The current and planned size and composition of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy’s shipbuilding plans have been oversight matters for the congressional defense committees for many years.
The Navy’s proposed FY2018 budget, as amended on May 24, 2017, requests the procurement of nine new ships, including one Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier, two Virginia-class attack submarines, two DDG-51 class destroyers, two Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), one TAO-205 class oiler, and one towing, salvage, and rescue ship.
On December 15, 2016, the Navy released a new force-structure goal that calls for achieving and maintaining a fleet of 355 ships of certain types and numbers.
Key points about this new 355-ship force-level goal include the following:
--The 355-ship force-level goal is the result of a Force Structure Assessment (FSA)conducted by the Navy in 2016. The Navy conducts an FSA every few years, as circumstances require, to determine its force-structure goal.
--The new 355-ship force-level goal replaces a 308-ship force-level goal that the Navy released in March 2015.The actual size of the Navy in recent years has generally been between 270 and 290 ships.
Click here for the full report (90 PDF pages), hosted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists