U.S. Navy Shipbuilding Costs 2013 Questioned by CBO

Press Release
Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyses the Navy's fiscal year 2013 shipbuilding plan.

Since 2006, CBO has performed an analysis of the Navy’s annual report on its plans for building new ships over the next 30 years. The current CBO report summarizes the ship inventory goals and purchases described in the Navy’s 2013 plan and assesses their implications for the Navy’s funding needs and ship inventories through 2042.

Salient features of the analysis follow:

The 2013 plan contains some significant changes in the Navy’s goals for shipbuilding during the next 30 years. Compared to the 2012 plan, the 2013 plan:
    •    Reduces the goal for the inventory of ships from 328 to a range of 310 to 316,
    •    Reduces the number of ships to be purchased from 275 to 268, and
    •    Buys 17 more high-end combat ships and 24 fewer less-expensive support ships.

CBO estimates that the 2013 plan will cost more than the Navy estimates

CBO’s estimate of the costs for new-ship construction over the next 30 years is 19 percent higher than the Navy’s estimate, but average annual costs vary by decade.

The Navy’s 2013 plan would fall short of meeting the Service’s inventory goal for some types of ships

The Navy’s plan would not meet the service’s goals for inventories of destroyers, attack submarines, and ballistic missile submarines:
    •    Destroyers would fall below the goal of about 90 after 2029;
    •    Attack submarines would fall below the goal of about 48 between 2022 to 2034; and
    •    Ballistic missile submarines would fall below the goal of 12 to 14 between 2029 and 2041.

The Navy’s plan would largely meet its inventory goals for aircraft carriers and amphibious ships.



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