Discretionary Spending

Function 050 - National Defense

Stop Building Ford Class Aircraft Carriers

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

Billions of Dollars 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2021–
Change in Planned Defense Spending  
  Budget authority 0 0 0 0 0 -0.7 -1.5 -1.6 -2.4 -3.3 0 -9.5
  Outlays 0 0 0 0 0 * -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 -1.4 0 -3.1

This option would take effect in October 2021.
Estimates of savings displayed in the table are based on the Department of Defense’s 2021 Future Years Defense Program and the Congressional Budget Office’s extension of that plan.
* = between −$50 million and zero.

The Navy’s current 30-year shipbuilding plan includes the construction of new aircraft carriers.

Under this option, the Navy would stop building new aircraft carriers after completion of the fourth of its modern Ford class carriers, which lawmakers authorized in 2019 and which is expected to be completed in 2032. Plans to start building the fifth Ford class carrier in 2028 would be canceled, as would the Navy’s plans to purchase additional carriers in subsequent years.