Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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In February 2008, as part of its proposed FY2009 budget, the Navy submitted to Congress the FY2009 version of its annual 30-year shipbuilding plan. The 30-year plan is intended to support the Navys goal of achieving and maintaining a 313-ship fleet. The Navy first presented the 313-ship plan to Congress in February 2006. The increase in the Navys estimated cost for implementing the plan is so large that the Navy no longer appears to have a clearly identifiable, announced strategy for generating the funds needed to implement the 30-year plan, at least not without significantly reducing funding for other Navy programs or increasing the Navys programmed budget in coming years by billions of dollars per year. Concerns about the Navys prospective ability to afford the 30-year shipbuilding plan, combined with year-to-year changes in Navy shipbuilding plans and significant cost growth and other problems in building certain new Navy ships, have led to strong concerns among some Members about the status of Navy shipbuilding and the potential future size and capabilities of the fleet. As a consequence of these strong concerns, some Members in hearings this year on the Navys proposed FY2009 budget have strongly criticized aspects of the Navys shipbuilding plan and indicated that they are considering making changes to the plan. This report will be updated as events warrant.
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