The success of the U.S. Navy's Aegis system in destroying ballistic
missiles, and low orbit satellites, is likely to keep some of the older Aegis
equipped ships in commission longer. The first Aegis ships were the Ticonderoga
class of cruisers. The first one entered service in 1983, while the 27th, and
last one, in 1994. Five have since been retired.
As of this
year, 18 of the 82 American Aegis equipped ships will have
anti-missile/satellite capability. If all Aegis ships were converted, the U.S.
would have a formidable, and very flexible, capability to defeat ballistic
missiles and low flying spy satellites. So the navy is applying pressure to get
money to keep the older Aegis ships (the Ticonderoga's and the first few
Arleigh Burke class destroyers) kept in commission for this.