A group of 131 House members has sent a joint letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis expressing their support for a fiscal 2019 procurement of two new aircraft carriers.
The lawmakers told Mattis in the letter dated Dec. 20 that the Defense Department should request for funds to buy additional Gerald R. Ford-class carriers for the U.S. Navy in DoD’s next budget request.
The Navy and its industry partners estimate that a dual carrier buy would save the service branch $2.5 billion compared with a single-ship purchase.
House lawmakers also noted they believe that block buy efforts will help the Navy attain a fleet of 12 aircraft carriers and show the shipbuilding industry the government’s commitment to build a 355-ship fleet.
They added that such procurement method will work to provide workload stability for nearly 3,000 aircraft carrier suppliers across the U.S. and encourage industry to make investments.