The U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan is facing stormy seas during the Biden years. With the federal budget trillions of dollars out of balance, it’s hard to see how the Navy can grow to the size needed to counter Chinese military moves in the Western Pacific. However, there are ways to get more bang for the buck out of shipbuilding accounts. A good place to start would be by bundling contracts for building amphibious warships into an integrated multiyear arrangement, rather than buying each vessel separately. That would allow shipbuilders to plan ahead for optimum utilization of skills and facilities. Suppliers could invest in their workforces and capital equipment secure in the knowledge that future demand would be steady and predictable. The end result would be less expensive warships as programs stay on schedule and key subsystems are purchased in economical quantities. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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