SNA NEWS: Top Navy Official Calls for Higher Budget Topline

 In GDI, Land, Defense, Sea, Air

SNA NEWS: Top Navy Official Calls for Higher Budget Topline

Artist’s ren­der­ing of the Columbia class sub­ma­rine

Defense Department

The Navy needs more than a third of the Defense Department budget to pursue its ship­build­ing goals, the Chief of Naval Operations said Jan. 14.

“We need more money,” Adm. Michael Gilday said at the Surface Navy Association’s annual meet­ing in Arlington, Virginia. “We need more topline.”

The Pentagon gen­er­al­ly divvies out its annual budget request by appro­pri­at­ing a third to each of its mil­i­tary branch­es, the Air Force, Army and Navy. However, the Navy will need more than that to carry out its dis­trib­uted mar­itime oper­a­tions strat­e­gy and counter China’s increas­ing invest­ment into its own ships, Gilday said.

“This dis­cus­sion has to be going some­where, and a one-third, one-third, one-third cut does not reflect the strat­e­gy,” he said. “It just isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly aligned with where we need to go against the pacing threat that we face.”

Gilday said his high­est pri­or­i­ty is build­ing the Columbia-class bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­ma­rine, part of the nuclear triad. The Ohio class sub­marines it is replac­ing are aging quick­ly and the new sub­marines’ devel­op­ment com­pris­es about 20 to 25 per­cent of the ship­build­ing budget. This number is expect­ed to rise to about 32 per­cent in fiscal years 2026 to 2030, he noted.

“I think his­tor­i­cal­ly I have a case to make,” he said. “It’s what you value, and I’m trying to make a case here and so I don’t think … I’m speak­ing into a wind tunnel here. I talk about the value of the Navy.”

In the 1980’s, the Navy had 38 per­cent of the Defense Department’s budget, he said. Today the ser­vice has 34 per­cent. Even obtain­ing one per­cent more of the topline would equate to about $7 bil­lion towards ship­build­ing, he noted.

“If you believe that we require over­match in the mar­itime [domain], if you believe that in order to exe­cute, dis­trib­ute mar­itime oper­a­tions and to oper­ate for­ward in great num­bers, that we need more iron, then yes, we need more topline,” he said.

However, the ser­vice also needs to ensure that it is sus­tain­ing its cur­rent fleet of ships, he noted. The Navy must use its por­tion of the budget to close capa­bil­i­ty and readi­ness gaps, and also focus on main­te­nance.

“Sustaining the Navy that we have comes at a high price and part of that price is per­haps reduc­tion in growth,” he said. “Not to say that growth stops, but growth per­haps slows a bit.”

Topics: Budget, Shipbuilding, Navy News

Source: NDIA

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