PORTLAND, Maine — The Navy is proposing construction cutbacks of destroyers and accelerated retirements of cruisers that would delay, or sink, the Navy’s goal of larger fleet.

The Defense Department proposal that was forwarded to the White House would shrink the size of the fleet from today’s level of 293 ships to 287 ships at a time when the stated goal for the Navy is 355 ships. 

The proposed cost cutting comes as the Navy works to modernize its ballistic missile submarine fleet, replacing the current Ohio-class subs with new Columbia-class nuclear subs. 

That program is putting pressure on the shipbuilding budget.

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USS Ross
190604-N-TI693-0126 NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain (June 4, 2019) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) pulls out of Naval Station Rota, Spain, June 4, 2019. Ross, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on its sixth patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of regional allies and partners as well as U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Fred Gray IV/Released)
U.S. Navy