The navy has fared well in the first tranche of US defence cuts. They will get to keep 11 aircraft carriers and ten air wings, although seven Ticonderoga class cruisers are to be retired early. A number of shipbuilding projects are to be trimmed or delayed, but not cancelled as once feared. All three F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants are safe.

In summary, procurement of the SSBN(X) Ohio class replacement submarine will be pushed back from 2019 to 2021. An order for one Virginia class SSN will be delayed, while future design changes to hulls to increase missile capacity may not happen until 2019.

Plans for a force of nine ‘big-deck’ amphibious assault ships will be retained, although two older LSD 41 class landing ships will also be decommissioned early. The next assault ship to be ordered, LHA 7, has been postponed from 2016 to 2017. Current orders for two Littoral Combat Ships and eight Joint High Speed Vessels will be reduced accordingly.

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