of 35 years, the USN noted in a statement.

As approved, the service lives of USS Ramage (DDG 61), home ported in Norfolk, Virginia, and USS Benfold (DDG 65), based in Yokosuka, Japan, have been extended by five years, to fiscal year (FY) 2035 and FY 2036, respectively, the USN said.

The service lives of USS Mitscher (DDG 57), home ported in Norfolk, and USS Milius (DDG 69), home ported out of Yokosuka, have been extended by four years, to FY 2034 and FY 2035, respectively, the USN said.

“These extensions align to Secretary of the Navy [Carlos] Del Toro's commitment to Congress during the FY [20]24 posture hearings to analyse service life on a hull-by-hull basis and extend the correct ships,” Rear Admiral Fred Pyle, USN surface warfare director, said in a statement.

“Each of these extensions takes into account where these ships are in their life-cycle maintenance schedules,” Rear Adm Pyle said. “Extending Mitscher and Milius by an additional year to five years would require each ship to spend a year of that extension in a docking availability, which would not be a prudent use of resources.”

The surface ship community will continue to evaluate the service life of each surface ship based on combat relevance, reliability data, and material condition, the USN said. The navy now has 73 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in service.

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