Navy: Plan to Build New Strategic Sub Requires ‘Unsustainable’ Funding

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
July 8, 2014, 6:59 a.m.

The U.S. Navy says that it can­not af­ford to sim­ul­tan­eously build a new stra­tegic sub­mar­ine fleet and to up­date the rest of its con­ven­tion­al ships.

In a Ju­ly 1 re­port to Con­gress on its long-term ship­build­ing plan, the Navy said by fisc­al 2032 it would be spend­ing in ex­cess of $24 bil­lion an­nu­ally — al­most double the tra­di­tion­al av­er­age of $13 bil­lion, In­side De­fense re­por­ted. The sea ser­vice de­scribed that amount of fund­ing as “un­sus­tain­able.”

“There will be re­sourcing chal­lenges out­side the [fisc­al 2015 - fisc­al 2019 fu­ture years de­fense plan] largely due to in­vest­ment re­quire­ments as­so­ci­ated wit the SSBN(X) re­quire­ment,” wrote U.S. Deputy De­fense Sec­ret­ary Robert Work in the 28-page re­port. “SSBN(X)” refers to the planned suc­cessor class to the Ohio bal­list­ic mis­sile sub­mar­ine.

The Navy’s long-term ship­build­ing plan does not factor in cur­rent de­fense spend­ing caps im­posed by the 2011 Budget Con­trol Act.

Ac­quis­i­tion costs for the next-gen­er­a­tion nuc­le­ar de­liv­ery vehicle are fore­cast in the re­port to boost yearly ship­build­ing spend­ing to an av­er­age of $19.7 bil­lion yearly dur­ing the fisc­al 2015 - fisc­al 2019 peri­od.

The need to mod­ern­ize the U.S. stra­tegic sub­mar­ine fleet “will cause sig­ni­fic­ant and note­worthy risks to the Navy’s over­all ship­build­ing plan,” the re­port says.

The pro­jec­ted cost of the lead SSBN(X) sub­mar­ine also has in­creased, rising by about $400 mil­lion from last year’s pro­jec­tion to $12.4 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Navy.

There is a move­ment in both cham­bers of Con­gress to cre­ate a sep­ar­ate fund to pay for the new stra­tegic sub­mar­ine fleet in or­der to pre­vent the ex­pense from swamp­ing the Navy’s ship­build­ing budget. The Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee in May passed an­nu­al de­fense-au­thor­iz­a­tion le­gis­la­tion that would re­quire the es­tab­lish­ment of a “Na­tion­al Sea-based De­terrence Fund.” Le­gis­la­tion with a sim­il­ar goal has already been ap­proved by the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives.

Con­struc­tion of the new sub­mar­ine fleet is an­ti­cip­ated to be­gin in fisc­al 2021. A total of 12 new ves­sels — armed with nuc­le­ar-tipped Tri­dent D-5 bal­list­ic mis­siles — are planned for ac­quis­i­tion.

What We're Following See More »
STAKES ARE HIGH
Debate Could Sway One-Third of Voters
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."

Source:
YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS ANYMORE
Gennifer Flowers May Not Appear After All
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."

Source:
HAS BEEN OFF OF NEWSCASTS FOR A WEEK
For First Debate, Holt Called on NBC Experts for Prep
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.

Source:
WHITE HOUSE PROMISES VETO
House Votes to Bar Cash Payments to Iran
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."

Source:
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
×