US Navy wants larger, better fleet, says cost not determined

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) The U.S. Navy's senior officer wants a larger and better fleet sooner to compete with other countries, but says the cost is yet to be determined.

Adm. John Richardson released a paper Wednesday that conforms with President Donald Trump's call for a 350-ship Navy and the service's estimate that it needs 355 ships.

But Richardson says growing the fleet is insufficient; a different fleet that can fight in new ways is what is really needed.

He wants ships and aircraft to be built faster, with innovative technology.

He says the pace competitors are developing their navies, including China and Russia, demand it.

Richardson declined to provide a cost estimate. He says the plan isn't finalized.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of building and operating 355 ships would average $102 billion annually.