Co-ed from the keel up, the new USS Benfold (DDG-65) is one of the latest of a proposed 57 Aegis destroyers to join the fleet. Also on the front burner is an arsenal ship and the new-age amphibious transport dock, the LPD-17.
Surface Line . . . Still Fine?
The Surface Combatant Force Level Study released last year confirmed the need for as many as 129 to 165 surface warships to ensure support of the two- major regional conflict strategy. Given these considerations, the Navy has called for a fiscal year 2001 force of between 126 and 138 active and reserve ships. In the meantime, to ensure that personnel and operating tempo guidelines are not violated, the Navy will retain two Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7)-class guided-missile frigates in the active force in fiscal 1997 and a third in fiscal year 1998.