House panel would add three more ships to FY 2019 NDAA

APRIL 26, 2018 — The House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces is meeting today to mark up its proposal for the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Many of the subcommittee's proposals will be music to the ears of American shipbuilders.

The panel recommends building two more littoral combat ships than the single LCS that the Navy asked for, along with an additional aircraft carrier.

Those ships would be additional to the ten ships included in the Navy's fiscal year 2019 budget request (two Virginia-class submarines, three DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyers; one Littoral Combat Ship (LCS); two T-AO 205 oilers; one Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB); and one T-ATS towing, salvage, and rescue ship).

The subcommittee proposal also aims to speed up recapitalization of the Navy's surge sealift capacity. It would authorize the Secretary of Defense to enter into a contract for 10 foreign-built, used sealift vessels concurrent with a plan to construct 10 new sealift vessels in the U.S. It would limit Military Sealift Command FY 2019 expenditures until the Secretary of the Navy has entered into a contract for two vessels and has completed the required documentation for the construction of 10 new sealift vessels;

The panel's language also requires Ready Reserve Fleet vessel upgrades to comply with SOLAS lifeboat and fire suppression requirements;

Additionally it recommends an increase in Maritime Security Program (MSP) funding to ensure retention of 60 MSP vessels.

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