Congressional Material


BUDGETING FOR NAVAL FORCES: STRUCTURING TOMORROW'S NAVY AT TODAY'S FUNDING LEVEL
 
 
October 2000
 
 
NOTES

Unless otherwise indicated, all dollar amounts in this study are in 2000 dollars.

Numbers in the text and tables may not add up to totals because of rounding.

 
 
Preface

How much money does the Department of the Navy need to sustain its current force of about 300 ships and 3,500 aircraft? Many analysts argue that the service will need a larger budget in the future if it is to maintain a high state of readiness, modernize its ships and aircraft, and improve the quality of life for its sailors, pilots, and marines. If the Navy cannot sustain its fleet under current budget levels, what are some possible alternatives to its current force structure and modernization plans?

This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study--prepared for the Subcommittee on Sea Power of the Senate Committee on Armed Services--examines the Navy's missions, its modernization plans, and the budgetary implications of supporting the service's current and planned fleets through 2020. It also looks at four alternative force structures that the Navy might be able to sustain at roughly its current funding level of $90 billion (adjusted for inflation). In keeping with CBO's mandate to provide objective analysis, this study makes no recommendations.

Eric J. Labs of CBO's National Security Division wrote the study under the general supervision of Christopher Jehn and R. William Thomas. Raymond Hall of the Budget Analysis Division prepared the cost analysis under the general supervision of Mick Miller. Sally Sagraves thoroughly reviewed the manuscript before publication. The author would also like to thank Lane Pierrot, Jo Ann Vines, Dawn Regan, and Kent Christensen of CBO, Ivan Eland of the Cato Institute, and numerous employees of the Department of the Navy for their help. Robert Shackleton, Arlene Holen, and Barry Anderson of CBO and the late James L. George provided thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of this study. (The assistance of external participants implies no responsibility for the final product, which rests solely with the author and CBO.)

Leah Mazade and Christian Spoor edited the study, and Christine Bogusz proofread it. Judith Cromwell produced drafts of the manuscript, Kathryn Quattrone prepared the study for publication, and Annette Kalicki prepared the electronic versions for CBO's Web site.
 

Dan L. Crippen
Director
October 2000
 
 


Contents
 

SUMMARY

ONE - THE U.S. NAVY IN THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD

TWO - CAN THE NAVY MAINTAIN A 300-SHIP FLEET AT CURRENT BUDGET LEVELS?

THREE - ALTERNATIVE STRUCTURES OF FUTURE NAVAL FORCES

TABLES
 
S-1.  Distribution of Navy Ships, 1990 and 2000
S-2.  The Navy's Planned Purchases of New Ships and Aircraft Through 2020
S-3.  Force Structure Under the Navy's Current Plan and Four Alternatives
1.  Distribution of Navy Ships, 1990 and 2000
2.  Drawdown of Navy Ships Between 1990 and 2003
3.  Capabilities of Navy Attack Submarines
4.  The Navy's Planned Purchases of New Ships and Aircraft Through 2020
5.  Estimated Annual Budget Needed to Sustain the Planned Navy Through Fiscal Year 2020 Compared with Annual Funding Under the 2001 FYDP
6.  Average Age of Navy Ships, 2000 and 2020
7.  Force Structure Under Alternative I Compared with the Navy's Current Plan
8.  Force Structure Under Alternative II Compared with the Navy's Current Plan
9.  Force Structure Under Alternative III Compared with the Navy's Current Plan
10.  Force Structure Under Alternative IV Compared with the Navy's Current Plan
11.  Distribution of Ships Under the Navy's Current Plan and Four Alternatives
 
FIGURES
 
1.  The Navy's Surface Combatant Force, 2000 and 2020
2.  Naval Force Levels of the United States and Selected Countries, 1999
 
BOXES
 
1.  The Role of the U.S. Coast Guard
2.  Are Surface Ships Becoming More Vulnerable?


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