Ships assigned to the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) conduct a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) on June 2, 2016. US Navy photo.
Editor’s note: Since the publication of this story, USNI News has learned the 131 ship number the Navy said it would deploy on average by Fiscal Year 2023 was incorrect. The service made a mistake in its budget presentation as noted in this subsequent post. The text of the following story remains unaltered.
THE PENTAGON – The Navy’s five-year plan involves having 31 more ships deployed at any given time compared to today, with a fleet that is 46 ships larger, according to the service’s budget request and long-range shipbuilding plan released today.
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) on May 20, 2016. US Navy Photo
There has been a lively debate in recent years over whether the appurtenance of American military might—the supercarrier—will be rendered irrelevant, even obsolescent, by the burgeoning anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) systems of the likes of China and Russia should war ever break out between them and Washington. This state of affairs is not helped by a glaring capability shortfall the U.S. Navy faces currently and in the foreseeable future: the lack of a carrier-based deep-strike aircraft due to the relatively short “legs” of its mainstay Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet attack fighter as well as the upcoming Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Read More
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) transits the Strait of Gibraltar on March 31, 2015, as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. US Navy photo.
Navy leadership is continuing to push for its preferred guided missile cruiser modernization plan — which would put 11 of the 22 CGs in reduced operating status until the other 11 near retirement — despite Congress rejecting the plan during last year’s budget negotiations.
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leads a formation of ships from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12 during a maneuvering exercise on Sept. 23, 2014. US Navy Photo
Just four days ahead of the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy announced its intention to award Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (HII). approximately $4 billion to construct the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) super carrier, the second vessel of the new Gerald R. Ford-class of carriers. The cost has raised eyebrows, as the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) experienced cost overruns of 22 percent. Read More