The new U.S. DoD acquisition plan includes nine new Virginia-class submarines, 10 new Aegis destroyers, 40 new littoral combat ships, 13 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and 16 more F/A-18E/F Super Hornets than originally planned.
The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told this to a crowd of 150 sailors gathered at Naval Base San Diego, USA, February 3.
After touring Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) and guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), and meeting with Navy senior leadership, Carter addressed a crowd of more than 150 Sailors to present the proposed 2017 defense budget.
Carter said the budget will increase aircraft, ship, munitions, as well as additional funding for advances in cyber, space, and electronic warfare over the next five years.
He also announced a new weapons capability.
Carter said: “We’re modifying the SM-6 (standard missile) so that in addition to missile defense, it can also target enemy ships at sea. It makes the SM-6 basically a twofer. You can shoot down airborne threats, and now you can attack and destroy a ship at long range with the very same missile.”
Carter spoke about current terror threats around the globe, as well as strategic naval challenges and how the Navy and Marine Corps will receive the needed power to continue their efforts.
Carter added: “Our fleet will be larger. It will be much more effective, potent, and lethal than it is today, because it will be equipped with weapons and the advanced capabilities that we’ll need to deter any aggressor and to make any aggressor who isn’t deterred very much regret the decision to take us on.”
Carter stressed the significance of balancing investments referring to the cut in the number of LCS ships which came down from 52 to 40. This downsizing will free up $8 billion and thereby make the new acquisition strategy more feasible.