planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the
prospective affordability of the Navy’s shipbuilding plans have been
matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past
In February 2006, the Navy presented to Congress a goal of achieving and
maintaining a fleet of 313 ships, consisting of certain types and
quantities of ships. On March 28, 2012, the Department of Defense (DOD)
submitted to Congress an FY2013 30-year (FY2013-FY2042) shipbuilding plan
that includes a new goal for a fleet of about 310-316 ships. The Navy is
conducting a force structure assessment, to be completed later this year,
that could lead to a refinement of this 310- 316-ship plan.
The Navy’s proposed FY2013 budget requests funding for the procurement of 10
new battle force ships (i.e., ships that count against the 310-316 ship
goal). The 10 ships include one Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft
carrier, two Virginia-class attack submarines, two DDG-51 class Aegis
destroyers, four Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), and one Joint High Speed Vessel
(JHSV). These ships are all funded through the Shipbuilding and
Conversion, Navy (SCN) account.
The FY2013-FY2017 five-year shipbuilding plan contains a total of 41 ships—14
ships, or about 25%, less than the 55 ships in the FY2012 five-year
(FY2012-FY2016) shipbuilding plan, and 16 ships, or about 28%, less than
the 57 ships that were planned for FY2013-FY2017 under the FY2012 budget.
Of the 16 ships no longer planned for FY2013-FY2017, 9 were eliminated from the
Navy’s shipbuilding plan and 7 were deferred to years beyond FY2017. The nine
ships that were eliminated were eight Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSVs) and
one TAGOS ocean surveillance ship. The seven ships deferred beyond FY2017
were one Virginia-class attack submarine, two LCSs, one LSD(X) amphibious
ship, and three TAO(X) oilers. The Navy’s proposed FY2013 budget also
proposes the early retirement of seven Aegis cruisers and the placement
into Reduced Operating Status (ROS) of two LSD-type amphibious ships.
The Navy’s FY2013 30-year (FY2013-FY2042) shipbuilding plan, which was
submitted to Congress on March 28, 2012 (more than a month after the
submission of the FY2013 budget on February 13, 2012), does not include
enough ships to fully support all elements of the Navy’s 310-316 ship goal
over the long run. The Navy projects that the fleet would remain below 310 ships
during the entire 30-year period, and experience shortfalls at various points
in ballistic missile submarines, cruisers-destroyers, attack submarines,
and amphibious ships. The projected cruiser-destroyer and attack submarine
shortfalls are smaller than they were projected to be under the FY2012
30-year (FY2012-FY2041) shipbuilding plan, due in part to a reduction in the cruiser-destroyer
force-level goal and the insertion of additional destroyers and attack
submarines into the FY2013 30-year plan.
In its July 2012 report on the cost of the FY2013 30-year shipbuilding plan,
the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the plan would cost
an average of $20.0 billion per year in constant FY2012 dollars to
implement, or about 19% more than the Navy estimates. CBO’s estimate is
about 11% higher than the Navy’s estimate for the first 10 years of the plan,
about 13% higher than the Navy’s estimate for the second 10 years of the
plan, and about 33% higher than the Navy’s estimate for the final 10 years
of the plan. Some of the difference between CBO’s estimate and the Navy’s
estimate, particularly in the latter years of the plan, is due to a difference between
CBO and the Navy in how to treat inflation in Navy shipbuilding.
Date of Report: October 25, 2012
Number of Pages: 63 Order Number: RL32665 Price: $29.95
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