The US Navy assures lawmakers that its proposed budget for 2022 will address key priorities and that the budget will support its vision even if it does not support an investment strategy that will meet fleet size targets. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday commented in a 2021 interview that the budget request for next year would continue to provide funding for increased capabilities in the Navy, but that would not result in a larger fleet size unless the size of the budget was increased.
William Davies, Associate Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The budget the Navy submitted will likely cause friction with Congress, particularly because it does not provide details on how the number of ships will change beyond next year. Congress continues to push for the Navy to meet and maintain the target of 355 ships, but recent budgets have not shown the fleet is on track to meet it.
The Navy is required to provide Congress with a 30-year fleet size plan each year, outlining how many ships it intends to purchase and when – but they have increasingly overlooked this requirement. in recent years, 2022 being no exception. Capabilities the Navy is pushing for include more fifth-generation (F-35C) aircraft, the development of deployable hypersonic missiles, and investments in sensors and network architecture, thereby improving the efficiency of the management of Navy battles within the framework of the “Project Overmatch”.
Davies continues, “The Navy is asking for eight ships in its FY22 budget, and Congress will potentially add more to that – but even with these additions, the Navy is not on track to meet its goal of 355 ships and that will likely upset. members of Congress who are concerned about China’s growing naval power.
The ships the Navy is seeking funding for include an Arleigh Burke Flight III-class destroyer and two Virginia-class attack submarines, among others, and will cost $ 18 billion in total. Topping his list of “unfunded priorities” is a second destroyer; that Congress is likely to fill. In addition, the Navy is calling for the decommissioning of seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers as well as three Freedom-class Littoral combat ships – but this may face a backlash from Congress.