Navy Requests $205.9 Billion Fiscal 2020 Budget
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Senior Editor
The Department of the Navy (DoN) is requesting $205.6 billion for fiscal 2020 — $159.7 billion for the Navy and $45.9 billion for the Marine Corps. The 2020 request represents a significant increase over the fiscal 2019 budget of $196.1 billion.
The Navy’s base 2020 request is 29 percent of the overall Defense Department base request of $545 billion. The total DoD request of $718 billion includes the $545 billion plus Overseas Contingency Operations funding of $164 billion and $9 billion for emergency funding for activities such as hurricane relief. The DoN’s OCO funding of $44.7 is included in the DoN’s budget total.
The DoN’s $205.6 billion request includes $52 billion for military personnel; $68.5 billion for operations and maintenance; $61 billion for procurement; $20 billion for research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E); $3.1 billion for military construction; and $366 million for family housing.
“This [budget] fields a formidable force in all domains of operations,” said Rear Adm. Randy B. Crites, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget, briefing reporters March 12 at the Pentagon.
The end-strength of active-component Navy personnel is planned to rise to 340,500, an increase of 5,100 over 2019. Reserve personnel are planned to decrease slightly by 100 to 59,000. DoN civilian manpower is slated to grow, from 214,284 to 217,476.
During 2020, 10 ships are planned for delivery: four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers (DDGs); three Virginia-class attack submarines (SSNs); two littoral combat ships (LCSs); and one Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (T-EPF). Also during the year, the Navy plans to retire two Los Angeles-class SSNs and three Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships. The battle force strength will grow by five ships to 301 in 2020.
The Navy has budgeted $23.8 billion for shipbuilding and conversion, the largest amount requested in 20 years, although, because in 2019 Congress added three ships in the 2019 budget, the 2019 total was larger at $24.2 billion. The 2020 budget requests funds for 12 ships: the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future USS Enterprise; three Virginia-class SSNs, two of which will be equipped with the Virginia Payload Module; three Flight III Arleigh Burke-class DDGs; one FFG(X) frigate, the lead ship of its class; two John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers (T-AO); and two towing, salvage and rescue ships.
For the Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine, the Navy has requested $533 million in RDT&E funds. Construction of the first Columbia-class hull is planned for 2021.
The Navy expects to save $254 million ($2.5 billion over five years) from divestment of the planned service-life extension of Ticonderoga-class cruisers.
Also requested in the shipbuilding account are the construction of four LCU 1700 utility landing craft and the refueling and comprehensive overhaul of one Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The Navy is gapping for a year the procurement of the LCAC 100 class of ship-to-shore connectors as that program is restructured.
The Navy is requesting the cancellation of the future RCOH — scheduled to begin in 2024 — for the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman with plans to retire the ship early and use the funds towards other programs. the procurement of Ford-class carriers. The Navy’s official budget document said the adjustment is made to balance the fleet’s high-end platforms with “a greater number of complementary, more affordable, potentially attritable options.”
The Navy plans to fund two large unmanned surface vessels (LUSVs) with $373 million in RDT&E funds and begin experimenting with them to develop such vessels with an offensive missile capability. Transition to procurement is expected to begin in 2021.
The Navy requests $18.6 billion in 2020 for 148 aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps. The fixed-wing aircraft include 10 F-35B and 10 F-35C Lightning II strike fighters for the Marine Corps and 10 F-35Cs for the Navy; 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters; four E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning aircraft; six P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft; three KC-130J Super Hercules for the Marine
Corps; and 22 ex-Swiss Air Force F-5 adversary aircraft, 11 each for the Navy and Marine Corps to recapitalize the older F-5 inventory.
Rotary-wing and tiltrotor aircraft requested in the budget include six CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters and six VH-92A presidential transport helicopters for the Marine Corps; 38 helicopters of a design yet to be selected to replace TH-57 training helicopters; and 10 CMV-22B Osprey carrier-onboard-delivery aircraft for the Navy. Deliveries of more MV-22B Ospreys for the Marine Corps is gapped for 2020.
Large unmanned aircraft requested include two MQ-4C Tritons for the Navy and three MQ-9 Reaper medium-range UAVs, the first of this type for the Marine Corps.