Proposal for 355-ship US Navy Signed into Law
Included in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed today by President Donald Trump is policy to grow the U.S. Navy fleet from its current 279 ships to a minimum of 355.
“With his signature, President Trump has confirmed the United States’ resolve to meet the growing needs of our U.S. Navy,” said Senate Seapower Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.), who introduced the Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act along with Rep. Rob Wittman (Va.).
“Building up our nation’s fleet is essential to protecting our national security and projecting American power around the globe. We are asking too few ships to do too many things, and today the President took a major step toward rectifying that problem,” Sen. Wicker said.
President Trump urged Congress to fully fund the $692 billion NDAA defense policy bill following several years of U.S. defense spending budget cuts.
The defense bill authorizes $26.2 billion for shipbuilding, including multi-year procurements of Virginia class submarines, as well as a nearly $5 billion increase for shipbuilding above President Trump’s budget request.
Provisions specific to shipbuilding include authorizing multiyear procurement contract authority to allow the Navy to buy up to 15 DDG-51 Flight III Destroyers, $1.75 billion funding for an additional Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyer (DDG-51) plus $250 million to buy long-lead items, $1.5 billion in funding for an additional Marine Corps amphibious transport ship (LPD-30), and encouraging the Navy to accelerate procurement of 9th Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA-9).
The policy also requires the Navy to evaluate expanding its test and training range locations for unmanned maritime systems.