The Department of Defense is expected to call for the U.S. Navy to expand its fleet to more than 500 ships, Defense News reported Thursday.
Supporting documents to the upcoming Future Navy Force Study obtained by the publication show suggestions for the service to have a fleet of between 480 and 534 unmanned and manned ships, reflecting a 35 percent increase in combat vessels from the targeted fleet size of 355 ships by 2030.
According to an April draft of feedback on the forthcoming study conducted by the office of the secretary of defense, the notional fleets designed by two commissioned groups will have an expanded logistics force, more unmanned submarines and ships and small surface combatants but fewer large surface combatants and aircraft carriers.
“The Future Naval Force Study is a collaborative OSD, Joint Staff and Department of the Navy effort to assess future naval force structure options and inform future naval force structure decisions and the 30-year shipbuilding plan,” said Lt. Tim Pietrack, a spokesman for the Navy. “Although COVID-19 has delayed some portions of the study, the effort remains on track to be complete in late 2020 and provide analytic insights in time to inform Program Budget Review 22.”
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