Navy Budget Puts 11 Carrier Fleet and F-35C in Jeopardy

Navy Budget Puts 11 Carrier Fleet and F-35C in Jeopardy

The Navy’s 2015 budget request leaves the fate of its eleventh aircraft carrier up in the air and massively reduces five year acquisition plans for the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

Overall, the Navy’s budget request is for $148 billion, a $38 billion decrease over a projected five-year period when compared with last year’s budget request.

The 2015 budget breaks down with $45 billion for personnel, $46 billion for operations and maintenance, $38 billion for procurement, and $16 billion for research and development, said Rear Adm. William Lescher, the Navy’s budget director.

If sequestration resumes in fiscal year 2016 as is the stipulation of the Budget Control Act of 2011, there would be an additional $39 billion reduction for the Navy, Lescher said.

The service estimates that these sequester reductions would require inactivation of a carrier, decommissioning of an air wing and decreasing in the size of the Marine Corps to 175,000, he said. In addition, the cuts would lead to the removal of six surface combatants from service and the elimination of the planned purchase of three DDGs, a submarine and other platforms, he said.

The Navy’s five-year plans to acquire the F-35C dropped substantially from a fiscal year 2014 plan to buy 69 to a 2015 proposed plan to buy 36. Plans to acquire the Marine Corps variant, however, the short take-off-and-landing F-35B, have not changed. The Navy’s 2015 budget proposal requests for the service to purchase 69 F-35B between 2015 and 2019.

Although budget pressures are driving the decrease in planned acquisitions of the Navy’s F-35C, service officials say the procurement numbers are expected to rise again in coming years.

“Affordability is driving this. However, the plan is to ramp up again as we get closer to the JSF F-35C IOC (initial operating capability) in 2019,” a Navy officials said.

At the same time, the 2015 budget request does not make the determination as to whether there will be mid-life refueling funds for the services’ USS George Washington.

“This next year will give us an idea of whether or not we get to keep the carrier,” a Navy official said.

Budget pressures have lead the Navy to considering retiring the USS George Washington, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier slated to go through mid-life refueling and overhaul over the next several years. While carriers typically serve for as long as 50 years, with 25 of them after the mid-life refueling – there has been discussion about whether the George Washington will retire at its half-way point, thus lowering the total number in the fleet to 10.

Service leaders have said that if, as is currently the case, sequestration returns in 2016 – then there will not be sufficient funds to re-fuel the USS George Washington and the carrier will be retired. Refueling can cost anywhere between $4 and $6 billion.

Acquisition of the Navy’s P-8A surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft has been decreased by eight aircraft in the 2015 budget. The budget asks for funds to procure eight aircraft in 2015, less than what was planned for in fiscal year 2014. Affordability constraints were cited as the reason for the decrease.

Meanwhile, the 2015 budget proposal supports the acquisition of MV-22 Osprey helicopters, calling for 19 of them in 2015 and 2016, and 18 in 2017. The tilt-rotor aircraft is used in Afghanistan and on amphibious assault ships and other assets to ferry mission-essential troops and supplies.  In total, the service is looking to acquire 64 of the aircraft over the next five years.

Funding for submarines, destroyers and some UAS remain steady, according to the Navy’s budget request. The proposal asks for $5.8 billion to fund the continued construction of two Virginia-class submarines per year and $2.8 billion for DDG-51 destroyers.  The service is requesting $1.4 billion for its Littoral Combat Ship, a program which has been reduced from 52 overall ships to 32.

The request also includes $1.3 billion for the next Ford-class aircraft carrier now in development, the USS Enterprise (CVN 80).

The budget includes a requested $1.2 billion for the Ohio Class replacement program, a next-generation nuclear-armed submarine being developed to replace the existing Ohio-class submarines and provide nuclear deterrence.

The Navy’s MQ-4C Triton UAS is heavily supported throughout the services’ five year plan, however procurement of the system has been delayed, Lescher said. The 2015 budget proposal calls for the acquisition of four Triton’s per year through 2019 beginning in 2016.

The U.S. Navy is preparing to house its first squadron of MQ-4C Triton drones in Guam by the end of 2017, service officials said.

On the weapons front, the 2015 budget proposal supports another multi-year deal for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, or ESSM, a surface-to-air ship self-defense missile system. The Navy plans to acquire 502 ESSMs over the next five years, putting them on destroyers, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. The budget also supports restarting production of the Mk-48 advanced capability heavyweight torpedoes fired by submarines.

In terms of proposed dollar allocations for weapons systems, the 2015 request asks for $1.1 billion for Trident II modifications, $119 million for ESSM, $194 million for Tomahawk missiles and $47 million for M-48 torpedo modifications.

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Although budget pressures are driving the decrease in planned acquisitions of the Navy’s F-35C, service officials say the procurement numbers are expected to rise again in coming years.

“Affordability is driving this. However, the plan is to ramp up again as we get closer to the JSF F-35C IOC (initial operating capability) in 2019,” a Navy officials said.

Spin it however you must to save face, but it’s a pure waste of taxpayer money to buy ANY F-35Cs (or As, or Bs) right now, when the planes rolling off the production line will not be combat-capable initially, or maybe even ever. If it’s even possible, it will require very expensive retrofits to turn each one into actual operational aircraft. (If it’s not possible, you just flushed a few billion dollars down the head.)

Interesting as the F-35 doesn’t actually work in an operationally useful manner, 12 years after contract award.

Drop the “Junk Strike Fighter” and buy more Super Hornets with the up-grades ( external conformal fuel tanks etc etc). Keep the USS George Washington , buy savings on not buying 36 “Junk Strike Fighters” at $299.5 Million a piece.or $10.7 Billion.
How much the F-35 Really Cost.

Too many carriers and F-35 yet.

I guess it’s good we aren’t fighting a war right now.

Buying the F-35 right now is akin to buying a car without an engine, transmission, seats, and any electronics, but it sure looks good in the brochure but the best part is that they promise they will have a complete care by 2025!

Some budget games going on — dropping 8 P-8As in the base budget, but then adding them back in the OCO…

Good move!! At least leaders now a days put into their mind the lessons of Rome!! This was not done to appear weak. Slowing down is temporary!! Besides, USA is too powerful now a days and no country could match it. Thus, the best thing that it would do is to learn how to stop and — the money being save should be use in stregthening the US economy!!

There are no current Super Hornet orders for now, but I’m still happy. Why? Because of this recent interview with the CNO.

Link: http://​www​.defensenews​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​2​0​1​4​0​3​0​4​/​D​E​FRE

When asked if the Navy would need to buy more Super Hornets should the F-35C be further delayed the CNO simply said, “No, we have run those numbers through that sort of impact on the strike fire inventory. We can manage.”

If the Navy loses a carrier then its need for fighters drops down too. All indications right now are that the Navy is not going to remain an 11 carrier fleet. With that in mind, the CNO said that the Navy already has the fighters that it needs to manage the F-35C slipping further out. Guess what that means now? The F-35C is too late to matter. In the time that it took the F-35C to be developed (a time period that is still on going) the Navy was able to build an entire fleet of Super Hornets to satisfy its aircraft needs without it.

The Navy is sitting back laughing at the USAF and USMC right now.

The Air Force has decided to not upgrade any of their F-16 fleet of over 1,000 that is due to fall apart from age this next decade. They have 254 F-15C/D’s with an average age pushing nearly 30 years old now, which is older than most of the F-16s. They plan on killing the A-10. They already retired the F-117. Their younger fighter fleet consists of only 220 F-15E’s and 187 F-22’s. Everything depends on the F-35A and now that’s failed.

The US Marine Corps has all but abandoned their Legacy Hornet fleet of 238 aircraft for the F-35B. They said they can keep the Harrier alive until 2030, but it will be pitifully insufficient for a majority conflicts well before then. Marine Corps tactical air depends entirely on the F-35B which looks worse than the A-model does right now.

On the other hand, the US Navy has 563 Super Hornets and 135 Growlers, all young aircraft with modern avionics and the ability to be upgraded to handle future combat. The F-35C shows no sign of it ever being able to land on a carrier or even become compatible with the carrier environment. Make no mistake, more Super Hornets would be better and the line is not closed yet, meaning Boeing is going to push for more Super Hornets in the 2016 budget. In any case, no matter what happens, it looks like for the next decade at least US forces will be reliant on the US Navy for tactical air power.

Sure… Navy aviation is GREAT position to laugh at the USAF and USMC now. Losing carriers. 560 fighters that will be very outclassed by the competition in 2025. No new fighters on the horizon when you exclude the F-35C, clearly they have a ton to laugh about. Better hope they get the funding for F/A-XX and that the program goes very smoothly. At least the EA-18G should remain very useful as long as they get the NGJ. EFTs and more powerful engines would help too.

Plans for the surface fleet bring their own set of concerns. What about making the 32 Littoral Combat Ships we are going to buy more useful? Will the Flight III Arleigh Burke class be enough, especially when you consider how plans for a new cruiser were scrapped back in 2010? What do those three cancelled Burkes mean for the schedule for Flight III? What about new missiles for these ships?

And will the Marines get either their ACV or MPC?

The production curve shows that only 220 F-35s will ever be built probably less. The Navy can transfer the junk to the air force let them deal with it and then who cares if it doesn’t have an anti-ship missile or can land on a carrier.

Leaving the F-35 behind is the best move and the only way forward. What we have now is a race to get rid of the F-35. Except for the marines who never saw a bad idea they didn’t like.

The US needs only about 8–9 carriers. Removing one from the 11 is a good first step. So much money down the drain. You can build more if China actually has TWO.

The Navy is sitting back laughing at the USAF and USMC right now.
At the “Chair Force”, the navy is certainly laughing. The Chair Force bet the entire farm on stealth and the F-35, while the navy has continued to invest in electronic warfare (Growlers), and hedged its bets by maintaining its fleet of F/A18’s. In this, the navy simply looked at the management of the F-35 project and design, and determined it couldn’t be properly described without use of the word “cluster” — and decided to invest elsewhere while the opportunity was available.

I doubt they’re laughing at the USMC, who they’ve been arm-in-arm with since the start of the nation. The USMC has always opted for being lean and mean, and has often had to innovate and make due with a considerably smaller budget than the other service branches (that said, the USMC budget is downright extravagant compared to that of the USCG). I read somewhere that the ability to manufacture harriers has been retained just in case…

All reports I’ve read indicate that this nation is stuck with the F-35, regardless of its inability to meet even its several-times-reduced mission profile. LockMart has done an impressive job littering the sub-contracting across practically every congressional district in the lower 48, which means virtually every congressman would have to explain why they allowed jobs to be eliminated to his constituents — despite the fact that LockMart has FAILED to deliver what they said they would.

The US should be able to get out of the deal simply to a non-performance clause in the contract, as the plane is years late, massively over priced, and cannot meet even the reduced performance specs. But since our allies got into the game, now cancellation is vastly more difficult, and has direct international and diplomatic consequences.

Hence, this nation is largely stuck with yet another corporate welfare program. Lockheed shouldn’t be allowed to profit by ONE THIN DIME on this program, and the entire program should be put under receivership. Whether their management could be tried and imprisoned for defrauding the US Government and taxpayers is another matter.

Lockheed is also in on another high-profile shafting of the taxpayers with the LCS program. Obviously, the days at Lockheed when Kelly Johnson was there, when they acted with integrity and returned funds to the government when they determined they couldn’t get the job done are long gone.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, the photo is NOT of a Navy F-35 carrier variant — it can’t land on a carrier because the tailjhook arresting system doesn’t work, after twelve years of development. . The photo is of a Marine F-35 landing vertically.

Actually, the price doesn’t include the engine, so you are more right than you may have thought!

So the navy can save her fleet: kill the dumb JSF!!!!! Billion wasted on it can be sued to refuel the USS G.W. Seem apart from Torpedo research most of her budget is wasted on junk that crashes all to much like Ospreys and JSF. its a shame.

Trust me when I say this: the USN and the USMC relationship is like that of an older melancholy brother (Navy) and his younger energetic brother (Marine Corps). When one of them falls into a pit the other will laugh his head off before helping him out of it.

Both the Air Force and the Marines bet the farm on the F-35A and F-35B and they lost those bets. The Marines had the option about a decade ago to get involved in the Super Hornet program, but they rejected it in favor of putting all their funds into the F-35B. Right now the F-35B looks like it will turn out to be a hanger queen with range, payload, and performance limitations that can’t match existing conventional fighters. Guess that means they’ll be stuck with relying on the USN Super Hornets once their Legacy Hornets start to fall apart. Again, the Navy will laugh at the Marines once that happens, but if **** hits the fan they’ll still help them out.

If Congress doesn’t want to maintain air superiority then they should purchase F18s instead of F35’s.

Why is a European lecturing us about how many carriers we should have?

Wasn’t part of the “clean” deal (that means with no amendments) to raise the debt ceiling and approve the 2-year budget, to roll back or cut the sequestration? So what’s with this blaming the sequestration for all these cuts? Let’s see, just read another story that the troops in Germany have been cut to barely 10,000, and DoD expects to cut them again, ( never mind they are the front line defense against … who? Oh yes, the Russians), another story that says the Army will be cut overall to strengths less than what they were before WWII, now this bean counter Admiral is saying we’re going to cut carriers, fighters, destroyers, submarines … what else. Oh yeah, the Chinese have it right … the US is rapidly becoming a “Paper Tiger” … and then how will we negotiate from a position of strength?

Some in the USMC may like to remind the USN about a little job relating to naval gunfire support that they seem to have completely forgotten about. With that in mind I’m sure the USMC would rather not lose the capability to deploy fighters from LHAs and LHDs in the event there is no successor to the Harrier II.

And you’re arguing that the USN should be laughing at the other services because you think they are not in a bad spot, despite also being a bad spot in many regards?

It does have an anti-ship missile. Google Naval Strike Missile or Joint Strike Missile.

I seem to recall you wanting to kill the F-22 as well. And pretty much any other program ever mentioned here. Hmm, I wonder if there is a reason to all of that? Maybe it has something to do with your habit of cheer-leading for our enemies? I specifically recall some of your comments about how what great warriors the Taliban are. And how everybody in the Pacific is going to gladly join the Chinese sphere of influence.

And what imaginary F-35 production curve are you looking at? The real ones (not drawn in MS paint by yourself) doesn’t stop at 220.

Congress and the President seem incapable of doing anything right, so the deal was probably botched in many ways.

2 things are clear now.….…..The F-35 in all variants is a pig and.….…Whatever the cost, the F-22 production line needs to be reopened. If the Marines need a “Air Force” give them the Geo. Washington and dump the STOVL concept. Also offer the A-10’s to the Marines.

The things that bothers me the most is talk of decommissioning the George Washington rather than refuel it. We spent billions on building it for 50 year use and we will decom it half way through it’s life span. They talk about savings on refueling. However, the cost of removing the fuel for decom, and then possibly the cost of refueling it when sh*t hits the fan is so ridiculous, I can’t fathom it. Scrapping it all together after mothballing it for years, would also be a waste, while we are still building carriers is a waste. We built it for 50 years of use, keep it operational.

More turnover in ships is good business for Newport News.

Ford is still working up. So 11 is ten.
Lincoln is in RCOH. So 10 is 9.

Once the Ford is working up, then it’ll be 11–1.

Another attempt at a NEW Presidential VXX helicopter coming out of the Navy budget too. That’s perfect timing from the Commander in Chief.….…

with all of the goings on in the world today .The Government had better “Forget About All Those Cut’s” They are planning to do and hold on to what We Have to “DEFEND Ourselves”.

Let’s see; Air Force is dumping A10’s and USMC needs planes. HELLO. Is anyone out there listening?

When the X-35 flew it certainly demonstrated that the shaft-driven lift fan concept was viable and held a lot of promise. It also seemed to promise that a capable CTOL variant could be developed sharing a high degree of commonality. In theory the concept doesn’t seem that bad.

It would be a damn shame to throw all of that work out. If any F-35 variant should survive it should be the F-35B.

BlackOwl, I like 99.9% of what you post — I even went off the blog to read your white paper — but in this case have to I agree with William_C1. What’s happening with the F-35B is NOT funny. Its failure means that every ESG we want to actually deploy in a real-world contingency requires a CSG to support it…BAD investment if all you can land is a reinforced battalion of Marines, and VERY bad if we drop down to 10 carriers…

Didn’t it take around 10–15 years to develop the F-15 and F-18?

Thanks. If you read my paper then you know that I think STOVL is useless altogether. Those six Harriers we lost in Afghanistan are a testament to that.

The Harrier was acquired by the Marines at a time when they did not think the Navy could provide naval gunfire support all the time in Cold War amphibious warfare. Modern Tomahawk cruise missiles allow the Navy to perform that mission from virtually anywhere in the world. In fact, the loss of STOVL fighters could easily be compensated for at a much cheaper price by using better SAM defenses and advanced Tomahawk cruise missiles. STOVL is something that is completely unnecessary and the only real forces driving it in the Marine Corps are two factors: the desire to keep the tradition going and a desire to be independent from the Navy. The idea of STOVL is iconic to the USMC and they refuse to let it go even if it doesn’t make much tactical sense. They tried to have an all F-35B force to be independent from the Navy and the Navy ironically made them buy a few F-35Cs to offset their own fighter prices so that’s gone already. The F-35B is the most complex variant and has caused the greatest sacrifices in performance to the other two variants. It’s a complete failure in terms doing anything that the Marines actually need to do, especially the CAS role.

Question :Why doesn’t the Navy buy the same F-35 C as the Marine Corps.They would save money cause they woulkn’t have to buy the Tailhook Arresting System.The F-35C’s coouodoperate the same way from a Aircraft Carrier as they do from a LHA or a LSD of a LCS or a LPDor any Amplhibus Ship.And while I’m at it Obama better forget about cutting our Armed Forces Now that the Crimea Legislature voted to Secceed from the Ukraine and join with Russiacause putin’s next conquest will be the Ukraine itself.Then Maybe Europe .Meanwhile China will probably Swallow up Asia.Then where will we Be.Up Shit Creek with out a paddle.

Wouldn’t the finest Navy benefit from reducing the LCS program down to just a 4–6 littoral combat variant assets; what do these minimal man crew ships offer that can not be done by a DDG class destroyer, we need to invest more to perfecting what already has worked than experiment with something that seems more corporation driven than defense driven.

You’re making too much sense.

The BEST CAS plane ever made. Going to mothballs? Give them to the USMC which needs CAS? No way. Makes too much sense. (Don’t forget, Jarheads aren’t the smartest … )

Sell the GW to the Brits or another ally. Stall Ford until new systems actually work. Can the F-35 (that’s easy, it is way too far over budget, behind schedule, doesn’t have the advertised capabilities, and will be obsolete before it ever reaches IOC … ALL of Congress will complain, but ALL will be affected, so it’s a moot political point.) Canning the 35 will also be a real winner for POTUS because it will go a long way towards showing his testicular fortitude and send a signal to defense contractors: Bush’s free lunch era is over. Finish rewinging and give the A-10’s to the USMC. Tell them to buy some Apaches. Restart F-22 line. Explore F-22C (carrier variant). Keep upgraded Super Hornet line going. Expedite FXX and UCAV. Can LCS. Massively invest in EW.

You could give GW away…but wouldn’t it STILL need to be refueled?

What exactly happens to a nuclear-powered ship if you DON’T refuel it? Does it start slowing down and producing less electrical power? Or is it like a car, where it runs fine until it’s out of gas, at which point it just STOPS?

The Air force can dump the F-35 they have the BLACK WIDOW 2 Next generation fighter already flying.


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