U.S. sea power requires a large and innovative industrial base. The reports to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels for Fiscal Year 2020 and Long-Range Plan for Maintenance and Modernization of Naval Vessels for Fiscal Year 2020 discuss the need to expand the nation’s industrial infrastructure to support a 355-ship goal. However, overlooked is a critical issue for a Navy heading into possible confrontations with rival great power fleets and smaller regional players to whom modern weapons have proliferated, a topic few want to acknowledge or discuss in polite conversation. Good fortune has allowed policy makers to neglect this topic in recent decades, but it cannot continue to be ignored: battle damage and, more specifically, how to repair it.
The Naval Industrial Base Is in Worse Shape Than You Think
By William R. Hawkins