Chief expects no change in shipbuilding plan

As the Navy reviews its 30-year shipbuilding plan, Chief of Naval Operations Gary Roughead Friday said he does not expect the Navy to cut the number of ships planned for the fleet.

"For me, I have not seen anything that indicates that 313 ships is still not going to be the floor," Roughead said in an interview at the Pentagon. "Our fleet is very, very busy today and I don't see that diminishing."

The Navy is required to send a shipbuilding plan to Capitol Hill with its budget submission each year but decided to hold off this year until after the Pentagon completes its Quadrennial Defense Review of military capabilities and needs, which is expected in early 2010.

"The QDR is going to ask some very fundamental questions," Roughead said. "To submit a shipbuilding plan now that tries to look out prior to a QDR that we're going to be working on over the next couple of months to me would be putting a plan on the Hill that really doesn't have the ... intellectual foundation that I think we need to be able to give Congress something that means something."

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