U.S. Navy Shipbuilding


Navy shipbuilding is a market segment most dominated by two large corporations: General Dynamics (GD) and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). When the builders of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) are added to the five shipyards of these two corporations, we have seven shipyards building the large majority of the Fleet. These principal Navy shipbuilders construct aircraft carriers, submarines, complex surface combatants and the large auxiliary ships of the Fleet. HII's Newport News Shipbuilding and GD's Electric Boat build our nuclear class vessels. HII's Ingalls Shipyard and GD's Bath Iron Works build the destroyer class ships, and HII's Ingalls builds the amphibious warships that transport the U.S. Marine Corps.  Fincantieri Marinette and Austal USA build the LCS. Finally, GD's National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) on the west coast, specializes in the larger, complex auxiliary and support ships as well as large commercial vessel construction. 


The government segment of the U.S. shipyard complex also includes four government-owned and government-operated shipyards: Portsmouth, Pearl Harbor, Puget Sound and Norfolk Naval Shipyards, all of which are nuclear capable. These yards are used only for repair, maintenance and modernization of naval vessels. 

Mid-tier shipyards build various Coast Guard vessels, a variety of auxiliary ships for the U.S. Navy, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research ships and U.S. Army inter-theater transport vessels. These mid-tier shipyards are also engaged in building a wide variety of commercial vessels. 

u.s. navy budget 

U.S. Navy new ship construction is funded within the Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN) appropriation. SCN funds are used for investments to finance the construction of new ships and conversion of existing ships, including service life extensions and nuclear refueling and complex overhauls (RCOH). Included in the SCN appropriation are hull, mechanical and electrical equipment (HME), electronics, guns, torpedo and missile launching systems and communications systems. SCN also includes plant equipment, ship outfitting and post delivery projects, machines and tools. This appropriation is a multi-year appropriation and normally remains available for obligation for five fiscal years or the obligation work limiting date (OWLD) of the ship under construction. The OWLD is established as 11 months following completion of fitting out the ship, and the OWLD date of the last hull in a class of ships governs when the appropriation is scheduled to expire.  Amphibious ships that transport the U.S. Marine Corps are funded within the U.S. Navy's SCN appropriation.

The Program Executive Offices (PEOs) budget for and fund ship new construction programs and carrier refueling overhauls (RCOH) from SCN and Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriations. Based on the estimates of the program managers, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEASYSCOM) prepares annual budget requests which are submitted for review.  The budget process calls for sequential submissions up the chain starting with the Navy Budget in the summer, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Budget normally submitted in the fall, the President's Budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in December and culminates in the President's budget submission to Congress in February of each year. 

u.s. navy ship inventory

The U.S. Navy's Total Ship Battle Force, the official count of the number of vessels in the Navy's active fleet, stands at 276 ships. This number includes the amphibious ships that transport the U.S. Marine Corps. The total number of battle force ships in the Navy reached a late-Cold War peak of 568 at the end of FY1987 and began declining thereafter. The Navy fell below 300 battle force ships in August 2003.

For a daily update of the number of ships in the Navy's Battle Force inventory, please visit the Status of the Navy webpage. 

The names of commissioned ships of the U.S. Navy are prefixed with the letters "USS," designating "United States Ship." Non-commissioned, civilian-manned vessels of the Navy have names that begin with "USNS," standing for "United States Naval Ship." Additionally, each ship is given a letter-based hull classification symbol (for example, CVN or DDG) to indicate the vessel's type and number. A "T" in front of a ship type represents a U.S. Naval Service Ship operated by the Military Sealift Command. All ships in the Navy inventory are placed in the Naval Vessel Register. The Register tracks data such as the current status of a ship, the date of its commissioning and the date of its decommissioning.

For a list of vessels in the current U.S. Navy fleet, please visit the Naval Vessel Register webpage.  

additional USEFUL u.s. navy links