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House Bill Would Up Navy Submarine, Destroyer Fleet Purchases

Site: Navy.mil

The House Armed Services Committee will authorize the Navy to buy 10 new submarines and 10 destroyers over five years, AOL Defense reports.

While the Navy will have the ability to purchase additional vessels from what was requested in the White House’s proposed budget, the change is not mandatory.

Previously, the Navy was planning to purchase nine Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers and nine Virginia-class attack submarines as a result of the 2013 budget proposal.

The committee is additionally developing legislative language that would disable the Navy from having any less than 12 ballistic-missile submarines in use.

AOL reports this measure would require the Navy to continue using its Ohio-class SSBNs longer than the service may have originally planned to do, or else accelerate the development and replacement efforts for the fleet.

According to the bill draft, the Navy would be able to acquire 10 destroyers between fiscal 2013 and 2017 and 10 attack submarines from 2014 to 2018.

Navy officials have voiced concerns as to how the force will fund the multi-year contracts for the additional vehicles.

Assistant Navy Secretary Sean Stackley said he hopes the force will be able to leverage price negotiations in order to make additional destroyers affordable.

The Pentagon predicts the Navy’s active and reserve units will drop 3.9 percent in size by 2017, but Navy Undersecretary Robert Work has indicated he sees force, fleet and budget reductions more in a glass half-full light.

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