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Report: Navy Eyes Retirement of 28 Battle Force Ships Through 2021

140625-N-EF657-340The U.S. Navy wants to retire as many as 28 battle force ships between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal 2021 as part of a new shipbuilding plan the military branch submitted to Congress earlier this month, Defense News reported Saturday.

Christopher Cavas writes the Navy still aims to have a 308-ship fleet for combat missions even as the service branch re-evaluates the Force Structure Assessment that helped it establish that fleet goal.

Under the 30-year shipbuilding plan, the branch expects to see 287 vessels in its battle force inventory during fiscal 2017 and estimates the number of those ships to reach 313 in fiscal 2025, Cavas reports.

The report said the Navy projects its battle force inventory to drop below 300 in fiscal 2031 and remain at about 290 through 2046.

“The rate of large and small surface combatant and [submarine] retirements beyond FY 2028 exceeds the ability of the Navy to finance a build rate that sustains the 308-ship force structure,” said the military branch, according to Cavas’ article.

Cavas noted the branch’s fiscal 2018 budget plan could include the revised FSA and a new fleet architecture study.

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