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Esper hails shipbuilding study but budgetary questions remain

22nd September 2020 - 16:54 GMT | by Jason Sherman in New York


US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has called for higher spending on shipbuilding, in order to support what he described as a ‘game-changer’ for fleet design.

In a speech at the RAND Corporation on 16 September, he added that a long-awaited force structure assessment stipulates a need for the USN to expand beyond 355 manned and unmanned vessels

However, Esper added, additional resources would have to be covered in part by existing USN spending plans.

In written remarks prepared for the RAND audience, Esper argued a point ultimately omitted during his actual address: Reagan-era shipbuilding spending levels, equivalent to …

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