Under the Budget Control Act, funding for naval ship construction has increased significantly above historical averages. In December 2016, the Navy released a new force structure assessment that called for building a 355-ship fleet. CBO estimates that construction costs for the Navy’s 2019 shipbuilding plan would average $28.9 billion (in 2018 dollars) per year over the next 30 years, which is 80 percent more than what the Navy has spent, on average, over the past 30 years. With service life extensions of existing ships, that plan would achieve a fleet of 355 ships by the 2030s.
Presentation by Eric Labs, a senior analyst for naval forces and weapons in CBO’s National Security Division, at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Defense Outlook Forum.