US Navy’s $255 Billion Budget Request Prioritizes Submarines and Hypersonic Capabilities Over Amphibs

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The United States Navy has delivered a budget request of approximately $255 billion, focusing on the acquisition of at least nine battle force ships. They hope one such ship will be its second Columbia-class submarine. The proposal will also aid in decommissioning eight older, lesser-used ships, including a trio of dock-landing vessels and three cruisers, most of which are at least 30 years old. The decommission list also includes a pair of Littoral Combat Ships with less than ten years of service each.

Specifically, this budget will invest $202 billion in Naval developments. In addition to the new Columbia-class ballistic missile sub, they also seek to acquire at least two destroyers (Arleigh Burke-class), two frigates (Constellation-class), two fast attack submarines (Virginia-class), and at least one fleet oiler (John Lewis-class). The Navy also hopes to add another submarine, though that classification is yet to be determined.

It also seems the budgetary request allows for eight weapon rounds for the Navy’s new Conventional Prompt Strike. This hypersonic artillery was developed along with the United States Army to integrate it into Zumwalt-class destroyers.

It should be noted that the budget request does not appear to seek any amphibious warships. This could turn out to be a contentious choice, given recent studies regarding the service’s need for L-class ships. While no specifics from this study have been released to the public, the Marine Corps has publicly declared that they need a minimum of 31 amphibious vessels on several occasions.

As a matter of fact, reporters persisted about this issue at a recent media junket. The press repeatedly inquired as to why this administration felt a “strategic pause” in amphibs was necessary. Navy Under Secretary Erik Raven responded that before they bring on new ships of this nature, they need to make absolutely certain of their needs and that they can find these vessels at a price that makes sense.

Finally, the budget also asserts $17.3 billion towards the procurement of 88 aircraft. This includes–but is not limited to–F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and KC-130Js, MQ-class 4C Tritons, 9A Reapers, and 25A Stingrays.