Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Virginia) are scheduled Thursday to introduce a bill that seeks to grow the U.S. Navy‘s fleet to 355 ships, Defense News reported Wednesday.
A draft bill obtained by Defense News states that the fleet buildup should be implemented “as soon as practicable.”
Wittman, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower and projection forces subcommittee, said he intends for the legislation to “send a strong signal” ahead of the markup of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
He added that industry appears to be ready to help meet the country’s naval fleet construction goal and urged Congress to provide funds needed to implement the shipbuilding plan, the report stated.
The bill reflects the Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment that calls for the service branch to establish a 355-ship fleet over the next three decades.