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US Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan mirrors earlier Pentagon planning

The US Navy's (USN's) 30-year shipbuilding plan, released on 17 June, echoes fleet recommendations reached in Pentagon studies and released in 2020.

However, as noted by US lawmakers and USN leadership, the proposed Pentagon fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget does not provide shipbuilding funding to start such fleet expansion.

The new USN shipbuilding plan seeks to mostly retain many of the legacy platforms, while building a significant new unmanned platform fleet, referred to in the report as 'uncrewed' platforms, in the subsea, surface, and aerial domains.

The one traditional legacy combat platform the USN seeks to augment is the submarine force, retaining an SSBN ballistic missile submarine fleet of 12 by 2045, while building an SSN attack-submarine or ‘large-payload' submarine force of 66 to 72 boats by that time, the report shows.

The USN plans to put together a total battle force by 2045, including unmanned or uncrewed vessels, as well as logistical ships, in a range with a low of 398 and a high of 512.

That number includes 77 to 140 uncrewed platforms, and 321 to 372 traditionally manned platforms.

The uncrewed platforms include 59 to 89 surface vessels and 18 to 51 undersea vessels.

For aircraft carriers, the highest number now planned is 11, while the lowest is nine. That minimum would not meet the federally mandated carrier count.

The number of amphibious assault ships (LHAs/LHDs) will run between eight and nine. The number of 'large amphibious warfare ships (less LHA/LHD)' will run between 16 and 19, while the number of small amphibious warfare ships will run between 24 and 35.

The small amphibious warship numbers include the proposed Light Amphibious Warship.

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