BUDGET 2023: Navy Looking to Add 9 New Ships, Decommission 24

By Mikayla Easley

Navy photo

The Navy is requesting funding for nine new ships in its 2023 budget request to Congress, while simultaneously hoping it can decommission 24 ships to free up funds.

The Department of Navy’s request, which includes both budgets for the Navy and Marine Corps, came to a total of $230.8 billion.

Between the two services, the Navy requested $180.5 billion — $8.3 billion more than what was enacted in 2022. The Marine Corps requested $50.3 billion.

Acting Navy Undersecretary Meredith Berger, told reporters March 28 the request enables the Department of Defense’s investment in the three pillars of the National Defense Strategy: integrated deterrence, campaigning forward and building upon our enduring advantages.

“[Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro’s] strategic guidance to the Navy and Marine Corps is fully aligned with the National Defense Strategy and identifies the Department of the Navy’s three enduring priorities — strengthen maritime dominance, empower our people, and strengthen strategic partnerships and alliances,” she said.

Part of the Navy’s budget proposal is a request to buy nine ships in 2023, one more than it asked for in 2022. These include two Virginia-class fast-attack submarines, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, one FFG(X) guided missile Frigate, one LHA 6 amphibious assault ship, one LPD-17 amphibious transport docks, one T-AO fleet replenishment oiler, and one T-ATS towing, salvage, and rescue ship.

The proposal also asks for incremental funding for both the Columbia SSBN and the Ford-class aircraft carrier, as well as $1.3 billion to complete shipbuilding programs enacted in 2022.

However, the Navy is requesting to decommission 24 of its ships for a total net loss of 15. The proposal will likely experience pushback from Congress, which has repeatedly asked the service to increase — not decrease — the size of its fleet.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget Rear Adm. John Gumbleton said the sea service is looking to specifically decommission nine littoral combat ships, five cruisers, four dock landing ships, two submarines, two oilers and two expeditionary transfer docks.

Gumbleton emphasized that if the Navy is able to decommission all the ships for which it is asking, it will realize significant savings.

“The total value of the reinvestment opportunities is $3.6 billion,” he said.

As for the Department of Navy’s aviation procurement plan, it has proposed $16.8 billion. This is slightly higher than the $16.5 billion requested in 2022, a year that saw a decrease in funding for Navy Aviation compared to years prior.

Gumbleton noted that the request would jumpstart the procurement of two new Naval aviation platforms: six of the multi-engine training system aircraft and four of the MQ-25 Stingray. The Navy is also looking to buy nine F-35C joint strike fighters, and five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes.

The service will also stop production of the F/A-18 E/F Naval Strike Fighter, if the budget is approved. The Navy had made the same request in 2022 but it was struck down by Congress.

The Department of Navy is also seeking $24.1 billion for research and development funds, including $237 million for the SSN(x), the Navy’s next-generation submarine, and $196 million for the DDG(X).

The service is also asking for more funding for its unmanned ship efforts. The budget proposal includes $147 million for the large unmanned surface vessel and $117 for the extra-large unmanned undersea vehicle.

Topics: Shipbuilding, Navy News

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