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Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

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Technical Report

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Congressional Research Service Washington United States

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This report presents background information and issues for Congress concerning the Navys ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navys shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. The apparent end of the post-Cold War era and the transition to a new international security situation featuring renewed great power competition has intensified concerns among some observers regarding the current and future size and capabilities of the Navy.The Navys proposed FY2017 budget requests funding for the procurement of seven new battle force shipstwo Virginia-class attack submarines, two DDG-51 class Aegis destroyers, two Littoral Combat Ships LCSs, and one LHA-type amphibious assault ship. The Navys proposed FY2017-FY2021 five-year shipbuilding plan includes a total of 38 new ships.Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.

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