Navy Times reports that the GC(X) program is deleted in the budget the Navy submitted yesterday and postpones the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
With its shipbuilding dollars the Navy would buy two Virginia-class submarines; two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers; two littoral combat ships; one America-class big-deck amphibious ship; the first in a new class of Mobile Landing Platform auxiliaries; and one Joint High Speed Vessel. The Navy would also extend the lives of four air-cushioned landing craft; buy one oceanographic ship; and pay for one new variety of “ship-to-shore connector,” a potential replacement for the air-cushioned landing craft.
As for aircraft, in fiscal 2011 the Navy would buy 13 F-35B Lightning II fighters for the Marine Corps; seven F-35C fighters, which fly off Navy carriers; 22 F/A-18E and F Super Hornets; 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack jets; four E-2D Hawkeye advanced airborne warning planes; and seven P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol planes.
Also in the budget are plans to stand up four additional squadrons of EA-18G Growlers for land-based operations. But the “fighter gap” remains unaddressed.