skip to main content

Navy League 2021: Imprecise US Navy budget, shipbuilding plan prompts lawmakers' questions

A lack of specifics in the US Navy (USN)-proposed fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget and accompanying long-term shipbuilding plan has led to greater scrutiny by members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, according to Congressman Joe Courtney, subcommittee chairman.

“The subcommittee is doing a lot of follow up on questions at the staff level and the member level to press the navy to explain,” Courtney said on 20 July during a Navy League 2021 Sea-Air-Space exposition virtual online “prequel” discussion in advance of the the actual exposition, which is scheduled to take place from 1 to 4 August in Maryland.

“There's absolutely some signals included in that document about fleet architecture, about where the priorities are going to be in terms of different platforms,” Courtney said. “But frankly, it does not have the precision I would prefer.”

Congressman Rob Wittman echoed Courtney's concerns during the same discussion. “If you look at the 30-year shipbuilding plan, there are a number of shortcomings,” said Wittman, a vice-ranking member of the full HASC and a ranking member of the subcommittee, as well as co-chair of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.

“It lacks the details necessary to determine where we are going,” he said. “What's really concerning about this plan is the lack of specificity of where we get to the requirement of 355 ships.”

Earlier naval assessments put the navy on track for a fleet of 400 ships by 2038, he noted. “This does not get us there.”

Courtney said he viewed the naval submission as a “one-year budget plus sort of a range for ships in the future”.

Both Wittman and Courtney agreed the plan was supposed to be more definitive than that.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...