PENTAGON – In its Fiscal Year 2016 budget submission to Congress, the Department of the Navy (DoN) asked for $168 billion, a more than five percent increase over last year’s $159 billion request.
The submission is line a with a larger Pentagon budget that pledges to reverse five years of defense spending reductions, deputy secretary of defense Bob Work said last week.
The DoN beefed up spending across almost all major budget lines including personnel, shipbuilding, aircraft procurement and operations and maintenance over the 2015 submission.
The Navy answered lingering shipbuilding questions left over from the FY 2015 budget deliberations by ensuring funding for the refueling of the service’s USS George Washington (CVN-73) carrier and fully funded a 12th San Antonio-class (LPD-17) amphibious warship following insertion of funds for both by last year’s FY 2015 omnibus government funding bill.
In shipbuilding, the Navy is requesting $16.6 billion for nine new ships and the refueling and complex overhaul of the Nimitz-class carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73).
The budget maintains the two-a-year build rate for Virginia-class submarines (SSN-774), as well as $3.1 billion for two Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyer, $1.4 billion for three Littoral Combat Ships, a 12th San Antonio-class amphibious warship (LPD-17) the first of the Navy’s next generation fleet oiler – T-AO(X). The budget also pays $256 million for five Ship-to-Shore connectors as a replacement for the service’s aging fleet of landing hovercraft.
The Navy also set aside $2.5 billion for continued design and construction of the second Gerald R. Ford-class (CVN-78) carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and advanced procurement for Enterprise.
In aviation procurement, the Navy and Marine Corps asked for 13 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) – 9 F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) Marine variant and 4 F-35C carrier JSFs.
The Navy is also buying 16 Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and five Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based information, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and two Lockheed Martin KC-130J cargo aircraft for the Marines.
The Navy did not ask for money to fund additional Boeing F-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
In helicopters, the Navy is asking for 29 MH-60R helos. The Marines are asking for a mix of 28 AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venoms and 19 MV-22B tilt-rotor Ospreys.
Starting in FY 2018, the Navy will start buying eight V-22s a year to replace the Northrop C-2A Greyhound for the carrier onboard delivery (COD) vehicle for the Navy’s carriers.
In the realm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Navy is buying three Northrop MQ-4 Tritons and two Northrop MQ-8C Fire Scouts in FY 2016 and seven Black Jack UAVs for the Marine Corps.
Research and Development
The DoN requested a $17.9 billion research and development budget — almost $2 billion over FY 2015 — including $1.39 billion for Ohio-class replacement R&D and $283 million mainly focused on developing the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) that would expand the missile capacity of the Virginia-class submarines in the Navy’s planned Block V boats.
The service included $242 million research to integrate the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) into the planned Flight III Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer.
The Navy also included a modest $135 million for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS), which was a contentious program for the service on the Hill last year. Last year the service budgeted $403 million for UCLASS.
Personnel, Operations and Maintenance
The Navy has increased its personnel budget by almost a $1 billion from FY 2015 to a topline request of $28.3 billion in a quest for 330,000 sailors by the end of the five year Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP).
The Marines requested $13.1 billion for personnel for a planned FY 2016 end strength of 182,000 by FY 2020.
The Navy budgeted $42.2 billion for operations and maintenance (O&M) in FY 2016 and the Marines budgeted $6.2 billion. Both are increases over the FY 2015 request.