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Senate Armed Services Committee adds $1.4 billion to Navy shipbuilding budget

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image (C) Architect of the Capitol

U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, yesterday announced that the committee had advanced the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 25-2. During the subcommittee and full committee markups of the legislation, the committee considered 391 amendments and adopted 229 bipartisan amendments. The bill now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

The committee mark-up, according to an executive summary, expresses a sense of the Senate on actions necessary to implement the national policy of the United States to have available as soon as practicable not fewer than 355 battle force ships.

Following are bullet points from the executive summary:

  • Authorizes $21.3 billion for shipbuilding — $1.4 billion above the request;
  • Authorizes procurement of seven battle force ships, which is one fewer than requested due to the LPD-31 previously authorized by Congress;
  • Provides multi-ship contract authority for up to two Columbia -class submarines, three San Antonio-class amphibious ships, and one America-class amphibious ship;
  • Authorizes $500 million for LPD-32 and LPD-33 long lead time material;
  • Provides for an increase of $472 million for Virginia-class submarine advance procurement to preserve the option to procure 10 Virginia-class ships from FY 2019 to 2023;
  • Authorizes $260 million for long lead time material for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers;
  • Accelerates construction of the LHA-9 amphibious assault ship with $250 million above the request;
  • Authorizes $350 million to improve submarine and surface ship supplier stability;
  • Requires certain disclosures related to foreign government involvement in shipbuilding major defense acquisition program offers;
  • Requires the Navy to qualify the main engines and generators for certain unmanned surface vessels prior to vessel procurement;
  • Establishes a Department of the Navy and Department of Labor joint shipbuilding industrial base working group; and
  • Requires the Comptroller General to reviews shipbuilding and ship repair, as well as the Supervisor of Shipbuilding organization.
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