Navy Finishes Specs for Future Nuclear Sub

Navy Finishes Specs for Future Nuclear Sub

National Harbor, Md. — Engineers with the U.S. Navy have finished drawing up specs for a future class of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines, officials said.

The technical details, known as ship specification documents, will set the stage for engineering work and eventually construction of ships in the so-called Ohio Replacement Program being developed by General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat unit.

Consisting of three volumes, each with hundreds of pages, the documents detail the configuration, design and technical requirements for the next-generation boat, the first of which is slated to begin construction in 2021 and enter the fleet in 2031, Navy and company officials said.


“We want to make sure that anything we do from this point forward to design the ship is founded on the specifications that have to be met,” Ohio Replacement Program manager Capt. William Brougham said. “We want to demonstrate technical excellence and judiciousness balancing what you’d like to have with what you must have.”

The acquisition effort is entering the fifth-year of a six-year technology development phase. Brougham said the execution of 159 ship specifications will require engineering sophistications and technical rigor.

The ship specs also include technical details regarding the submarines weapons systems, escape routes, fluid systems, hatches, doors and sea water systems, Brougham said.  The specs also set the ship length at 560 feet, in part to allow for more volume inside the pressure hull, he added.

Slated to enter service in 2031 and serve through 2085, ORP, a ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), is scheduled to begin construction by 2021. Requirements work, technical specifications and early prototyping are already underway at Electric Boat locations in New London, Conn., and Quonset Point, R.I.

“Concept exploration is effectively done. We cross over a barrier and now we just do design and engineering. We are going to be 83-percent design complete at production start. The more design complete you are — the better you can be,” Brougham explained.

Designed to be 560-feet– long and house 16 Trident II D5 missiles fired from 44-foot-long missile tubes, ORP will be engineered as a stealthy, high-tech nuclear deterrent.

The most recent Quadrennial Defense Review lists undersea strategic nuclear deterrence as the top priority among 12 listed national security priorities, Brougham said.

Electric Boat and the Navy are already progressing on early prototype work connecting missile tubes to portions of the hull, Electric Boat and Navy officials said. Called integrated tube and hull forging, the effort is designed to weld parts of the boat together and assess the ability to manufacture key parts of the submarine before final integration

In 2012, General Dynamics Electric Boat was awarded a five-year research and development deal for the ORP with a value up to $1.85 billion.  The contract contains specific incentives for lowering cost and increasing manufacturing efficiency, Navy and Electric Boat officials said.

Progressing with design work prior to construction is a key emphasis for the Ohio Replacement program because it helps to improve confidence and lower costs, Brougham.  In fact, the Navy hopes to build Ohio Replacement submarine numbers 2–12 for $4.9 billion in 2010 dollars each.

The Ohio Replacement submarines strong nuclear reactor core will be able to perform a greater number of deployments than the ships they are replacing and not need a mid-life refueling in order to complete 42 years of service.

The Ohio Replacement program is often cited as an example of the Pentagon’s Better Buying power, an inter-service effort to drive down acquisition costs, increase competition and incentivize industry partners to maximize efficiency.

The Navy defines its Ohio Replacement program cost strategy with a term called define for affordability, a program wherein the contractor Electric Boat is given financial incentives to lower costs for the boat.

Submarine Program Executive Officer Rear Adm. David Johnson said Electric Boat has successfully won the incentive reward for its design, engineering and construction work on the Ohio Replacement Program.

Johnson explained that the  Electric Boat and Navy submarine developers are constantly looking for design and construction strategies aimed at lowering costs.

“We work on mechanisms to generate ideas and then get them into ships,” Johnson said.

Along these lines, Navy officials explained a “bankers score card” which catalogues each and every cost-saving measure identified in the Ohio Replacement Program development.  The program looks for savings in construction, saving in operation and support and design savings.

For instance, Ohio Replacement program developers saved millions in developmental costs by removing a technology called Salvage Air, a mechanism to bring air into the tank in the event of catastrophe or disaster, Navy officials said.

“Commercially, there is adequate technology to perform the same function,” a Navy official said.

Join the Conversation

“Engineers with the U.S. Navy have finished drawing up blueprints for a future class of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines”

Naval engineers designing their own-OUTSTANDING! That’s the why it should always be done-don’t let defense contractors design any more crap for us (a.k.a. the LCS).

The Navy still works directly with contractors to turn a “paper sub” into reality. This isn’t a complete design, but rather the basic requirements, size, layout, etc. Electric Boat still actually “designs” the specifics.

The Navy still asked for the LCS. Yet when I say “asked” it seems they really didn’t know what the hell they wanted. A 40+ knot ship with minimal crew that could be adapted to do a lot of tasks. Quality and cost issues aside they have that in theory, but most of the modules to enable these tasks aren’t complete or didn’t go as planned. The basic armament is also insufficient for a 3,000 ton ship.

basic requirements you say? Really? The article states:

“Consisting of three volumes, each with hundreds of pages the documents detail the configuration, design and technical requirements for the next-generation boat.…The ship specs also include technical details regarding the submarines weapons systems, escape routes, fluid systems, hatches, doors and sea water systems,”

that sounds like a complete design to me. Basic requirement can be put on a single page of paper

You really don’t know much about major weapons final design specifications do you? Do you know how many pages the final Trident SSBN was? Over 20,000 pages that did not include over 100,000 pages from subcontractors on specific part production.

The F-35 final contract pre-award contract specs was tens of thousands of pages.

Now all we need is a new ICBM, LSRO and new nuke warheads for each and I’d be a happy Cold Warrior.

Stop denigrating Defense contractors! Sure they have problems but there isn’t any system out there that wasn’t integrated and built by contractors! These people are hard working loyal Americans who believe in their work and the country as well as the troops and sailors and airman they support with their systems. Is it all perfect, no, but where in the hell would we be without them? Oh, don’t forget that a large majority of them served as well!

Agreed. Back in the 60s, I worked in R&D in the Marines on two systems on one of our aircraft. Since the tech manual was written by engineers, I was given the task of rewriting it , to make it more readable by Marines. That book was about 8 inches thick, of 81/2 x 11 pages. Boy, was that a lot of fun.

You don’t read very well, do you? He said that all those volumes of requirements didn’t appear to be just a handful of “basic requirements” such as “put whatever you want into a box A x B x C in size”. Clearly this is why submarine costs and schedules do not get out of hand the way those of surface ships do. The contractors are held to very tight standards and are not allowed to f around doing whatever the hell they want to do for years or even decades. It is good there seems to be one bright spot in military procurement.

If the Navy would put as much engineering oversight and take as much responsibility in the design of their missiles that they do in the design of their submarines, they’d have new missiles already.

The LCS was done in this same exact way. The Navy doesn’t design. The Navy delivers a set of parameters for a design (the aforementioned specs).

Hmm, let’s see, where would we be without defense contractors? Well, we’d be on the Moon for one thing. Back when NASA designed their own rockets we could go there. Once they started outsourcing rocket design to defense contractors, well, you see the results of that. Now the only way we can get a man as high as to reach our own space station we have to rent rides on an ex-Soviet Union designed rocket the Russians still make. Our Navy would be 600 well armed and armored ships as it was when the Navy designed its own ships instead of 250 flimsy tubs like it is now that contractors design them. Of course, most of the newer ships cost more in inflation adjusted dollars than the US Navy designed Iowa Class battleship, despite their flimsy construction.

Yeah, when you son asks if you think he might grow up and someday live on the Moon, you can thank a defense contractor for the fact that as an Americana you really have to tell him, “it’s not very damn likely.” As you watch China lay claim to the Moon’s vast treasure trove of resources as we impotently rent rides to low earth orbit, go ahead and thank a defense contractor for that too.

It’s not. Those documents specify how each of the systems shall be designed. It’s basically a Tier II requirements document. The design of the various systems will be based on those specs.

And DemoncRATs have already sold the prints to China
for a pile of campaign cash and a bowl of pottage…

Yeah, tell me Defense contractors give a shit about anything more then profit:

2004 “Hummer” H1 = $40,000 ish
Unarmored HMMWV = $65,000

Civilian version gets AC, power windows/locks, ACTUAL DOORS, real seats, interior carpeting/trim, sound dampening yet COSTS LESS. Hmm, yep we are WELL taken care of.

Do we still have Naval Engineers that are capable of actually designing a ship?

Who said that the IOWA Class Battleships were of “flimsy” construction?

Civvie 2004 Hummer H1 was $110,00.00 base new. Get your facts straight.

That’s not what it says.

Then it was my misunderstanding :)

I doubt it’s just Democrats. Hell, Ron Paul was on the floor of the House arguing for “most favored nation” trade status for China. I think the going rate for a Congressman is 30 pieces of silver.

Design for affordability?? Yea, right. When you have the NavShipBureau’s Mr Pipe, Mr Pump, Mr Bulkhead, etc, etc, already dictating all their detailed parameters, where does the Navy expect to find any opportunity for cost trade-offs to achieve that ‘golden’ affordability? Sound like just another government acquisition sinkhole to throw the taxpayers dollars down the drain over the next 20 years and just hope (by some magic) a new sub will show up. Don’t hold your breath, folks.….

They are not indentured servants of the defense contractors. If the US Navy stops outsourcing the design of their ships, they simply hire back the engineers the defense contractor enticed away from the Navy. The biggest problem is that defense contractors use the “design by committee” approach instead of having a person who is responsible for the overall design and layout. In that regard, there may be a real shortage of people who have the skills to lay out an effective Naval ship design.

Sorry the original production run was 40k. You are correct they inflated the price of the 2000’s models to six figures, my mistake. Point still stands.

Wikipedia reports the 1992 version was ~40k (compared to an “unarmored Humvee” cost of ~65k) and with options ~55k. Without a sales brochure it’s difficult to know just what was in the base options. As the first model year of a vehicle converted from military use with very little idea how well the segment would do (and the segment is also unlikely to be mass market), it is probable the GM engineers did a minimum of work retooling the Humvee production line for civilian H1’s.

You mean Pratt and Whitney Canada?

Rickover’s ghost?

Regardless, selling it below the cost of a bulk buy (aka dod purchase) is highway robbery. Which was the point.

But for another example, the P8 Poseidon.

737–800 base cost:
$90.5 million (Boeing’s website)

P8A Poseidon airframe (w/ engines w/o avionics, computers,etc) cost:
$139.46 million

Hummer sales brochure: http://​www​.flashoffroad​.com/​f​e​a​t​u​r​e​s​/​H​i​s​t​o​r​y​/​9​2LE
My bad, roll up windows…

It is very typical for a modern military aircraft burdened with a huge electronic package to mark up that much. Civvie aircraft don’t use encrypted data links nor Magnetic Anomaly Detection equipment, for a start. Thats a really poor example. Try something else.

Pratt and Whitney Canada is part of united technology. While I was for a tougher response when they exported that piece of software to China I don’t see any link with a nuclear sub replacement.

Lets face it, China’s growth only occurred because we all moved as much business as possible over there, and we helped them to solve the technological challenge. And what could not be moved oversee have moved to Mexico. We are directly and indirectly creating our own failure.

I wish all of our ships were built as robustly as the Iowa Class battleship, with its 13″ of steel armor. How does the ability to build ships like that suddenly go out of fashion?

When you see defense contractors do so many stupid things in the technical arena it is easy to suppose they do just as many stupid things in the business arena, but that’s not the case. It is seldom easy to give a concrete example of fraud by a defense contractor. They know how to cover their tracks. They can be quite clever when clever is what pays off the best. That’s exactly why we need to change the rules of the game so that clever is what pays the most in the technical arena as well.

The short answer is NO.….

Iowa class construction is a ’40 technology weapon system. We don’t build airplanes like we did the B-17s either for the same reason.….

So there will be ten years of testing it say first ship built in 2021 and will enter the fleet in 2031. Overall this is smarter buying power the Navy is doing. Too bad the Army and USAF have idiots leading them still.

The P-8 has a few modifications over the standard 737–800, like different wings and a freakin bomb bay. Adding the bay alone requires a bunch of structural modifications so the plane won’t collapse like a dented soda can. Not to mention the mid-air refueling capability, a bunch of external antenna added, the sonobouy launcher, etc…

Lets see, who was involved in the construction of the Saturn V: Boeing, North American, Douglas, Rocketdyne. Nope no defense contractors there! The end of the moon program was purely political and politics is why we still haven’t gone back. The run-up to the Apollo program was ridiculously expensive, but could be justified by beating the Soviets, and learning tons about ICBM design. Try floating that kind of expense these days for simply the sake of exploration, and you’ll hear nothing but crickets.

Fun find!

Standard Civilian Enhancements

Dome Light, Console Cover, Rollup Windows, Lockable Doors, Keyed Ignition, Individual Bucket Seats, Padded Interface, Heat and Sound Insulation, Halogen Headlights. Ha ha ha…

My comment was re the usual “Democrats exported to China”, when the obvious truth is that /companies/ or their /employees/ export technology.

Rickover was an engineer. Even his ghost is probably very a very smart guy.

Yeah, same thing…

Guess who designed the Saturn V? Werner Von Braun. I wasn’t talking about who built it. I said it was DESIGNED by NASA. What part of that do you not understand?

You mean like Boeing exporting B-2 technology to China for the 787? Ok, I’m with you. http://​seattletimes​.com/​h​t​m​l​/​b​o​e​i​n​g​a​e​r​o​s​p​a​c​e​/​2​002

We’re showing that dumb old Navy now. We’ve got an LCS that’s more expensive than a battleship! Rookies.

“From a decadal viewpoint, the “Apollo peak” in NASA funding, regarded by so many as the agency’s halcyon period, is a myth.” — http://​aviationweek​.typepad​.com/​s​p​a​c​e​/​2​0​0​7​/​0​3​/​hum

“Clearly this is why submarine costs and schedules do not get out of hand the way those of surface ships do.”

You mean like the last class of submarine, Seawolf? We ended up with 3 instead of 12. The submarine world has its fair share of problems with contractors as the surface ship world.

Poor comparisons. Military standards are much higher than consumer standards. The material cost alone is the majority of that delta.

Not even close. And to clarify it would Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (I know nitpicking). There are many of them working for the Navy, but not with current design experience. To be fair the US Navy doesn’t design consistently enough to warrant keeping an army of designers and draftsmen on retainer only to be used once ever 5–10 years. It’s the inevitable down side to ship classes that are designed to last 30–50 years.

The US Navy shipped to burden off to the private sector so they could supplement with civilian ship design projects and now they’re suffering from the same problem the US Navy did.

Agreed. Whenever the the Navy rushes it incurs heavy costs to fix things during production. It’s far cheaper to fix a drawing than it is to fix a ship you already built. If the LCS could have matured the design another 1–2 we wouldn’t be paying to replace systems during production. R&D budgets are the first to get cut and cost programs the most down the pipeline.

Big-Dean.…hate to be a party-pooper but those where just the specifications, not the actual “blueprints”.…they are years off.….…

Big-Dean w/o violating opsec.…“Designing” has come a long way from CAD-CAM.….…

tomcat…the 726 class is a perfect example, while the cost overruns & rework weren’t as great as they were for the 688 class I think $4.9bill/boat 7 years from now isn’t feasible, unless the dollar is devalued by 50% LOL! While I agree 100% w/your comment on the SSN-21 class, many of the technologies & construction methodologies were used on the Va class, re-cooping some of those cost over-runs.….

We shouldn’t be locked into to just one design. Because I’am working on a new design that will do away with
the old propulsion system and introduce a new submarine design that will let us go to greater depths.

Keep a lid on it. No matter who you are, go through channels.

Maybe the military version — I’ll never forget the day I went to college and they were selling his and her Hummers — both for 35,000 total!! I should have gone to the bank and got a loan! I could have sold them both for 60,000 each in three months after that!!!!

I really wonder about this “disappearing” Boeing in the Indian Ocean. Maybe it is all a sham to give away secrets to the Chinese and it actually landed in China on time! Nothing would surprise me now a days, as bad as morals have fallen!

Aaah! Crap, it is all on Wikipedia already! I used to get into trouble for disgussing my ideas with Los Alamos sciendtists, and when I pointed out it was all common knowledge from magazines and the Britanica Encyclopedia, they finally relaxed!

Point taken. This goes back to the second part of my statement about politics. In the Saturn V model, you had a strong, intelligent customer leading the design, and organizing the contractors. That kind of model has really suffered in today’s military and government programs. I’ve been on defense contracts where the Government POC had no technological experience at all, they just managed cost and schedule. They had to hire another company to provide technical oversight. Hopefully, what the Navy is doing with the SSBN replacement is more akin to the Saturn V model of development, and not business as usual.

You’re wasting your breath on this issue. The mantra on DODBuzz is that contractors (especially) Lockheed Martin went off and designed their own ship to their own requirements and the Navy blindly accepted it. There is ZERO understanding of the requirements and specs that the Navy imposed on the contractors.

That’s exactly true. The military lays out all of these “requirements” that don’t mean a damn thing because they don’t converge on a design. You need to have a design first, then you can write requirements or more appropriately specifications around that. Then the contractor doesn’t have the wiggle room to go totally off the reservation. Instead the military says they want the defense contractor to “be creative” but the only creativity they get is the defense contractor figuring out ever more elaborate ways of screwing the US taxpayer.

They “shipped that burden off to the private sector so” the private sector could get rich on the backs of the US taxpayer. Hell, they give these companies a contract that guarantees them $1.10 for every $1.00 they spend and then they wonder why the costs go so high. It’s free money.

You clearly haven’t ever witnessed a shipyard having to layoff literally thousands of skilled workers because there’s nothing in the dry dock. Managing to avoid that is certainly a burden. The US has a fraction of the ship design firms and shipyards that it did 30 years ago. That’s not “getting rich of the backs of the US taxpayers”.

‘It would hardly be rational to make some ten or 20 flights to the moon, and then wind it all up and fly to the Mars or some asteroids. ‘This process has the beginning, but has no end. We are coming to the moon forever.’ Currently, Russia has plans to launch three lunar spacecraft — two to the surface and one to orbit — by the end of the decade. — http://​www​.dailymail​.co​.uk/​n​e​w​s​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​-​2​6​0​2​2​9​1/W

Last I checked, shipyard workers don’t DESIGN SHIPS! As I have said many times before, I have no problem with hiring contractors for touch labor. Touch labor is typically paid by the hour anyway. My problem is with these design and development contracts that pay contractors more money if they drag things out and jack up the cost of the weapons being designed. There is no risk involved in the design process. Nothing has to work. All the contractor has to do is say it will work. No risk should mean no profit, like it does everywhere else in a capitalist society. Got it?

*required

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.