The US Department of Navy has released the annual 30-year shipbuilding plan for FY2022 to FY2051 to help continue maintain US maritime superiority.

The plan is outlined in the ‘Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels’.

US office of management and budget director Russell Vought said: “Our updated 30-year shipbuilding plan is a credible, affordable road map for achieving maritime supremacy, all while tightening our belts, and sending a strong message to our adversaries like China.”

It is based on the classified Future Naval Force Structure study and provides details on the force structure and funding required for the construction of naval vessels.

The plan shows the proposed battle force reaching a level of 355 by 2030, including an increasing fleet of smaller ships and a larger number of unmanned vessels.

US defence deputy secretary David Norquist said: “The plan calls for a larger fleet of both manned and unmanned vessels prepared to face greater challenges on, above or under the sea by accelerating submarine construction, modernising aircraft, extending the service life of cruisers and increasing the number of destroyers.”

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Prepared by naval operations deputy chief for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities, the report shows the future fleet architecture (FFA) to reach 406 battle force inventory by 2045, plus 119 unmanned surface vessels and 24 unmanned subsurface vehicles.

Norquist added: “To build this future force, the United States must expand its industrial base to support the fleet we need and not limit the future fleet to the capacity of the industrial base we have.”

In September, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper outlined plans for the US Navy’s future naval force fleet to maintain maritime superiority.