US Navy's mass retirement of vessels to dent Taiwan deterrence
Next five to eight years form 'period of greatest peril,' analyst warns
The USS Ohio guided-missile submarine rendezvouses with a Marine Corps combat rubber raiding craft for an integration exercise off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, on Feb. 2. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps)
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Navy will soon enter a brief period of vulnerability when its Cold War-era submarines and cruisers go into mass retirement before a more China-focused new batch of weapons can come into service.
Especially notable is how a significant drop in the availability of vertical-launch missile tubes -- more than 600, or around 10% of the Navy's 6,000 or so Mark 41 launchers -- could weaken American deterrence in the Taiwan Strait.