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Force Structure Assessment

Industry Can Build 355 Ships, But Which Ones?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Sure, American industry can build the 355-ship fleet both Trump and the admirals want, three former Navy Secretaries said today. We can even build it a lot faster than most experts expect, but there are a lot of ifs. If we start using small shipyards that currently don’t build warships. If we streamline procurement, and, of… Keep reading →

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Overburdened Navy Must Just Say ‘No’: Spencer

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: How will the new Navy Secretary  get people to understand the fleet is being worked too hard? “Because we’ll start every conversation with 17 dead sailors,” Richard Spencer told reporters this morning in his first media roundtable as SecNav. The 10 deaths aboard the USS McCain last month and the seven aboard the USS Fitzgerald… Keep reading →

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SecNav Nominee Spencer Soft-Pedals Trump’s 355-Ship Navy, Touts Robots

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Amidst a bipartisan lovefest of a confirmation hearing, Navy Secretary nominee Richard  Spencer quietly and consistently downplayed the idea of a 355-ship fleet. The Navy now has 276 ships from supercarriers to minesweepers, President Trump promised 350 on the campaign trail, and the Chief of Naval Operations has officially assessed that he needs 355.… Keep reading →

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No 350-Ship Navy From This Trump Budget

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: All hands, brace for disappointment. The president’s promised naval buildup won’t begin in the 2018 budget out next week — or maybe ever. Sure, before the election, candidate Donald Trump promised a 350-ship Navy. Sure, just this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan repeated the 350 figure. Sure, this week the Chief of Naval Operations… Keep reading →

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355-Ship Navy Takes At Least 18 Years: CBO

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


President Trump and the US Navy want a 355-ship fleet, but even if you double shipbuilding budgets compared to historic levels, it can’t be done until 2032, at least 12 years after the end of Trump’s current term of office. That’s the estimate offered today by the Congressional Budget Office. At a more sustainable but… Keep reading →

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Trump Calls For 12 Carriers, But How Fast Will We Get There?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Speaking today on the hangar deck of the almost-completed aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, President Donald Trump explicitly pledged to build “the 12-carrier Navy we need.” Ever since the USS Enterprise retired in 2012, the Navy has had only 10 aircraft carriers, with the Ford soon to be commissioned as the 11th. On current plans,… Keep reading →

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Alternative Navy Study Bets Big On Robot PT Boats & LCS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Light carriers. Robot PT boats. Unmanned subs. A congressionally chartered study, the Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study, “does not represent any official Navy position,”  but offers a surprisingly bold vision for the future of the US Navy. The study, by a “Navy Project Team” of officers, civil servants, and contractors free to brainstorm without… Keep reading →

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414 Ships, No LCS: MITRE’s Alternative Navy

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Navy needs a vastly larger fleet — 414 warships — to win a great-power war, well above today’s 274 ships or even the Navy’s unfunded plan for 355, the think-tank MITRE calculates in a congressionally-chartered study. That ideal fleet would include: 14 aircraft carriers instead of today’s 11; 160 cruisers and destroyers instead… Keep reading →

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Big Wars, Small Ships: CSBA’s Alternative Navy Praised By Sen. McCain

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED with McCain praise WASHINGTON: The Navy needs a bigger fleet of smaller ships than envisioned in its official Force Structure Assessment, says a congressionally-chartered study from the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. CSBA emphatically agrees with the Navy that the focus needs to shift from day-to-day counter-terrorism and presence operations to deterring (and if need be,… Keep reading →

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The 355-Ship Fleet Will Take Decades, Billions To Build: Analysts

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Navy’s new Force Structure Assessment calling for a 355-ship fleet puts an important intellectual arrow in Donald Trump‘s quiver as he campaigns for more ships. But it doesn’t put any more money in the budget to buy them, or any more machinery in shipyards to build them. The Navy analysis will shape the… Keep reading →

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