Navy League recommends boosting shipbuilding budget with focus on Columbia, LAW programs

By Nick Wilson / January 24, 2023 at 1:19 PM

The Navy League of the United States is encouraging increased investment in shipbuilding, marking the procurement of Columbia-class submarines and Light Amphibious Warships top priorities for the Navy and Marine Corps.

The maritime security-focused non-profit held an event on Tuesday discussing its annual Maritime Policy Statement for 2023-2024, which provides recommendations to the Navy and Marine Corps as well as the U.S. Merchant Marine and Coast Guard.

Speaking at the event, retired Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris outlined the report’s top recommendations for the Navy as fielding the next generation of ballistic missile submarines to replace the ageing Ohio class, followed by maintaining fleet readiness and lethality and increasing the Navy’s budget to fund an “aggressive shipbuilding plan.”

For the Marine Corps, the document recommends prioritizing the fielding of Light Amphibious Warships (LAWs), long-range precision fires including Tomahawk and Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missiles (GBASM), and developing resilient command, control, communications and computers (C4) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

The report supports the Navy’s force readiness goals and Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 initiative, and acknowledges the growing threat posed by China and challenges including climate change, labor shortages and delivery and maintenance delays.

Panelists at the event also discussed the importance of providing a “stable budget” to communicate enduring demand for ships and weaponry to industry.