Feb 4, 2013 By Christopher P. Cavas
The Navy has revised its overall fleet size requirement from 313 to 306 ships — a modest downscaling that reflects modified operational requirements and is not the result of the ongoing budget crisis.
Other key changes in the requirements from 2010, when the Navy last spelled out its fleet, are:
• A reduction of large surface combatants — cruisers and destroyers — from 94 to 88 ships, directly related to plans to move four ballistic-missile defense destroyers from the East Coast to form a forward-deployed naval force based at Rota, Spain. The Navy previously noted 10 ships were needed to meet the rotational requirement in the Mediterranean region.
• Elimination of the four-ship guided-missile submarine requirement, known as SSGNs. The Navy said in its report that should the need continue, the ships could be replaced by Virginia-class submarines “with an enhanced strike capability.”