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Defense Secretary Ash Carter has asked the Navy to buy fewer ships to invest more heavily in electronic warfare and combat aircraft, according to reports.

In a memo to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Carter wrote that the Navy is on its way to reach its target fleet size of 308 ships, a number that should be met "but not irresponsibly exceeded," Bloomberg reported.

"For the last several years, the Department of the Navy has overemphasized resources used to incrementally increase total ship numbers at the expense of critically needed investments in areas where our adversaries are not standing still, such as strike, ship survivability, electronic warfare and other capabilities," Carter wrote in the memo.

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