House Seapower panel seeks U.S.-built sealift ships

Written by Nick Blenkey
House passes Ocean Shipping Reform ACt

Image: Architect of the Capitol

There’s a reason why so many shipbuilders have Washington, D.C. offices. The House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces today released its proposals for the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Among other things, this year’s proposal “directs the Maritime Administrator to carry out a program to complete the design and construction in United States shipyards of up to 10 sealift vessels for use in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.”

Additionally, the subcommittee’s proposal:

  • Recommends to the full committee that the Navy procure eight battle force ships: two Virginia-class submarines, two guided-missile destroyers (DDG), one guided-missile frigate (FFG), one landing platform dock (LPD) Flight II, one fleet oiler (T-AO), and one towing, salvage, and rescue ship (T-ATS).
  • Recommends to the full committee an additional $250 million in Advanced Procurement, Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy, toward a Landing Platform Dock (LPD) that will be procured in fiscal year 2024.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to enter into a multi-year procurement contract for up to 15 Guided-missile Destroyers (DDG).
  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to enter into a block-buy contract for up to 25 Ship-to-Shore connector crafts.
  • Sets a statutory floor of 31 L-class amphibious ships.
  • Prohibits retirement of the USS Vicksburg (CG-69).
  • Prohibits early retirement of all four amphibious vessels proposed for fiscal year 2023 divestiture including: USS Germantown (LSD-42), USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), USS Tortuga (LSD-46), and USS Ashland (LSD-48).
  • Requires the Secretary of the Navy to consult with the Commandant of the Marine Corps on all major decisions directly concerning amphibious force structure or capability.
  • Authorizes appropriations for the Maritime Administration and recommends full funding for the Maritime Security and Tanker Security Programs.
  • Directs a Comptroller General review of the Navy’s amphibious warfare fleet.
  • Directs a Comptroller General review of the Navy’s Guided-missile Frigate (FFG) program.

Notably absent from the panel’s proposal is any reference to the Navy’s proposal to decommission nine Freedom-class littoral combat ships far short of their expected service lives.

The Subcommittee will meet at 2:00pm ET on Wednesday, June 8 in Rayburn 2118 and via the WebEx platform. The markup will be live streamed on the committee’s website.

The Subcommittee’s mark is available here.

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