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Special Report: Proposed US Navy shipbuilding plan maintains 350-ship fleet after fiscal year 2037

The US Navy wants to acquire two attack submarines, such as New Jersey shown here, per year through the 2030s. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

The US Navy (USN) intends to achieve and sustain a force-structure fleet of 350 ships after fiscal year (FY) 2037, according to the Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for Fiscal Year 2025, often called USN's 30-yearshipbuilding plan, sent to US lawmakers on 19 March.

The USN's proposed FY 2025 budget includes procurement of six manned ships in FY 2025 and 57 manned battle force ships within the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), the shipbuilding plan notes.

“The shipbuilding plan outside the FYDP shows the procurement of battle force ships to grow the navy toward the BFSAR [Battle Force Ship Assessment and Requirement] objective force levels,” the shipbuilding plan said.

“The increased procurement and delivery rates achieve 330 manned ships in the mid-2030s and maintain a force structure [of] over 350 ships after FY 2037,” the plan said.

These inventory levels are for traditional manned battle force ships, the plan notes, adding, “In addition, it is estimated that the navy could achieve 89–143 unmanned platforms by FY 2045.”

According to the report, the shipbuilding plan “informed” by the June 2023 BFSAR “as well as the analytic work supporting it reflects the tenets of the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS) and the aligned defense planning scenarios”.

The plan notes, “The changes in the battle force structure objective from the initial BFSAR report are primarily due to the changes in future force architecture – single crewing of the small surface combatants and the shifting of additional large surface combatants to Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF).”

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