The US Navy has outlined the details of its budget request for the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) as it aims to boost its capabilities and enhance its position to tackle potential threats.
The $205.6bn budget request was submitted to Congress, and is part of the US Department of Defense’s proposed $718bn budget.
If the budget is approved, the navy will receive 4.8% more funding over the FY19 enacted budget.
The increase in funding will support the acquisition of more ships, submarines, aircraft, personnel and additional special operations forces.
In FY20, the US Navy plans to have a deployable battle force of 301 ships, including 11 aircraft carriers and ten big deck amphibious ships.
Funding will also be dedicated to 12 new-construction battle force ships the CVN 81 Ford-class carrier, three Virginia-class submarines, three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, two John Lewis-class fleet oilers, one FFG(X) guided-missile frigate, and two towing, salvage and rescue ships.
A portion of the budget will be used for construction of 55 battle force ships and ten Large unmanned surface vessels (USVs) across the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP).
The FY20 budget also includes significant investment in the development of long-range hypersonic strike, unmanned aircraft and vessels, ship-based lasers, rapid prototyping, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cyber capabilities.
The push for research and development is aimed at building the capabilities needed to support the future force.
US Navy budget deputy assistant secretary rear-admiral Randy Crites said: “This year’s budget submission reflects the best possible balance of available resources to build a bigger, better and more ready navy and Marine Corps team to strengthen the navy the nation needs.
“The FY2020 funding invests in our people and demonstrates our commitment to providing the capacity and capabilities needed to fight and win in this new era of great power competition.”
On the personnel front, this year’s budget will allow the navy to pursue an increase in end strength by 5,100. The proposal also includes a 3.1% pay raise for the workforce.
Meanwhile, the navy has decided to retire Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) early.
In a statement, the US Navy said: “As part of this budget request, we made the difficult decision to retire CVN 75 in lieu of its previously funded refuelling complex overhaul (RCOH) – that was scheduled to occur in FY 2024.
“This adjustment is in concert with the Defense Department’s commitment to proactively pursue diversified investments in next generation, advanced, and distributed capabilities, including unmanned and optionally manned systems, and to provide a strong industry demand signal for the same.”
Around 33% of the proposed budget is planned to be spent on operations and maintenance, while 30% will be allocated for procurement.