The US Navy will not reach its 355 ship goal until 2050

The US Navy has submitted its long-range ship acquisition plan to Congress under which it expects to reach its 355-ship fleet by the early 2050s.

Released February 12, the 30-Year Ship Acquisition Plan is a Congressionally-mandated report which describes the Department of the Navy’s long-range shipbuilding plans for 2019-2048.

The plan pursues acquisition strategies to build ships more quickly and affordably and places top priority on sustaining the industrial base.

Under the new plan, aircraft carrier construction is accelerated from one CVN every five years to one every four years with the aim of supporting a 12-ship CVN force.

The plan further envisions the construction of 12 Columbia-class SSBNs and two attack submarines (SSN) per year.
The navy plans to receive 2.5 Large Surface Combatants (DDG) per year, plus an additional ship in FY2022, and two Small Surface Combatants (LCS, FFG) starting in FY2022, accommodating the transition to FFG(X).

Amphibious ship construction is accelerated to support a 12-ship LHD/LHA force and modernized lethality in FY2033, FY2036 and FY2039.

The plan would see the navy grow to 326 ships in 2023, aided by the service-life extension of cruisers, mine countermeasure ships and a Los Angeles-class sub. This number will start going down from 2024 caused by the decommissioning of Los Angeles-class submariners and oldest cruisers and destroyers, delaying the advance to a 355-ship fleet to the 2050s.