Navy 2019 Budget Request Has Modest Shipbuilding Increase, Extends Life Of Cruisers

This article was updated to reflect aircraft procurement.

The Navy requested $21.9 billion to build 10 ships in the FY '19 president’s budget request released today, a modest increase over the FY '18 request.

That shipbuilding request falls within the Navy and Marine Corps’ combined $58.5 billion procurement and the Department of the Navy’s $194.1 billion budget request. Of that total, 15 billion is under the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.

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This shipbuilding request is just one more than the FY '18 request of nine ships.

It includes $7.3 billion to fund the first two of 10 total Virginia­-class SSN-774 attack submarines in a multi-year procurement running from FY 2019 – 2023; $5.8 billion for three Flight III Arleigh Burke-class DDG-51 destroyers under a multi-year procurement contract for 10 total ships running from FY 2018-2022; $1.1 billion for one final Littoral Combat Ship (LCS); $650 million for one Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB); two John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers (T-AO) for $1.1 billion; and $80.5 million for one Towing Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS) with construction starting in FY '19 and first ship delivery in FY '20.

The Navy also requested funds for five Ship to Shore Connectors (SSCs), one Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) service life extension, and one landing Craft Utility replacement (LCU-2700).

In other shipbuilding acquisition plans, the Navy requested $1.658 billion to fund the second year of the USS Enterprise (CVN-80) construction, outfitting and training; $3 billion in procurement and $705 million in research development, test and evaluation for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program; and $449.5 million to fund long-lead items for the refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), scheduled for FY 2021.

Across the Navy’s Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP), the service would procure a total of 54 new ships through FY '23. Including the FY '19 budget request that includes one Columbia-class submarine, one, CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, 10 SSN774 Virginia-class submarines, 14 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, one LCS, Six Future Frigates (FFG(X)), three new class LX(R) amphibious assault ships, two ESBs, eight fleet replenishment oilers, six Towing Salvage and Rescue Ships, and two T0AGOS(X) surveillance ship replacements.

The FYDP specifies the Navy plans to complete the LCS program after the final and 32nd ship is procured in FY '19 and then begin transitioning to the FFG(X) program in FY '20.

Separately, the Navy released a 30-year shipbuilding plan. In the plan, the Navy highlights the FY '19 FYDP submission includes service life extensions for six Ticonderoga-class (CG) guided-missile cruisers, four Mine Countermeasures ships, and the first of five Improved Los Angeles-class attack submarines (SSN). This is part of a plan to move the Navy toward 326 ships by FY '23.

In budget documents the Navy said this budget request “provides for a deployable battle force of 299 ships in FY19.” The operational funding supports 11 aircraft carriers and 33 large amphibious ships.

The Navy said in FY 2019 11 battle force ships will be delivered, including two attack submarines (SSNs), four LCSs, one Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), one ESB, one Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA), and two destroyers. One SSN will also be retired in FY 2019.

The Navy Department also request funds for 120 airframes across the Navy and Marine Corps in FY ‘19.

This includes $3.9 billion for 29 Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35s, $1 billion for seven Bell [TXT] - Boeing [BA] CMV-22 Ospreys, almost $2 billion for 24 Boeing [BA] F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, $953 million for four Northrop Grumman [NIC] E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes, and almost $2 billion for ten Boeing [BA] P-8A Poseidons.

The F-35s are divided into 20 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs and nine carrier-variant F-35Cs.

That overall is an overall increase over the FY '18 request of 29 F-35s, 14 Super Hornets, five Hawkeyes, and seven Poseidons.

In unmanned aircraft, the administration is requesting $228 million for three Northrop Grumman [NOC] MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and $684 million in RDT&E funds for the MQ-25 Stingray Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) aerial refueling program.

In the FY '19 request the MQ-25 program increases significantly over the FY ’18 request of $222 million. The Navy clarified it is currently expected to enter into the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase in the fourth quarter of 2018. This request moves its Initial Operating Capability (IOC) up by two years to FY '26.





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