WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy will grow by more than 40 ships over the next five years, theNavy’s Budget director said Monday. But while the fleet will grow rapidly in the near term, the gains will sputter out shortly thereafter.
While the shipbuilding budget request saw a relatively modest increase in the service’s 2019 submission over the previous year, service-life extension programs, a bevy of new destroyers and littoral combat ships will push the Navy’s numbers higher rapidly to 326 ships in 2023. That’s a jump of 46 ships over just the next five years from today’s count of 280.
But from there the pace of growth will slow significantly, adding the final 30 ships of the Navy’s goal over the next quarter century. The Navy will not reach the goal of 355 ships until the 2050s, said Rear Adm. Brian Luther, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget.
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