Spencer: Navy undertaking study of fleet composition

By Lee Hudson / October 30, 2017 at 10:18 AM

The Navy is conducting a "deep-dive" to consider the ideal make-up of a potential 355-ship fleet, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told Hugh Hewitt during an interview that aired Saturday.

"I actually don’t know the make-up immediately, because technology is going to be our friend here," Spencer said of the composition of a future, larger fleet, according to a transcript. "I can't tell you in ten years what exactly it would look like. I will tell you that we'll probably get great yield out of the unmanned area, and we’re just scratching the surface there as an example."

Rear Adm. William Galinis, program executive officer for ships, said last week the service owes industry a "demand signal" in future budgets to demonstrate its commitment to growing the fleet.

"I think you're going to start to see an increased ship count in '19," he said.

Galinis said the Navy can keep the ship count high by extending the service life of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers, Ticonderoga-class cruisers and small- and large-deck amphibious assault ships.