The Path to 355
In 2017, Congress set the goal of a 355-ship Navy fleet into federal law. Several years later, the Navy is no closer to reaching that goal and is stuck with fewer than 300 vessels.
At the same time, the list of national security tasks the Navy is expected to carry out is expanding. We want the Navy to deter China in the South China Sea, blunt Iran's ambitions in the Arabian Sea, and compete with Russia in the Arctic and the Mediterranean.
America cannot credibly project power without putting at least 355 ships on the water, and many observers say 400 are needed to do the job right.
Building more ships, however, is not as easy as turning on a light switch. In a policy paper written with the help of AUSN members and Navy experts, AUSN has identified the key hurdles America must overcome before building a Navy that's capable of projecting power and securing our interests at sea: