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Monday, January 9, 2017

Our Navy hoping to 'Trump' Russia and China

President-elect Donald Trump is demanding more naval vessels and the Navy is proposing a yoooge shipbuilding boom since the end of the Cold War to meet the growing threats from China and Russia.

The Navy's 355-ship proposal is actually larger than what Trump pushed for on the campaign trail and it will boost shipyards that have been in dire straits due to budget caps.

The Navy's Force Structure Assessment has been revised and is slated to add an additional 47 ships including an aircraft carrier which would be built in Virginia, 16 large surface warships built in Mississippi and Maine, and 18 attack submarines built in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia. The proposal also calls for more amphibious assault ships, expeditionary transfer docks and support vessels.

"Russia and China are going to continue to build up their navies," Matthew Paxton, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America said. "The complexities aren't going to get any easier. The Navy, more than any of the services, is our forward presence. We're going to need this Navy."

One of the concerns over the increase in shipbuilding is the cost, of course. We must find a way to build more ships "in a fiscally responsible way that does not pass the bill along to our children," Sen. Angus King (Me.-I) a member of the Armed Services Committee.

As it stands, the Navy has 274 battle force ships, short of the 308 goal. 

Although the cost may seem prohibitive, investors are optimistic about the Navy's goal. "To the generic military shipbuilder, it's a bull market right now," Ronald Epstein, an analyst at Bank of America's Merrill Lynch division said.

Maybe they can float the Navy a loan.