|The Navy on Friday issued an ambitious plan for expanding the fleet to 355 ships. The fleet now stands just north of 270 with plans to reach 308.|
Included in the larger fleet would be an additional aircraft carrier, moving from 11 to 12, a hefty increase in attack submarines and more large combat warships, such as cruisers and destroyers. The biggest barrier is cost. A 350-ship fleet would require pumping $4 billion annually, on average, into a ship construction budget of around $16.3 billion.
|The Navy has 10 active aircraft carriers and will move to 11 when the troubled, 12.9b Gerald R. Ford joins the fleet. Attack submarines would jump from 48 to 66.|
The Navy began updating the Force Structure Assessment by asking Navy commanders around the globe "their unconstrained desire" for ships. That dream fleet would total 653