Trump wants a much bigger navy: Here's how much it'll cost

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President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to maintain a naval fleet of 350 ships as part of an historic buildup of the U.S. military, but his ambitions come with a stiff price tag.

"Our Navy is the smallest it's been since World War I," he said during a campaign stop last October in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. "My plan will build the 350 ship Navy we need. This will be the largest effort at rebuilding our military since Ronald Reagan, and it will require a truly national effort."

Related: The US Navy through history

37 PHOTOS
The US Navy through history
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The US Navy through history

In the decades after the Civil War, America began a new era of foreign intervention with the Navy leading the way. This 1899 photo shows sailors eating on the USS Olympia, which was the US's flagship during the Spanish-American War of the previous year.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

The USS Holland, seen in this photo from 1900, was the Navy's first commissioned submarine.

(Photo via US Navy)

President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a fleet of US ships to circumnavigate the globe from 1907-1909.

(Photo via US Navy)

The Great White Fleet sent an unmistakable message about American naval power.

(Photo via US Navy)

As the first World War raged in Europe, America rushed to build more and better ships, as seen in this 1917 photo ...

(Photo via Library of Congress)

... and grew the ranks of sailors, as seen in this 1917 picture of graduation exercises at the Naval Academy.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

The last of the US Navy's rigid airships, the USS Macon performed scouting missions from 1933 to 1935.

(Photo via US Naval Historical Center)

Since 1935, American ports have hosted "Fleet Week," a celebration of the sea services including sailors, Marines, and coast guardsmen. Here, sailors arrive in Manhattan in 1941.

(Photo via US Navy)

Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 spurred America's entry into World War II. This photo shows a memorial service for sailors killed in the attack.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

Sailors at Pearl Harbor worked to salvage their ships and restore the base. This picture shows the recovery of a Japanese midget submarine abandoned during the Pearl Harbor attack.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

Meanwhile, on the mainland, recruits signed up for the Navy and other armed services by the millions.

(Photo via WW2 Museum)

Women also served the Navy through the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program.

(Photo via US Navy)

The US Navy led the war against the Japanese in the Pacific. This 1942 photo shows the torpedoed Japanese destroyer Yamakaze photographed through the periscope of USS Nautilus.

(Photo via US Navy)

One of the most famous incidents in Navy history occurred at 2:30 am on August 2, 1943, when 25-year-old John F. Kennedy's patrol torpedo boat was hit by a Japanese destroyer. Two of Kennedy's men were killed in the crash.

(Photo via John F Kennedy Presidential Library)

The Navy also fought the Nazis, as seen in this 1944 photo showing the capture of a German U-Boat.

(Photo via US Navy)

On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allies, effectively ending World War II. The highly anticipated "Victory over Japan Day," gave way to some uninhibited celebrations — like this classic sailor's kiss in Times Square.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

Only five years after WWII, America was fighting another war, this time in Korea. This 1950 photo shows the USS Missouri bombarding Korea's communist-held Northern coastline in order to cut enemy communications.

(Photo via US Navy)

The Navy has planes too, about 3,700. This 1950 photo shows Boeing B-29 Superfortresses dropping 500 pound bombs on a chemical plant during the Korean War.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

The US Navy's Douglas Skyraider was known for being able to take hits and keep flying. Here's a Skyraider deploying bombs in 1952 over Korea.

(Photo via US Navy)

Beginning in 1964 and lasting for most of the next decade, the Vietnam War was the next major US conflict. This Navy jet fighter shoots Zuni rockets while flying over South Vietnam.

(Photo via US Navy)

A crewman sits behind a machine gun while on patrol on the Go Cong River. Fighting in dense jungle against well-supplied Viet Cong left American troops frustrated with combat conditions. It was after this war that "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" was officially identified.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

The Navy played a major role during the Cuban Missile Crisis, enforcing a blockade to prevent Soviet weapons deliveries to Cuba. This 1962 photo shows a Navy seaplane and destroyer ship shadowing a Soviet submarine.

(Photo via Library of Congress)

Two F/A-18C Hornet aircraft of Strike Fighter Squadron 74 above aircraft carrier USS Saratoga during Operation Desert Shield.

(Photo via US Navy)

Operation Desert Storm, the US-led mission to liberate Kuwait from Iraq, deployed 14 destroyers and 2 battleships. In 1991, the battleship USS Missouri fires at Iraqi targets stationed along the Kuwaiti coast.

(Photo via Wikipedia)

Here is one Navy pilot's stats marked on the side of his attack aircraft while deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm. They show combat missions flown, missiles launched, and bombs dropped.

(Photo via US Navy)

In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the US entered into a "War On Terror" to eliminate al Qaeda. The Navy's amphibious assault ship, deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, is shown dropping off a 5-ton truck.

(Photo via US Navy)

A Navy sailor working in an expeditionary command tests his night-vision goggles before setting off on another night patrol through Iraq’s waterways in 2007.

(Photo via US Navy)

A Navy Seahawk helicopter returns to the USNS Mercy hospital ship after completing a humanitarian mission in the Pacific in 2008.

(Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Varcarcel/U.S. Navy)

This F/A-18C Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter jet and has a top speed of 1,190 miles per hour — and comes in at a cost of $39 million per plane. A typical Navy air wing has about 14 of these on hand.

(Photo by Chief Petty Officer Eric Powell/U.S. Navy)

The US Navy provides air, land, and sea support to the military. These divers search the sea floor during a salvage recovery exercise in 2010.

(Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Lussier/U.S. Navy)

Navy SEALs leap from the ramp of an Air Force transport aircraft during parachute training over a Marine Corps base in Hawaii. Exercises like this show collaboration between military branches.

(Photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder/U.S. Marine Corps)

The US Navy submarine force consists of four vessel classes, all of which are nuclear-powered. In this 2004 photo, the crew of the USS Portsmouth enjoy the waters of the Pacific Ocean while deployed.

(Photo via US Navy)

The USS Enterprise, or "Big E," is the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and has more steel construction than the Empire State Building. Though decommissioned in 2012, the Enterprise was once the Navy's largest vessel — with a 1960 price tag of $451 million.

(Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brooks B. Patton/U.S. Navy)

The US Naval Academy Class of 2015 celebrates their graduation and commissioning ceremony. Many new officers will head to one of the 11 carrier strike groups the US has posted around the globe.

(US Navy Photo)

The amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay launches a rolling airframe missile for a live-fire exercise during Valiant Shield 2016.

(US Navy Photo)

An AV-8B Harrier, from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp on August 29, 2016.

(US Navy Photo)

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More from The Fiscal Times: The Pentagon Must Now Reveal the True Cost of War to All Americans

The Navy on average has spent $15.9 billion annually on ship building over the past three decades, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In order to meet the Republican president-elect's goal, the navy shipbuilding account would have to be boosted to $25 billion a year, 60 percent higher than the historical average.

That will mean having to find a way to lift the budget cap on defense spending by about $9 billion a year.

Trump is far from alone in his ambitions for expanding the U.S. fleet to counter Russia, China, Iran and other global adversaries. Last month, the Navy released a new force structure assessment – a blueprint for the future -- which calls for building a fleet of 355 ships. That is in sharp contrast to a previous long-term goal of 308 ships.

Related: Trump Doubles Down on the Threat of a Nuclear Arms Race

As of last November, the U.S. fleet numbered 272 battle force ships, according to CBO. That included aircraft carriers, submarines, surface combatants, amphibious ships, combat logistics ships and some support ships. The proposed buildup would include an additional aircraft carrier, more large warships and more attack submarines.

Related: Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, US Navy, US Air Force

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Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, US Navy, US Air Force
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Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, US Navy, US Air Force

America's Thunderbirds. Click through the gallery to see more!

Photo: U.S. Air Force Sr. Airman Deandre Curtiss

The Thunderbirds Delta Formation flies over Daytona International Speedway during a practice flight for the Daytona 500.

Photo: U.S. Air Force

The Blue Angels demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

Photo: U.S. Navy

Two US Air Force Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcons execute a precision acrobat technique for a crowd at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Photo: U.S. Air Force

The Blue Angels demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

Photo: U.S. Navy

The Thunderbirds perform the Five-Card Loop during Thunder Over Solano open house at Travis Air Force Base, California.

Photo: U.S. Air Force 

The Blue Angels fly in formation above Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans.

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John P. Curtis/Released

The Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team flies in formation during an open house and air show at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Photo: U.S. Air Force

The Blue Angels perform the Diamond Low Break Cross maneuver at the Randolph Air Force Base Air Show during San Antonio Navy Week.

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jen Blake/Released

The Thunderbirds perform a maneuver for the audience attending the Team Andersen Air Show '09 "Air Power over the Marianas" on Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

Photo: US Air Force

The Blue Angels, demonstrate choreographed flight skills during the annual Joint Service Open House.

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Todd Frantom/Released

Four US Air Force Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcons zoom by the visitors of the Lightning in the Desert Air Show March 16, 2014.

Photo: U.S. Air Force

The Blue Angels lead the diamond in the Echelon Parade during a performance at the Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show.

Photo: U.S. Navy

F-16 Fighting Falcons with the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds perform a 5-ship formation after refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing over Glacier National Park, Montana.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño/Released

The Blue Angels, perform a flyover during a graduation and commissioning ceremony for the Naval Academy Class of 2015.

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Anthony Koch/Released

The Thunderbirds fly the Delta formation May 28, 2014, over Falcon Stadium during the US Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr./Released

Cmdr. Dave Koss, flight leader of the US Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, calls for smoke before take off at the Sun ‘N Fun Air Show as part of the 2011 show season.

Photo: Flickr/U.S. Navy

The US Air Force Thunderbirds precision-flying demonstration team flies in formation April 13, 2014, during the Thunder and Lightning over Arizona event at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released

The US Air Force Thunderbirds precision-flying demonstration team flies in formation April 13, 2014, during the Thunder and Lightning over Arizona event at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey/Released

F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft with the Thunderbirds, the US Air Force aerial demonstration team, perform during the 2011 Legacy of Liberty Air Show on Oct. 8, 2011, at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss

The Blue Angels perform a Diamond 360 at the Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show.

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jen Blake/Released

The Thunderbirds Delta formation flies by One World Trade Center during a photo chase mission in New York City May 22, 2015.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard/Released

Pilots assigned to the US Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, join their F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter over the Gulf of Mexico into the diamond formation while approaching Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Photo: Flickr/U.S. Navy

Maj. Jason Curtis, Thunderbird 5, and Capt. Nicholas Eberling, Thunderbird 6, fly back from Minden, Nev., Aug. 25, 2015.

Photo: US Air Force/Senior Airman Jason Couillard

The Blue Angels, perform a breakaway maneuver at the Fargo AirSho during Fargo Navy Week, one of 21 Navy weeks across America in 2011.

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Susan Hammond/Released

The Thunderbirds perform the 'Delta Opener' during the Wings and Waves Air Show Oct. 12, 2014, at Daytona Beach, Fla.

Photo: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/Released

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In outlining his views on the need for a defense buildup, Trump has stressed the economic benefits his policies will have in the private sector.

"I will instruct my Secretary of the Navy to study locations like Philadelphia with a long history of service to our military and proximity to vibrant private industry and find ways to involve them in this national effort," Trump declared in his campaign speech last fall.

Related: Trump's Nuke Talk Could Break the Budget or Much, Much Worse

"As our fleet is rebuilt, we'll need to invest in recruiting the skilled American craftsmen we need, like welders and pipe fitters and so much more," he added. "We will establish centers of excellence in places like Philadelphia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Hampton Roads in Virginia to produce the master craftsmen we need to rebuild our Fleet."

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