Surface Forces: November 30, 1999


Australia (which just canceled the expensive upgrade of its Adelaide-class frigates) has expressed interest in buying the four Kidd-class guided missile destroyers just retired from the US Navy. The ships, originally built for the Shah of Iran but bought for the US Navy by the Congress during the first year of the Reagan Administration, are powerful warships based on the Spruance-class destroyers. The only problem with Australia's desire to buy the ships is that they have already been offered to the Greeks. The Greeks, however, have objected because the US has refused to sell it the SM2 missiles that arm the ships. The Greeks have stalled on accepting the ships while they pressure the US to hand over the missiles as well. The US has given Greece extra time to decide about the ships, but has again refused to sell the missiles with them. If Athens does not take the offer, the Australians are next in line but expect to negotiate a good price for the ships. --Stephen V Cole

The USS Missouri Memorial Association says it will not be able to prepare a new permanent berth in Pearl Harbor before their lease on Navy Pier F5 runs out on 31 July 2001. They have asked for more time at the F5 pier, but the Navy says that this pier is one of the most modern in Pearl Harbor and the fleet needs it back.--Stephen V Cole


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