Navy Confronts Anticipated Submarine Shortfall

Navy Confronts Anticipated Submarine Shortfall

Congressional lawmakers and Navy leaders said Thursday that combatant commander’s global demand for submarines far exceeds what is available or possible.

Existing or legacy submarines such as the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarines are retiring at a far faster rate than new submarines can be added. The Navy anticipates a sizeable drop in the available submarine fleet over the next 15 years, service leaders told lawmakers Sept. 12 at a House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces hearing.

“With the accelerated retirement of Los Angeles-class submarines, our nation will drop below the 48-boat goal starting in 2025,” said Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., chairman of the HASC Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. “We need to ensure strategy drives our budget and that we give a voice to our combatant commanders. We need to be sure that we provide them with every resource.”

The Navy’s current fleet of 55 attack submarines, or SSNs, will drop down to 42, Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director of undersea warfare said in written testimony . Four guided missile submarines, or SSGNs, will retire and the Navy’s current fleet of 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, or SSBNs, will drop to 10, Breckenridge wrote.

“The total submarine force will drop from 73 to 52 ships — a cut of 29 percent – before rebounding in the 2030s. The vertical strike payload volume provided by the undersea force will drop by well over half. This trough is borne of the submarine shipbuilding hiatus of the 1990s, and no realistic build plan could now prevent it,” said Breckenridge.

In addition, there may not be enough funds to pursue continued development of several next-generation submarine programs such as the Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the Ohio Replacement Submarine program, a nuclear-armed replacement for the existing class of Ohio-class ballistic missile subs.

“We must stay underway with the advancements of our submarines and undersea warfare capabilities. With falling budgets and sequestration, we are concerned with how the Navy will be able to keep these programs on track,” said Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., ranking member on the subcommittee.

McIntyre explained that the defense budget for fiscal year 2014 includes more than $5 billion for continued construction of Virginia-class submarines as well as $750 million in research and development for the Ohio Replacement Submarine program.

According to budget projections and the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan, the service will need an additional $4 billion per year above and beyond the established budget by 2021 in order to succeed in funding construction of the Ohio Replacement program, Navy officials confirmed.

This need is expected to parallel construction plans for the Ohio Replacement subs, so the Navy may need a special supplemental, or an addition $4 billion from Congress per year, for as long as 15 years.

Construction of the first Ohio Replacement program submarine is slated for 2021. However, advance procurement begins in 2019 and planning, research and development is already underway, service officials confirmed.

While outlining some of the details regarding how the Navy plans to address the large decline in fleet size and anticipated budget shortfalls, Breckenridge underscored the tactical and strategic advantages provided by undersea warfare technologies.

“Undersea warfare provides persistent undetected assured access far forward and the ability to deliver unique military advantages. By leveraging stealthy concealment, undersea forces can deploy forward without being provocative, penetrate an adversaries’ defense perimeter and conduct undetected operations,” he said.

Overall, the Navy has a series of steps designed to address the budget and submarine fleet size concerns.

“The Navy has developed an integrated approach to developing as much undersea capability as possible, yet within realistic constraints,” said Breckenridge.

The plan calls for the Navy to stay on track with the development of the Ohio Replacement program so that production can begin by 2021. In addition, the service wants to ensure that it continues to succeed with production and delivery of the Virginia-class submarines at a pace of two per year, Breckenridge explained.

The approach also calls for restarting torpedo production. In addition, the plan may wind up delaying retirement of some Los Angeles-class submarines in order to keep the fleet numbers higher while more Virginia-class attack submarines are being built and delivered.

Another key element of the Navy’s plan involves something called Virginia Payload Modules, or VPM, essentially an effort to add substantially more firepower to the Virginia-class submarine by 2019.

By adding a new, weapons-carrying module, the Virginia-class submarine will be able to go from 12 to 40 Tomahawk missiles. One advantage of the VPM is to help the service compensate for the expected retirement of the Ohio-class guided missile submarines, or SSGNs.

These are large, nuclear powered submarines which were converted from the standard Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines equipped with nuclear weapons to conventionally armed subs with the same basic dimensions.

“Virginia Payload Modules will utilize the modularity and the flexibility inherent in the Virginia-class base design and reconstitute the SSGN (Ohio-class guided missile submarines) payload volume in a cost-effective manner,” Breckenridge said.

At the same time, Breckenridge emphasized that acquisition and ship building programs would be working vigorously to control and lower costs wherever possible. In fact, Navy leaders explained that specific vendor incentives and affordability strategies were inserted into the research and development contract with Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamics, for the Ohio Replacement program.

“This is the first time in a ship building research and development contract we’ve tied substantive incentive fees to cost reduction across the entire life cycle,” said Rear Adm. David Johnson, Program Executive Officer, Submarines.

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Well, Obama has just nominated a tax attorney and university administrator with essentially no relevant military experience to the #2 slot at the Department of the Navy, so you can be sure she’s going to get all this sorted out pronto. Thank goodness that the responsible adults are back in charge.

Well, the tea party still likes sequestration. That will sink our subs.

Another cut to satisfy the black hole in our budget created by the F-35…

Basically the Navy is trying to blackmail America by saying that it has no money for the submarine nuclear deterrence in the future.

Where did all the money go ? To the F-35 of course. Its well known that the top 20 navy programs will have to be sacrificed to keep the f-35 program going.

Apparently, most of Washington D.C. also likes sequestration, including both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch, otherwise they would end it today. The tea party is a fringe conservative organization that wields some limited influence in the House, but does not control Congress.

Well, well… the decisions & lack of foresight in the 90’s has finally caught up to the Silent Service…A solution from an ole’ nuke sub builder; 1st) now that there are 2 Va class subs auth/yr, lets have one @ EB & one @ NPNSB! make it a cost driven program.… deliver early get a “bonus check” That saves a whole lot of $$$ on logistics of this 2 yard one boat “modular madness”. 2nd) add the VPM’ immead. 2 the VA class given’ them a increase in conv. missle firepower, they did the same type of engineering iteration half-way through the 688’s, no big deal. 3rd) delay the decommin’ of the late flight 688’s so u keep the total force #‘s up as the newer VA class subs shake-down & on come on line 4th) decomm 2 of the 4 converted 726 class 2 save $$$$. That will also maintain “Vertical Lauched Missle assts” i.e. 48 ‘Trident Tubes” 5) take 7 of the remaining 14 tridents & cycle the money from their replacement to a slep program that reconfigures 4 tubes on each boat & refuels & upgrades guidance, sonar, etc on the remaining ships, that would leave a TOTAL of 76 large tubes (trident tube = X # of “other missles”) for “conventional warheads & a total of 308 tubes 4 the D-5 weapon system. That would just be our UNDERSEA missle capabilities both conventional & nuclear… a quick fix yes, but its a WHOLE LOT CHEAPER & still gives the Navy an Enormous amt of undersea convent. firepower & keeps our “undersea nuclear deterant” in place…albeit on a smaller scale (336 tubes to 308 tubes). Addtionally it would generate an enormous amount of overhaul & re-fit work to maintain the Navy’s shipyards & bolster the commerical ones.…that would hopefully build & deliver the VA class cheaper & faster & design an AFFORDABLE 726 replacement.….. it buys us time, maintains a credible Nuclear Deterant & maintains our SSN force @ higher #‘s. As far as a Trident replacement I see that NOW developin’ into a Ford class situation.

I just hope requirements are kept realistic and evolutionary, rather than revolutionary — keep the gold-platers away and deliver on time and on budget!

The Navy low-balled its shipbuilding budget for much of the last 20 years. They publish a 30-year shipbuilding plan for Congress every year and for years it had rosy projections on ship replacement either projecting no cost overruns, increased budgets, or slower rates of ship retirement. Even at the height of the war these projections were fantasy. During the late 1990s and early 2000s they were retiring and sinking ships because maintenance costs were too high, but had no idea where the money would come from to replace them. They kept pushing the 313 ship Navy even though in their own reports it was mathematically impossible. They finally admitted their new goal was 300 ships a year or so ago and even that is not going to be achievable. The sub service is lucky that the Virginia is on budget and probably one of the best DoD programs out there (though they had to struggle through Seawolf to get there).

The leadership in Congress hasn’t exactly been jumping at the chance to fix it lately. Both sides are too concerned with just hitting the reset button and making things the way they were rather than fixing systemic problems that got us here in the first place. The Tea Party aren’t saints, but they were elected by their constituents for a reason.

Why not re-consider diesel-electric boats once again for some ops? Substantial recent advances in battery design would likely make such boats viable (and cheaper) especially for clandestine ops, than nukes. Several yrs. ago our navy “borrowed” one such boat from Sweden for study in San Diego.
DBF (diesel boats forever)

Well time to keep LA subs in service Cut LCS funds do a mid life upgrade for LA class subs. And keep them for at least another ten years till funds come back next decade.

Have I missed something in the news. Is there a nation building an armada to invade the USA? The Navy has always had a “shortfall” of subs, even when it had 80 and 60 ect.

Agreed. An SSK/SSN mix may be appropriate for the future. SSN’s for deep-ocean hunting and to protect the SSBN’s. SSK’s for the Persian Gulf, SDV delivery and the like. And perhaps even minisubs (Andrasta class submarine type) if you want to be even more littoral. Or one could skip the middle SSK and have SSN’s and minisubs.

Another key element of the Navy’s plan involves something called Virginia Payload Modules, or VPM, essentially an effort to add substantially more firepower to the Virginia-class submarine by 2019.
The only problem with the VPN is that Congress already cuts the proposed budget for it to ZERO.

I’m guessing that the term “realistic” is a matter of perspective…

returning to pre WWII and we all know how that turned out after December 7th

Not “invade” silly. Just take over the entire Pacific rim-it’s a little country called China.

Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

They are the one threatening all of their neighbors with their military, establishing military bases on other’s territories and islands, and confronting other nations in international waters and claiming that they OWN the entire south china sea and everything thing and everyone in it. AND they are the one who have issued threats against us and have published writings stating how they going to defeat us.

WAKE up Dave!

…apparently, the 10 years of HISTORY from 1931 -> 1941 are the DARK AGES for you…
…does “Greater Southeast Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” ring any bells for you…???…
Or, are you just another sheeple who thinks WWII began in late December 1941…???…
Do you know what happened Sept. 1939?…June, 1940…???…
When was the “Battle of Britain” fought…???…
When did England smash the Italian fleet at Taranto Harbor?…(…with Swordfish BI-plane torpedo bombers, no less!…)…
…“pre WWII”, as you put it, is best described as “the 1800’s”…

Colonel: While I’m all 4 slep programs here are some stats 4 the SSN 688 program, the largest fleet of a single class of submarine ever built:
Flight I 11 ships, oldest ssn 698 @ 32 youngest . ssn 717 @ 29
Flight II (VLS) 8 ships oldest ssn 719 @ 28 youngest ssn 750 @ 24
Flight III 688i 22 ships oldest ssn 751 @ 25 youngest ssn 773 @ 17
so a quick look at the numbers, one would theorize that the 1st flight of 11 would have 2 go.…not re-work no re-fit, no vls…“tired” hulls etc.
If flight II & 688i are “upgraded” lets say 1/2 of the possible 30 available… that would leave the usn w/15 vls capable ships, upgraded for at least another 10 years…but that would potentially leave the Navy with a 38 y/o submarine.….ouch!!! but the oldest 688 class ship IS NOW 32 y/o. I worked on her right after bein’ discharged from my enlistment in the Army at EB in Groton!!!! We are all payin’ for the mistakes made in the 1990’s & the in-decision of the 2000 +.… then the “gold-plated Seawolf & USS Jmmy Carter.…ouch on the budget… we got to cut the fleets “overhead”…& get back to making capable, dependable carefully designed ships that are affordable.… like a fleet of K-cars… not a few caddy’s.… As far as the LCS, we would be better off going back to conventional powered midget carriers, foward deployed w/blue & gold crews.…. not as capable as a super-carrier but if you have 15 –20 of them foward deployed…thats some punch 4 the buck.…..

speaking of s.e. asia, japan handed the british empire its most crushing blow, after the attack on pearl the japanese navy sank the heavy cruisers HMS Repulse & HMS Prince of Wales on 10 DEC 1941 then invaded s.e. asia flanking the brits, causing them to surrender singapore intact, & forced them out all the way back to Burma… until Vinegar Joe & the USA staved them off…barely. The japanese handed the british army their biggest defeat, longest retreat & largest capture of pow’s in its history!!! & they said their (japanese) pilots would be “poor fliers b cuz they lacked “balance” b cuz they were carried on their mums back!!!!! Japan finished off the British Empire in the Pacific!!!!! jeez.. sounds like the late 1920′-30’s deja vu all over again…except different players.….

If the Navy thought their position was really dire, they’d go back to designing their own ships and submarines and put an end to this farce of outsourcing that work to defense contractors who are bleeding this nation dry while destroying our ability to defend our nation. Hell, if these defense contractors were run by the Russian government we’d go to war over the way they’ve destroyed our fleet. I have a hard time believing the problem is all the F-35 when a Little Crappy Ship costs as much in inflation adjusted dollars as an Iowa Class Battleship did in the 1940s.

I visited the uss Iowa last month, if I remember well it would be 1.2 billions in 2010 dollars. And it’s probably the build-up only.

Hence I would really like to see a modern version of a battleship. I’d say fewer canon, more high tech toys (i.e. 1 or 2 rail gun), and clever use of composites. I think those updates that they did in the 80s would be still relevant today, just add uav.

SSKs can’t traverse/patrol the ice pack. SSKs can’t keep up with naval task forces. SSKs would have to be deployed from overseas bases that don’t exist and would have to be built and maintained at additional costs that eat into the price reduction. SSKs can’t keep up with enemy naval task forces underway on the deep blue sea. SSKs don’t carry the weapon payloads that SSN/SSGN/SSBNs carry. SSKs can’t stay submerged. SSKs have to be replenished more often with crew stores which also creates additional logistical footprints and thereby costs.

The only real use for SSKs is coastal defense and to bottleneck forces at choke points.

This is why I have long advocated the US Navy supplement the SSN force with SSK’s. The SSKs can be used for Special ops missions in the littoral, Littoral patrols, CONUS patrols and choking the enemy at vital points. Even the SSK’s can be used to train prospective submarine captains and crews as well. The SSK’s would work in conjunction with the SSN’s. It would free up the SSN’s for overseas work and the SSK’s for stateside, CONUS work. That’s why I believe the US Navy should have a Mix of SSN, SSK, SSGN and SSBN force.

That’s what the Russians used SSK’s and SSN’s for. They guarded the littorals and even guarded the Boomer banks for the SSBN’s. The SSK’s guarded the Entrance to the boomer banks and the SSN’s protected them inside. The Russians know how to protect their boomers and who they use to escort and guard their boomer banks

A Submarine mix of SSK’s, SSGN’s , SSN’s and SSBN would be perfect for the US Navy. The SSK’s would supplement the SSN force. Freeing the SSN for overseas work and leaving the SSK’s for CONUS duty. The SSK’s can be used for Special forces for infiltration and exfil in littoral areas and enemy harbors. They can be used to choke the enemy in key choke points of the world and even be used to train prospective submarine captains and crew. Even use an SSK as an intelligence gathering outpost right in their harbors or littorals.

It’s why I am all for the US Navy making up the SSN shortfall with SSK submarines and with the latest in AIP technology. They are nearly on par with Nuclear submarines.

Diesel-electric are quiet, effective and much more inexpensive than nuke boats.

With SSK boats, you can produce more in massive numbers and even use them for Special ops, Littoral ops and choking the enemy at vital points in the world.

The Soviet Union lost the Cold War.

There is zero room in the budget for this. There isn’t enough for an SSK to do that it makes any sort of cost sense. Most of what the sub force does requires SSNs. SSKs do not have the range nor the speed to do 90% of what we need our boats to do. In addition people look at price tags and immediately think savings but that savings is instantly gobbled up by having to build new facilities. More boats = more crews = more cost. Tow types of boats mean duel training and career tracks which = more money.

Reduced capability always means less capability. SSKs are no where near on par with nuke boats in the ways that count for the USN. Speed, range, mission endurance, stores, weapons payload, there is no comparison.

Sequestration is the onlygood thing the congress has everdon.e Something needed to be done as we approach a 20 trillion $ debt.

Good call. Thanks to the brilliance of the “Sequester”, we will hit that $20 Trillion debt wall months later than we otherwise would have…
Plenty of time to maybe get a quickie test flight out of a stripped-down F-35 Boondoggler…

sounds like a plan Krazycol


Big-Deam: I am flattered at your “Knight’in” me, but I’m just a ground-pounder 0–6, who worked at “EB” & learned everything I could about the 688 & 726 class ships & Rx’ plants, prop sys. etc. I spent 4 out of a six year hitch active army, 2 in NY Army Guard, 23 in CT Army Guard, 2 in USAR, & now in USAR (RR) I had 4 deployments from ’92 to ’09, & 3 mobilizations 1-NY 2-CT + a sheet load of ADSW.…finished my civilian career w/the CT-DEP… only had 3 civi jobs..the old NYNSY, EB & CT-DEP.…A.S., B.S.M.E., M.S. Env Sci/Toxicology, started Ph.D.….graduate of U.S. Army Command & General Staff Officer College & “The Defence Strategy Institute”.……whew.…jus start sendin’ them checks soon!!!

Big-Dean: KUDO’s once agin’ SPOT ON w/respect to the dragon!

The North Yard @ E.B. could probably launch one every 3 months once d-sin’d!

To bad you didn’t know what your talking about.……

Hardly true the F-35 is expensive know doubt. Yet, it is not one but three New Tactical Fighters. Which, in turn will have to replace vast fleets of A-10’s, AV-8B’s, F-15’s, and F-16’s. Plus, a number of other Allied Types. In addition it’s not like the Dept of Defense isn’t full of WASTE! Nor, like the Politicians don’t mingle in Defense Programs and order things the Service don’t want or even need. While neglecting others.….….

Real easy to throw out one liners.….…Yet, maybe you should do a little research before you make such statements. As you clearly have no idea what your talking about!

As a Lockheed shill I know reality is not your friend.

But for everyone else the pentagon produced a list a couple years back that gave the list of programs that will need to be cut if the F-35 goes to full production. A number of future submarine developments was on the list.

…“know doubt”…???…yes, I DO “know doubt”, and I’m reminded of that doubt, every time some some Lockheed shill touts that turkey…

The F-35 replacin’ the A-10???????? (not a “fighter”) you ain’t a ground pounder.….… a A-10???? does the F-35 have a 30mm GAU-8 g’ttlin’ gun & can it fly @ 50–60′ at 200 mph & is is heavily ARMORED??? NO, NO, & NO,.…leave the A-10’s in service.….. w/ANG… it has no match.…..

PW: Thats a good observation, did that VPM addition make up 4 a lack of firepower in the original design or did the USN try 2 get more bang 4 the buck.…funny havin been involved w/the SSN 688 class, the Navy did the same thing w/the VLS, I know why.…I hope the same “mistake” wasn’t committed!

Oh my God, all I have been doing in cyber space this summer is going to discussion board after discussion board and receiving a bunch of “maybe you were right” comments while responding to them with something equivalent to: “I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!!”

They tried to replace the A-10 with several F-16 variants in the past as well. We need the F-35 but trying to replace the A-10 with it is just the USAF repeating their bad habit of trying to replace the A-10 with something that can’t do low and slow.

Navy budget for the F-35C and the USMC F-35B is a bit under $4 billion total in 2014. Over $5 billion is allocated to new Virginia class SSNs for two new boats. As far as I know we have two yards that can build these SSNs.

In our present state do we even have the capacity to build more than two per year? I’m somewhat doubtful. How much of an investment would it take to double this I wonder?

William, you are a joke and it’s obvious that you are poorly informed. Have you been listening to anything the CNO or JCS or even the SecDef have been saying? The Navy says that it will need to cut two carriers (maybe more) as well and we already have 100 aircraft backed up in maintenance. The Army is getting its forces gutted and will likely fall below 500,000. The Air Force is considering grounding its fleet of A-10s and KC-10s. This is all being done to save the F-35 program. This one aircraft program is so expensive it is disarming America. You seriously need to wake up from whatever delusional world you live in and see the reality.

Yes the F-35 is a waste of money and resources, but have you forgoten the F-22? Largest waste of funds on the books. And yet after it stills kills the aircrew, it is still airworthy(???).

The Navy is pushing its littoral fantasy to the max, and if the Navy wants to do that, SSK’s or the smaller minisubs will get a place at the table. Using nuclear SSGN’s to deliver SEALs? Using SSN’s too? Feels like the USN is shoehorning littoral missions into submarines intended to range the high seas.

The LA’s are old. If we’re desperate to cut the price, an option is something even cheaper than the VA…but I’m not sure if that can be done.

Somewhere the navy used the words Virginia-class and littorals in the same sentence. I think it was when the first bad news about the LCS came out and they realized their plans sucked.

” Gray Lady Down,” as the Los Angeles class submarines retire after many years of service while Navy Bases like old Long Beach and Todd Shipyards no longer have on the water front support from LA’s Harbor Port Commission like they used to as the Grand Old Army of California reaches into it’s retirement nest eggs to make up for all those junk bonds and Ponzi schemes so many get rich investments in off shore accounts kind of cut US off our projected transgression into the 21st century as well?
So like the ” Abyss,” or black hole someone else stated our Navy taking over our deep sea exploration R&D’s like the old ” Glomar Explorer,” project Jennifer etc., of the old Aviator Howards Hughes Aircraft and Tools days makes me wonder if we’ll all end up ” ON THE BEACH,” like Rock Hudson, or in some other Submariner’s paradise like Hawaii wearing grass skirts and drinking Koolie-how drying to repair their subs for duty in another Operation Pacific as well? Then of course we could take those old LA classy old Gray Ladies and make it an ” Operation Petty Coat,” as well?

Hey talking about Navy Ships retiring? What’s the deal with the old Enterprise being decommissioned after that captain made that movie ” Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and instead of a Museum piece like the Arizona, Missouri, let alone that movie ” Battle Star Galactica,” as all these talks about Sryria and Russia going on ? Makes me think of the old Kennedy Day’s of ” The Whales Of August,” with France right in the middle saying ” TOPAZ ! TOPAZ ! ” Just because the Enterprise with it’s nuclear reactors for power are built in so good that they can’t dismantle them so they going to scrap her and sale all that US Steel to Japan or someplace to built some more expensive Import cars instead of buying our US Auto Maker’s cars like Chevrolet ( Chevy’s ) or FORD’s?

Well I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think this sounds like that Cheech and Chung’s ” Buggery On The High Sea’s if you ask me ?

Oh and since you all are complaining about all these old ships being replaced with these super high tech ones ? Just remember that old steam ship of WWII ” USS UNITED STATES,” who could do 50 Knot’s in reverse shuttling wounded and famous celebrities on diplomatic missions? Now just sitting Dry Docked Mothballed in New York someplace gathering Barnacles on her Hull as her Keel is steel straight tried and they can’t find anyone to repair or maintain her powerful old steam engines because that’s a lost art as well? Obsolete ? I’ll show you “OBSOLETE,” and if any of we were soldiers calls me grandpa ? I’m not going to shoot or kill you? I’m going to make you help[ old grandpa out taking a dump in his bed pan and have you wonderful little angel grandkids stay home and wipe my big “HORSE’s PATOOTTIE ?” Sounds like Horse Manure ? IT IS ?

How are you blaming all of this on the F-35 program? Look at the numbers! I’m the one who needs to see reality? The idea that a single tactical fighter program, even one as large as JSF, is “disarming us” is absurd! The amount of money allocated to the program this year is about the same as the amount last year. It’s as if you’re trying to blame every problem you can think of on the F-35.

You cancel the entire F-35 program and then what? Are we suddenly going to have more money to work with for at least two successor aircraft programs?

William you are lying to me and you know it. The F-35 gets multiple contracts awarded to it a year and that process isn’t over yet this year, but on average it usually comes out to about $12.7 billion per year.

And no, I’m not trying to blame every problem I can think of on the F-35. I’m saying that a vast majority of the problems in our budget are from the F-35. Now to save this jet we need to make cuts in our force structure that will cripple us in the future.

The US now needs to choose between having a force that is capable of projecting power abroad or the F-35. The SecDef outlined this earlier this year. This jet is simply not worth what it is costing us. Once those people leave the force the DoD will not get them back. We are going to lose a ridiculous amount of skilled professionals with perishable skills. I once thought that we should simply kill only the F-35B and F-35C, but now I think we need to kill this program entirely to save our larger forces. If we cancel the F-35 program then we will be able to afford all of the other capabilities we need for our sub force, our marine corps, and our carriers, our army, and others. Upgraded 4th gen fighters and the F-22 fleet would have to do while we fund the Navy’s F/A-XX program.

The SSGN’s are also being fitted out for the mission too…it’s a clear sign of missions but having the wrong submarines on hand, thus shoehorning every mission into every new submarine.

Would an SSK in the Med be more appropriate than SSN’s? Perhaps. They couldn’t really go anywhere other than their theatre on short notice, but perhaps that kind of thing is best left to nuclear subs who should have the freedom of movement to act independently, especially the SSBN’s and SSGN’s.

From the fiscal standpoint though…we are indeed converging on common types to “save money”. But are we getting what we are saving for?

There’s no better platform for delivery of SEAL / SpecOps assets, to OPEN OCEAN / Sea Going ships, than an SSN / SSGN…Also, a given detachment of Seal / SpecOps can be “piggy-backed” anywhere around the fickin’ PLANET — and back again… The LCS, or a diesel, can’t do that…just sayin’…

…KrazyCOL, is that you…???…

…or is this more PIMPING for F**EBOOK, or one of Pope Francis’ little Opus Dei / Black robes…???…

Yes. scrap the F-35 *in*situ*, and GO DRONE…and, NexGen the F-16 / 18, and A-10…
And with the 1/2 the F-35 budget still left over, spread it around…
The WAVE of the FUTURE is UAV…

I’m wondering if it makes more sense to simply hope that your coalition allies can integrate their SSK’s into your SSN force rather than fielding your own.

Then again, today’s allies, tomorrow’s enemies?

No, “blight_”, TODAY’s ALLIES, Tomorrow’s allies…Today’s enemies, tomorrow’s ALLIES…
Which should we run out of FIRST, allies, or enemies…???…
…your call…

Wonder when the Navy will start pushing autonomous hunter-killer submarines. Let sleep on ocean until ELF signal received. Activate, start hunting submarines that match the database of submarine noises known. PRC? Check. Russian Navy? Check.

Skynet wins.

On the subject of SEAL delivery and such,

Turns out Corky is thinking of the SS United States, which was a post-WW2 ship now in Philly.

It was built at a bad time: the transatlantic passenger ship industry keeled over and died. As ill-fated as that nuclear-powered civilian ship (Edit: NS Savannah).

Doesn’t matter who wants it, it’s more of a metter of where the cuts are directed and that lies at the feet of the president himself, no one else. He seems to think that drastic cuts in our military are better than cutting the funding for programs like the sexual habits of honey bees. Hasn’t anyone notice the disproportionate cuts in the military and other things the public sees? I’m sure there are a lot of things no one knows about that could be cut without any effect to the operation of the country. He’s playing a political game, putting the hurt on the public and blaming it on republicans so he’ll increase his voter base. Remeber, with this guy nothing is right or wrong, it’s always about a political outcome.

…“Skynet”, or “SEA-NET”…???…or, “Sea-Net-sky”…

“it’s always about a political outcome”

Isn’t everything on the hill? Vote out the incumbent, vote Independent. Bernie Sanders for president?

40 votes on Obamacare, and the Republicraps STILL can’t make it go away…???…
There’s a GOOD reason that the Demo-crackers call the Repubtards the “Party of NO”…
All they are good for, is saying “No!”, over and over…
The problem is BOTH “parties”, which are in reality, only the 2 wings of the DUOPOLY…
And, given that ~90% of America’s FOOD CROP is dependent on pollination by honeybees, –AND–
that there has been a sharp decline in honeybees population due to “Colony Collapse Disorder”,
studying the “sexual habits of honeybees” is VITAL…
Try listening to ANYBODY, besides Flush Limpbaugh…
…or MSNBC.…

Vermont is on a 3-State short-list as a site for a new missile defense base…
There’s already an F-16 base outside Burlington, VT…
But Sen. Sanders does NOT want that missile base in the Green Mt. State…
Fine, we’ll take it here in N.H.…
Sen. Shaheen will go along w/Sen. Ayotte…
WHO CARES which “party” does WHAT…???…
Long past time to tell them ALL, “parties’ OVER, GET TO WORK!”…

Someone with legal and administrative experience, as well as an academic background, is far better suited for this role of straightening out long-term development and contractual requirements than anybody with military experience. This individual isn’t going to be expected to fight but to make sure that the nation is supplying the war fighters with the equipment they need at the best possible price. She isn’t going to be concerned about getting a retirement billet with the defense contractors like too many of the uniformed flag staff do, to the detriment of the nation and the Treasury. The responsible adults are back in charge, after letting the Bush children run around the candy store way tool long.

No. the Teabaggers do control the House because they can muster enough votes to make sure that the Republicans can’t pass anything in the House without their approval. So long as Boehner is foolish enough to persist in employing the Hastert rule, which dictates that all House bills need a majority of the Republicans in order to even be offered for a floor vote, the Teabaggers will stall all House legislation. And, since money bills MUST begin in the House, the Teabaggers do control what happens with the sequester.

What “disproportionate” cuts in military spending? The sequester was distributed according to the proportions of the national budget. About the only thing exempt was payments on the national debt. For the last forty years as I’ve looked at politics, I’ve seen the Republicans do nothing but play politics with the nation’s safety and economic health. Obama doesn’t have to do anything with increasing his voter base, because anyone new entering the system isn’t going to be attracted by the insane asylum that is the modern Republican Party.

The navy has apparently determined that the 4 Ohio-class SSGN’s, with their raw missile carrying destructive power, provide more options and flexibility for mission planners. The SSGN’s will be going the way of the dodo bird as the Ohio’s are retired, and the navy is seeking to provide that same general capability (using the Virginia’s as the basis).

Apparently, they want to retain the capability — and understandably so.

to answer your question William C1 look at sub production (688 &726) during 1980 to 1994 the numbers speak 4 themselves 18 tridents & 62 688’s do the math, I remember the days of a trident be’in deliveryed every 14 months & 2 688’s every 18 months, & that was just EB’s out-put.….

nothin’ goes low & slow with the killin’ power of the A-10.… been there done that.….. I say keep ‘em in the ANG with upgrades as needed!

PW..I understand the policy..but the re-tubed 726 class ssgn’s vs a va class vls…u better start buildin’ a whole lot of va class if u want the “fire-power” on ONE ssgn!

Brad & Blight speakin to allies & enemies…I read the Sydney Morn. Hearld, as well as watch BBC world news…gives a American a diff. ‘spective. I watched a presentation at “The shells” in Sydney w/a retired Aussie Brig. Gen., a chinese “Professor” the American Ambass. & his aussie aide.…they discussed the present state of military affairs vs a vs America & Oz & China + other regional players i.e. malaysia, singapore, Vietnam etc.… the conculsion.…. 68% of 1.2K or some odd aussies sayin’ “goin’ it along, i.e. throw out the USMC in country & limit port of call rights!!!!! wow I thought they were the “England of the Pacific”…but then agin’ the Brits gave us the heave-ho.….. things are definitely a-chage’in.….

HEY BRAD.…..I’m NOT THAT CRAZY!!!!!!!, demz fightin’ wourds!!!

blight …SPOT ON, its at the philly yard, NYC were the NYNSY is located is long out of defense work… Coastal Dry Dock & Repair did some in the late ’70″ but went under. Todd Shipyards in Red Hook Brooklyn… their gone 2.….. sad, Brooklyn Navy Yard & Todd in Red Hook had storied histories of ship development & production, NYNSY built the Arizona & the Missouri.… kinda fitting don’t ya think???

how ’bout ulf??? & that world wide array, with recordings of all ships…just some science fiction in a Tom Cl@ncy novel.….

Well, that’s interesting.

The other option would be to use the Ohio replacement as a starting point to design the next SSGN. Can a largely common design carry two different payloads?

They are at work, they’re plotting re-election and meeting with sponsors during their “recess”. Hooray, recess every day like it’s grade school!

The Iowa Class battleships had the original UAV’s. Range: 20 miles. Speed: Mach 2.4 Tonnage on target: 2,000 lbs.

Hell, if the Navy were to build a battleship these days, well, first of all they couldn’t, and even if they could it would cost us trillions of dollars not just billions like the crappy ships they do build now. But we certainly would never go back to doing business like we did back then. Noooo. We’re way to smart for that.

Get the spelling correct; it isn’t sequester it’s an intentional “secluster fu_k” by Tea bagging congressmen.

Took –D and –R signatures to pass the Budget Control Act. Can we focus our energies on forcing our representatives to the table?

What is a “Tea bagger” Ray, do you care to explain. Or is a profane act that that you use to describe other’s you don’t agree with

The only ship company that could reliably produce armored hulls is Newport News, since they build the CVN’s.

This would be deliciously ironic. The first full-size (but not fully bespoke) carriers were battlecruiser conversions (Lex and Saratoga). The first new battlewagons could be CVN conversions.

u mean RPV? or is there a new system comin out?

The scariest part of the show was the audience had a real good mix, young/old aussie/asian pro/anti-American the chinese “Professor” spewed a lot of b.s, just plain lied about some things, you could see some of the s.e. asians in the audience shakin’ their heads side to side when he spoke of China’s partnerships 4 peace & prosperity including the U.S. 4 the future!!!!

What’s depressing is that many of the kids drinking the grape juice will ascend to power…

We love changing the acronyms. Technically Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) is more accurate than UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

Spot ON Blight.…get ur facts straight Ray b 4 u throw stones!!!

Nice Shot Big D!

better wake up and keep our navy strong also airforce

Yep, we’re so flush with cash in this country aren’t we? We have cities falling apart because the infrastructure is aging, we have few manufacturing jobs left, our politicians are corrupt and lazy, we have Americans who are hungry, homeless, and unemployed, and yet we still want to control the world.

How many square miles of our country do we have to sell to other countries who buy our treasury bonds in order to finance these toys of military commanders? Time to focus on making American lives better, not the sea lanes safer for other countries that use them.

We continue to have the best Naval fleet in the world which includes surface and the sub fleet. Replacement with new does take time to do so. It was almost comical that Slick Mitt Romney made the dashing remark that he would add 5 new ships a yr to the fleet. Well, of course Mitt or his fact checker failed to know that it takes 5 yrs to design a ship unless it’s gradual change to an existing ship and lastly, it takes 6–7 yrs to build a new submarine. He must have thought you just go down to local Walmart shipyard and said I’ll take one of these and a couple of that. He needs to stick with what he knows best, closing down US companies and sending the jobs overseas.

Bottom line…we voted those folks into office to manage our countries business. Period. They have failed miserably. The name calling, finger pointing and blame laying is all politics and a waste of time which the country doesn’t have to waste. If I had the power I would lock them all in a room and say you have 24 hours to make up a plan to pay off our debts and balance the budget or you are all fired without any compensation for the rest of your lives. Send in pizzas and pepsi. NOBODY LEAVES UNTIL IT’S DONE. If they can’t do it, why are they there?

hey there are two kinds of ships in the Navy Submarines and Targets keep building these monstrosity aircraft carriers that one of today’s torpedo’s can take out from a long way away

The cost of all the Nuclear equipment is out of the DOE budget. If a submarine costs $2 billion, that is without the Propulsion plant.

Obviously a ‘damnocra’t — it really is time for you all to stop using the “blame Bush” excuse. Really, after five years of obama-nation? Come on, surely you can do better than that.

a member of the Obamanation 4 sure! I love the “to the detriment of the nation and the Treasury” quote… where shall I begin… title 19 phones, TANF, SNAP, SSI, 99 weeks of Unemploy, the lowest “emplotyment rate” since ’79, 25 MILLION Americans out of work or dropped out of the economy althogether.…. yup now that those Bush children are gone things are def. better 5 1/2 years later.……

Nicky, I know your posting here is a week old, but i wanted to let you know you are spot on– the old SSK’s can do exactly what you describe them to do, and the best part– they are quieter and harder to find than an SSN or SSBN! Good point, Old Man!

Better a “damnocrat” than a braid dead ‘publican. I notice that you didn’t dispute my argument that an experienced bureaucrat capable of navigating the world’s largest bureaucracy just make more sense than people who never seemed to do anything but throw money at any and all programs. And here I thought ‘pubicans were supposed to be in favor of fiscal probity.

Well, I guess it is “convenient” for some to forget that the economy was auguring in much worse and faster than Bush and the Boyz advised the incoming Obama team way back in December 2008. I can recall how the projected decrease in the fourth quarter 2008 GDP was supposed to have been about 3% and instead in came in around 10%. That’s the bogus info Obama received as his team was trying to put together a recovery package. The result of that collapse was that the number of jobs eliminated was reported at around 900K the month that the Oval Office was handed off to Obama, and the first half of 2009 persisted in that vein as the ‘publicans fought Obama’s plans every step of the way. Why do ‘publicans and conservatives hate America?

Hopefully the Tea Partiers will have far less imfluence after the next election cycle. Cut and slash economics, as well as coertion is all that group seems to know.

Just bear in mind the submarines are in a 30 year replacement cycle with very few exceptions. The Fleet planning programs are about 5 years previous to that. So when a sub is cut or added to service that was planned 35+/- years ago. So when considering either blame or what happened, look in your History book, not the current news.

I think on this item as lot of folks agree with you. The A-10 really has no equal. But, the tooling to continue to build them has been scrapped or otherwise been destroyed.

I think using the amount of tubes ONLY is folly. Since you can eliminate variable amounts of tubes depending on the class of Boat if destroyed. Any country or group will look to destroying as many Capital assetts as possible at the onset of any conflict.

I agree you probably know far more than I will ever know about the numerical superiority. But using TUBES ONLY is like counting bullets in the armory. You never have too many bullets!
Just another opinion

The Tea Party chose their name, it wasn’t given to them. So if some proper description of the name Tea Party includes a peverted sexual act, let them bear their own responsibility for it. I am not going to excuse them from the name they chose.

However, Chief they are only pey if the support vessels allow that to happen. Meanwhile a Carrier can launch many weapons to areas or targets you cannot do too much to destroy. You can only direct missles to a targets, such as population centers, and permanent installations, that you are currently aware of. Targets on the ground move around just as you do. We already know many installations do come as a surprise.

A balanced fleet adequate to the task asked of them is the most desirable effort. Now the number is what is in question, both manning and maintaining. Perhaps all of our defense postures, needs to be rethought with very clear minds. Neither adventurerous daydreamers, or penny pinchers need apply for the job. Neither of those extremes are realistic.

KrazyCol… Let the SSBNs lurk quietly where nobody is going to find them, else their strategic mission is compromised.

Post Soviet, the SSNs and SSBNs have enjoyed signficantly reduced threat from attack in the deep blue, but times are again changing.

The SSBN strategic weapon platforms are not likely going to be given contemporaneous strategic and tactical missions. If you give an SSBN a tactical mission, you would want to unload the D5 SLBMs rather than put those at risk. Converting some of the SLBM launcher tubes to add conventional tactical capacity beyond what is needed to defend the boat is a waste of resources that would be better invested in SSN tactical attack boat platforms that can be placed at higher risk.

The “Tea Baggers” that you refer to are more likely to support a strong military than the simpering enuretics that you that must be listening to. Getting your information from NPR, CNN, and MSNBC is no way to lead an informed life. Open your mind before opening your mouth.

Deployment of our forces during the ‘sequester’ was the prerogative of the Commander in Chief (Obama), he is the one who decided to “Make it Hurt”. You are looking in the wrong place, if you are looking to attach blame.

Better a ‘publican or anything else than an Obamnocrat who can’t spell (i.e. braid dead) during a Hyped-up typing Frenzy after being called out by @spurlockda & @KrazyCOL.

As for your claim that no one disputed your argument? Well, this bureaucracy wasn’t created by ‘publicans alone Dude! Many Democrats were part of and profitied from the process over the years that did nothing and threw money at any and all programs! You can go check the Congressional Records (might take you a month) and see who your Damnocrat ‘Traitors’ were. Have Fun!!!

So why doesn’t the Narcissitc Democrat at 1600 Pennsylvania submit and sign an Executive Order to override the Tea Baggers, eh? Because he has no Political Stomach to deal with the situation. Just like he has no real concern for Military issues other than how he can make himself look good and relevant at their expense!!!

Exactly, Australia had the same problem with a Government Shutdown some 12–15 years ago. The Australian Prime Minister (PM) was contacted by the British PM and told to get it fixed and to call him back when it was done! The Aussie PM chaired a session and the Shutdown got fixed immediately. A few days later the British PM flew in and he chaired a session where he dismissed everyone in the room from Her Majesty’s Government Service (I.e. the Commonwealth) by the end of the month and declared immediate elections to take place for replacements!

That is a VERY GOOD suggestion! Hopefully the SASC will heed it, eh?

That does make a lot of sense, especially since it represents an interim cost-effective plan to keep the ‘Silent Service’ doing it’s job until the Economy and Budgets come back to the levels required to maintain it at the very highest standards. With the CNO calling for drastic cuts in the CVN Force, the ‘Silent Service’ will be more and more tasked with missions that will put them where needed in the absence of a CVBG!!!

It’s just Corny Dickitch trying to be Hip with his Junkyon version of his political views!!!

Sub Doc,
Please excuse @Ray, he’s frantically trying to come up with something ‘Hip’ from his 2008 copy of ‘Liberalism for Dummies’ in order to be relevant to this issue!!!

Nice try there RWS, but the Tea Party chose the name Tea Party and not Tea-Baggers as the mass of the New Emergent Voter Demographic have deemed them just because it doesn’t fit into the Liberal World of ‘Feeling good just to do something even if it doesn’t work!’ ethic that they Lemming into! I’m sure they wouldn’t like the Term ‘D-Baggers’ or ‘Liberal Scum’ to describe them!!!

Congress will be anxiously standing by awaiting your illuminating proposal!!!

Just how is the President supposed to “sign an Executive Order to override the Tea Baggers” and suddenly create a gusher of appropriations? The Constitution gives that responsibility strictly to the Congress and no executive order can change that. I’m surprised you didn’t complain that Obama was an autocrat dictator in the same comment.

“Traitors” now, huh? The problem is that the military’s bureaucracy has been shaped over the last thirty years mostly by Republicans and we’ve had nothing but constantly increasing defense budgets despite major decreases in defense spending by our putative opponents. I’m still trying to figure out why Tea Baggers have such anger problems as well. Any ideas?

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