Navy Shipbuilding, Uniforms Under Scrutiny in Defense Budget | DoD Buzz
The final version of next year’s defense budget bill allocates extra money to the Navy for procurement of a new warship, but it also demands the service produce reports on a controversial ship acquisition program and several much-discussed changes to the female dress uniform.
Overall, the service would get a modest end strength bump from 322,900 to 323,900 under the plan and see a relatively small increase in shipbuilding funds from what was recommended in the president’s fiscal 2017 budget request.
The National Defense Authorization Act increases the number by nearly $526.7 million to roughly $18.88 billion, with most of that increase going to a $440 million down payment on another landing platform dock (LPD 29) amphibious ship, or an L(X)R, the planned amphibious ship replacement.
That money will allow procurement of the LPD 29 or L(X)R to begin in 2017, instead of 2018 as had been planned.
Tucked inside the NDAA, however, are several stern accountability measures. The bill requires the secretary of defense to submit a report on the littoral combat ship‘s mission package for every fiscal year from 2017 to 2022, including plans for development, projected unit costs, and projected development costs, as well as problems encountered during the year and test milestones accomplished.
The embattled LCS was the subject of a fiery Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week, as lawmakers expressed outrage that the ship, which has more than doubled in unit cost from $220 million to $478 million, is falling short of planned capability goals and may not be survivable in combat.
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