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Navy secretary nominee Carlos Del Toro says he’s on board with maintaining the Navy’s 355-ship fleet goal. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that goal requires more money from Congress over the next several years.

  • Chris Dougherty, former strategic advisor in the Defense Department and now senior fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security, said the defense community must attain consensus on the details and timeline of the pacing challenge of China in order to agree on what kind of fleet to build.
  • Dougherty said the Navy has sought a larger, more capable fleet over the last 20-30 years but has never gotten there, with a fleet under 300 ships and a number of cancelled modernization efforts.
  • The need for adding more money to the Navy’s budget is likely inevitable, although that alone will not solve the problem, said Dougherty.
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