Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has told lawmakers the branch will not have enough money to modernize its cruisers within a two-year timeline the House Armed Services Committee’s proposed budget mandates, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.
Mabus said shipyard projecst under the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 would cost hundreds of millions more and exhaust funds set aside for cruiser modernization in 2018, Sydney Freedberg reports.
“If it’s done under the congressional plan, the one that’s being put forward now, we’re not going to have enough money,” Mabus said of the House Armed Services Committee’s proposal.
Existing laws require the U.S. Navy to complete the cruiser modernization work in four years, according to the report.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), HASC’s seapower subcommittee chairman, argued for the modernization plan an d said “if you pass this language, two years from now, we’ll have a couple of modernized cruisers,” Breaking Defense reports.
“The question is whether we just let the Navy run the clock out and leave these cruisers up on the dock where we never use them again,” said Forbes.