Congress showed significant support for Navy shipbuilding in its defense-heavy Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus budget deal that emerged this week, adding $3.3 billion for five additional ships to support Navy fleet growth and industrial base needs.
The omnibus spending bill covers the current fiscal year, which is still being funded with a continuing resolution, and comes just days before another government shutdown deadline.
The appropriations bill, passed by the House on Thursday and the Senate early Friday, sets aside $23.8 billion for the Navy to procure 14 ships – five more than the service requested in its original $20.4 billion shipbuilding ask.
The additions include one more Littoral Combat Ship, bringing the total for FY 2018 to three. The bill also increases funding to start what is likely to be the first-in-class next-generation LX(R) amphibious warship, adds money for a fourth Expeditionary Sea Base a year earlier than the Navy intended, and funds an additional Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport.
Highlights from shipbuilding and conversion line:
- $3.35 billion for two Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers (DDG-51)
- $3.30 billion for two Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines (SSN-774)
- $2.32 billion to complete the refueling and complex overhaul USS George Washington (CVN-73) and start advanced procurement for the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) RCOH
- $2.14 billion to complete funding of Ford-class carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
- $1.80 billion for the first next-generation LX(R) amphibious warship
- $1.71 billion to complete big-deck amphibious assault ship Bougainville (LHA-8)
- $1.57 billion to begin construction of Ford-class carrier Enterprise (CVN-80)
- $1.56 billion for three Littoral Combat Ships
- $862 million for Columbia-class nuclear ballistic missile sub advanced procurement
- $635 million for a fourth Expeditionary Sea Base
- $524 million Ship-to-Shore Connector landing hovercraft
- $458 million for a John Lewis-class (T-AO-205) fleet oiler
- $225 million for a Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport
- $216 million for the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG-100) program
Source: Sam LaGrone | USNI News