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CBO: Navy shipbuilding plan would average $31 billion a year

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The U.S. Navy and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) seem to just count things differently. Inevitably, the CBO finds that the Navy lowballs the estimated costs of its shipbuilding plans.

In its latest analysis, released today, CBO looks at the Navy’s s fiscal year 2020 shipbuilding plan and estimates the costs of implementing it. It finds that the total shipbuilding budget would average $31 billion per year, one-third more than the Navy estimates. The plan would require an increase of more than 50 percent compared with recent shipbuilding budget.

Key findings include

Fleet Cost

The 2020 plan would require shipbuilding appropriations that are more than 50 percent larger than the Navy’s average funding for shipbuilding over the past five years. Including nuclear refueling and all other costs associated with the Navy’s shipbuilding budget, CBO estimates, the total shipbuilding budget would average $31 billion per year (in 2019 dollars), one-third more than the Navy estimates. Annual operation and support costs for the fleet over the next 30 years would grow from $60 billion today to about $90 billion by 2049.

Purchasing Plan

The Navy plans to purchase 304 new ships between 2020 and 2049: 247 combat ships and 57 support ships.

Fleet Size

If the Navy adhered to that purchasing plan as well as the schedule for retiring ships outlined in the 2020 plan, the inventory of ships would rise from 290 today to its goal of 355 ships in 2034 and thereafter, but would fall short of its specific goals for some types of ships.

Download the CBO Report HERE

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