The cost of shipping a combat ship is rising fast, and the Pentagon has been quietly weighing the options.
The Army is building two new ships, the Abrams Tank Destroyer and the Apache attack helicopter.
And the Navy has been working on a new ship, the USS Gerald R. Ford, a destroyer that will be the Navy’s second-largest ship.
The cost of buying and maintaining the ships is projected to increase from $4.5 billion in 2020 to $8.5 or more in 2030, according to the Navy.
The Army’s proposed budget, which it has yet to release, would cost $12.4 billion, or more than $10,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.s. military.
In all, the Army’s budget for the next decade is projected at $9.8 billion, the Navy is expected to spend $6.4 trillion, the Air Force is expected $4 trillion and the Marine Corps is expected at $4 billion.
But the Army is planning to buy new ships and is in talks with shipyards to secure them, officials told USA TODAY.
A new ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries, a division of the General Dynamics Corp., could cost $2.7 billion.
The ship could carry nearly 3,000 sailors and Marines, said Capt. David W. Brown, director of the Huntington Ingals Shipbuilding Corp. ship program office.
The Navy has an ambitious goal of replacing the aging Navy’s three carrier strike groups, which carry out air, missile and maritime operations.
A new strike group could replace the current ships and replace them with two more.
That would add more than 400 ships to the U,S.
Navy’s fleet, Brown said.
The Pentagon has said that it wants to replace all of its carrier strike group, which includes the USS George Washington, the U-2, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the USS John C. Stennis, as well as the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford.
But it’s unclear how quickly that will happen.
Some defense contractors say the military will likely be better off buying ships from smaller shipyards and not building a new carrier, because the costs are much lower and it would take longer to repair and overhaul them.
The government would pay about $7.5 million per ship, with the Navy paying about $10.6 million.
Navy officials have not disclosed the cost of each ship, but they say the cost per ship is around $20 million.
“There are going to be fewer of those ships and they’re going to have to be smaller,” said Mike Brown, senior vice president of government relations at Huntington Ingles, which has a plant in the Bay Area.
“It’s not like the cost is going to go up.”