Defense

The Navy Wants Planes, Not Just Ships, In Next Year’s Budget

The Navy is asking Congress for $5.3 billion worth of planes, ships, missiles and small projects in addition to the $172 billion budget proposed by the White House May 23.

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 Navy budget calls for fewer new ships and aircraft than the current budget. The budget requests a total of eight new ships (including submarines and one new Ford-class aircraft carrier) and 91 new aircraft. The current 2017 budget includes funding for nine new ships and 124 new aircraft.

The Navy’s unfunded priorities list, sent to congressional leaders Tuesday, is what the Navy would like if budget control act caps were lifted and more funding became available for 2018.

The wish list for 2018 obtained by Defense One asks not for money to build ships, but for more aircraft and weapons. The Navy would like 10 F/A-18 Super Hornets, six sub-hunting P-8 Poseidon planes, four additional F-35s, and four Osprey tilt-rotor planes.

Trump promised to bring the Navy’s fleet to 350 ships during his presidential campaign, but initially, the Pentagon is focusing more on readiness and restocking weapons than building capacity. Trump’s 2018 budget cuts shipbuilding funds from 2016 levels, but added $9.7 billion for operations and maintenance. (RELATED: Why Trump’s Budget Only Called For One New Ship, Despite Campaign Promises)

The Navy’s wish list also requests funding for the development of weapon systems like the over-the-horizon missiles, military construction projects and modernization projects.

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