The U.S. Navy wants to decommission its oldest aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) three years early, in 2012. Originally, the Enterprise was going to stay in service until the USS Ford entered service in 2015. But changes in aircraft weaponry, namely smart bombs and targeting pods, have reduced the need for eleven carriers. The navy believes ten will get the job done.
Murdoc continues to be skeptical that lowering the number of carriers is the correct move. The proposed gap between the Enterprise and the Ford was mentioned last summer when I wrote:
Murdoc is worried that 11 is not enough. 10 is asking for trouble.
The Strategy Page story also mentions that the Navy is looking at retiring the Nimitz 5+ years early. It’s currently scheduled to serve until 2024.