The Navy is forging ahead with a plan to build a 355-ship fleet, but its construction budget for new warships is set to fall significantly in 2021.
The Navy's shipbuilding budget would, then, fall to $16.4 billion to buy eight vessels, down from $22 billion last year for 12 new ships. The decrease raises questions about how the service will get to its planned fleet size of 355 if it's building fewer ships than last year.
Navy and Marine Corps leaders are completing a force-structure assessment that will lay out a path for the new fleet size. They have said that number is likely to top 355 ships, but could include smaller, lightly manned ships that can be built more quickly and cheaply than today's fleet of vessels.
A large formation of warships.
The combat-capable part of a military organisation.
The adaptability of any force's force structure is usually tested in wartime to reflect changing nature of warfare.