It looks like good news for the country’s shipbuilders as the incoming president, the U.S. Navy and lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee are all on the same page when it comes to increasing the nation’s fleet size.
President-elect Donald Trump takes office Friday and has pledged to increase the fleet from 274 ships, while the Navy’s recent force structure assessments call for 355. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in a report Monday outlining his future budget recommendations, wrote that “the Navy must ramp up shipbuilding.”
As analyst firm Drexel Hamilton LLC noted in a report Tuesday, the Navy’s program executive officer for ships, Rear Adm. William Gallinis, said at the Surface Navy Association’s annual Symposium in Crystal City last week, “From a shipbuilding perspective, the capacity is there” to reach these sky-high goals. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Virginia, echoed those sentiments, as did Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, the Navy’s program executive officer of submarines.
This will come most notably to the benefit of Newport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (NYSE: HII) and Falls Church-based General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) — the U.S.’s two principal military shipbuilders.
Among the major programs to watch out for in the months and years to come under Trump will be the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and the Virginia-class attack submarines.
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