affordability of the Navy’s shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional
defense committees for the past several years.
In February 2006, the Navy presented to Congress a goal of achieving and maintaining a fleet of
313 ships, consisting of certain types and quantities of ships. In September 2011, the Navy began
briefing congressional offices on a revised 313-ship plan that altered planned numbers for certain
ship categories while staying within the overall total of 313 ships. On January 31, 2012, the Navy
announced that it had begun a force structure assessment, to be completed in several months, that
could lead to a new force structure goal for the Navy.
On January 26, 2012, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced certain program decisions
that are to be incorporated into DOD’s proposed FY2013 budget. The proposed changes include
the early retirement of nine Navy ships and the deferrals of certain ships in the Navy’s
shipbuilding plan. DOD also announced that it plans to maintain the current force of 11 aircraft
carriers and 10 carrier air wings.