NAVY REPORT: Larger 355-Ship Fleet — “Executable”
A completed “Force Structure Assessment” underscores what Navy leaders have been saying for quite some time – – that the current fleet size is insufficient to meet global demands from combatant commanders.
The assessment could likely mean more carriers, submarines, destroyers and amphibious assault ships, among other things.
The Navy assessment for 2018 calls for a sizeable jump up to 355 ships, including 12 carriers, 104 large surface combatants and 66 attack submarines. In the meantime, the services’ near term 2017 proposed fleet size seeks to increase the current 274-ship fleet up to 308.
Although various benchmarks will need to be reached in order for this new plan to come to fruition, such as Congressional budget allocations, Navy officials do tell Scout Warrior that the service is already working – at least in concept – on plans to vastly enlarge the fleet. Findings from this study are expected to inform an upcoming 2018 Navy Shipbuilding Plan, service officials said.
Navies take far longer to build up than any other service, and the traditions which make them effective are easy to lose and difficult to regain. And both are absolutely vital to a maritime trading power like the United States.