UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – The US Navy could reach 355 ships a decade earlier than previously thought, thanks to an increased budget and pace of shipbuilding and the extension of some ships to the current fleet, a Pentagon official told a congressional committee.
James Gates, Assistant Secretary of Naval Affairs for Research, Development and Acquisition, told the House Armed Services Subcommittee that one of President Donald Trump’s key goals since his election campaign – an increase in the size of the US Navy – could come in the 1930s instead of the 1950s.
He added that the implementation of a more active shipbuilding plan along with the extension of the DDG-51 destroyer service and the target for other vessels would speed up access “to 355 vessels in the 1930s instead of the 1950s.”
Geertz said the 2018 budget had funded 14 ships, five more than previous plans. The US Navy says there are 282 ships in service as of Thursday.