Military Review

Pitfalls of a new generation

19



According to the plans of the US Navy for the 2018 fiscal year, it is planned to purchase nine new warships. These include the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald Ford (CVN-78), two Virginia PLANTS, two destroyers of URO-type DDG-51, two coastal combat ships, the TAO-205 tanker and a life-saver tug.

In December 2016, the Navy announced that they were planning to increase the number of combat and auxiliary ships to 355 units, maintaining their operation at the required level. In March, 2015-th them in accordance with the assessment of the structure of this type of armed forces FSA (Force Structure Assessment) was 308.

Promised by Trump

In recent years, the naval composition of the US Navy has usually counted 270 – 290 names. Its increase to 355 roughly corresponds to the number announced during the election campaign of Donald Trump - 350 units. The adjustment to the five ships, as emphasized by American military analysts, was made in accordance with the national military strategy.

If we compare the current plans of the US Navy with their requests in 2015, an increase of 47 units corresponds to a 15 percent increase. According to the calculations of the US Congressional Research Service, to have the desired 30 by the end of the 2017-year period (2046–355 fiscal year), the fleet An additional 57 to 67 ships will be required (if the service lives of those already in combat will not be extended beyond the planned ones). And according to estimates of the budget bureau of the US Congress - even 73–77.

Discussing long-term plans and punching their decision from the legislators, the US Navy command plans to purchase the newest head nuclear Columbia SSBN-826 ballistic missile (SSBN) SSBN-2021 in the 12 fiscal year. The creation of new-generation nuclear submarines was previously called the Ohio submarine-based submarine replacement program (Ohio replacement program - ORP or SSBN (X)), which included the design and construction of 14 new-class boats instead of the Ohio XNUMX currently in service with the American fleet. US naval forces consider the creation of the Columbia SSBN as the highest priority program in its department.

As stated in the report of the Congressional Research Service, the Navy requested 2018 million dollars for the 842,9 fiscal year to fund advance procurement and 1,041 billion for research and development (R & D) for this program. In January, 2017-th cost of buying a head boat of the type "Columbia" was determined in 8,2 billion dollars (in prices at that time) without taking into account several billions for the design and documentation for the entire series. The average price of each ship from 2 to 12, which was in the preliminary calculations, is 6,5 billion (in 2017 prices of the year).

Last March, the report of the Main Control and Financial Department of the US Congress presented an assessment of the priority purchases of the Pentagon. The total cost of the Columbia program reached approximately 100,2 billion dollars in 2017 prices of the year, including about 12,6 billion for research and development and about 87,4 billion for construction. In connection with this, analysts doubt the ability of the Navy to finance the purchase of other types of ships at the required pace, which can significantly affect the implementation of the president’s electoral promises. Congress must consider the issues raised by the implementation of the Columbia program in the 2018 fiscal year, and make decisions either on approval of the budget submitted by the naval forces, or on its reduction or change. Moreover, legislators are expected to discuss not only the cost, but also the production schedule and technical risks. The main thing will be the potential impact on the financing of other US Navy shipbuilding programs.

Row battle

The US Navy cannot afford to build a new generation of SSBNs to replace Ohio-type boats with budget funds without major cuts to other programs, and therefore continues to search for additional sources. Experts emphasize that the lack of guaranteed full funding continues to threaten both Columbia and the entire naval shipbuilding plan in the United States.

Since 21 in September, General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation (GDEB) was awarded a $ 5 billion contract for the development of the new SSBN, the US Navy plans to purchase the main boat and start its construction in the 2021 fiscal year. The deal with General Dynamics covers the whole complex of design, including components and technologies, plus the creation of a prototype. At present, the program is at the stage of engineering works and pre-production.

Although the Navy and cover the initial development costs at this stage, this kind of armed forces are counting on a separate line of federal funding for basic expenses when it begins to build submarines, as was done in past years for some strategic programs. US lawmakers discussed the issue, but could not ensure the allocation of funds substantial content. And given the economic climate in Washington, the command of the Navy is growing concern that the fleet will have to pay most of the costs from its own funds. If so, military shipbuilding programs may fall under reduction or even be canceled. Navy officials made it clear that they would have no choice.

Nation will pay for everything

If the Navy had to pay even half of the required separate funding for the Columbia SSBN program, which it needs, as reported to Congress, the naval forces would have to exclude other ships from the 30-year plan, including four platoons of the type "Virginia", four destroyers and eight more combat units. “This is a bill that the nation must pay for,” said Admiral John Richardson, commander of naval operations. “We’re just the first of three types of US forces to do this.”

Speaking to investment analysts, Michael Petters, general manager of Huntington Ingalls Industries - HII, one of the two largest shipbuilding corporations in the United States (Huntington Ingalls Industries - HII), said that it was necessary to determine how a Colombia SSBN program would be funded critically important industry priorities. Newport News Shipbuildings (Va.), Part of HII, will be one of two shipyards developing and building Columbia SSBNs. According to Petters, the funds allocated to ships for the US Navy have remained at the same level in recent years; therefore, this type of sun is struggling with sequestration and the effects of the Budget Control Act. HII and other shipbuilders hoped that more money would be allocated to the fleet promised by Trump. One of the programs indicated by Petters in the risk group is the amphibious transport dock of the next generation LX (R), created on the basis of the UDC LPD 17 project.

As Admiral Richardson noted, the Navy is trying to avoid a situation where the fleet and the nation are forced to choose between the Columbia SSBN and the Virginia SSB: “We do not want to trade a blow for deterrence. We want to build all the boats of these types, this is our plan. One of our advantages, where we have superiority, is scuba, and we want to keep it. ” At "Columbia" and "Virginia", stressed the former submariner Richardson, completely different tasks.

And smaller mines

For the "Columbia" creates a new motor. “There is, however,” Richardson admitted, “very few technologies that are new.” This should lead to the minimization of surprises, increasing costs and creating problems with supervisory authorities and US lawmakers, the admiral believes.

Indeed, the US Navy has already taken steps to reduce the costs of the Columbia SSBN. Together with the UK, which replaces its Avangard with Dreadnought type submarines, the United States is working on a unified CMC missile compartment (Common Missile Compartment). The Navy is also planning to use the design, technology and components of the Virginia Platform for Columbia, which can reduce the cost of the strategic submarine by 17 percent in the respective items of expenditure. At the same time, official representatives of the Navy said: the probability that the Columbia SSBN will go beyond the estimated cost of maintenance, exceeds 50 percent.

History not in favor of the US Navy. “The costs of the lead ships of new submarine classes built in 70 – 80-s give little evidence that building a SSBN is cheaper than a PLAT,” the congressional budget bureau said in the beginning of the year. “The first Ohio-type submarine was more expensive than the lead ships of the two PLAT classes built during the same period.”

Representatives of the Navy note that the age of the existing submarine deterrence rules out any delay in the new-generation SSBN program. The Ohio grouping originally counted 18 units that were purchased by the US Navy in the 1974 – 1991 fiscal years. The ships entered the fleet from 1981 to 1997. They were designed for 30-year operation, but then re-certified for 42 service years.

The first four Ohio boats (SSBN 726-729) in 2002 – 2009 were converted into Tomahawk cargo vehicles, while each of the remaining 14 submarines carried D-24 X-TRUM submarines onboard the 5 SLBM. From 2018 onwards, the four launch shafts in each of the 14 Ohio SSBNs will be decommissioned. This will reduce the SLBM ammunition on each boat to 20 in accordance with the requirements of limiting strategic nuclear weapons.

The first of the Ohio 14 with Tridents will reach the limit of its life cycle in 2027. The remaining 13 boats of this type will be decommissioned about one ship annually, that is, the latter should be written off in 2040.

On the "Columbia" on 16 mines for SLBM, which will reduce the estimated average cost of purchasing new boats.
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19 comments
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  1. seti
    seti 17 December 2017 15: 24 New
    +1
    The program is ambitious but how feasible is it? There are doubts about this. But one thing is clear - corruption and cuts will destroy this country. Black Jack is definitely right here. We will soon find out what happens with this new project.
    1. Chertt
      Chertt 17 December 2017 16: 50 New
      +5
      Quote: seti
      The program is ambitious but how feasible it is

      Ambitious in what? Reduction of the underwater component, and an increase in the number of surface ships. Moreover, due to the construction of "Arly Berkov" (they wanted to launch a new project. And nothing is heard), as well as littoral ships (generally a dubious project)
      And if you agree with your words
      Quote: seti
      But one thing is clear - corruption and cuts will destroy this country. Black Jack is definitely right here.

      Something hegemonic, not all is well
    2. Vadim237
      Vadim237 17 December 2017 17: 03 New
      +6
      Absolutely doable - SSHA for shipbuilding ahead of the rest, as many submarines and ships are told to do, they will do so.
      1. dzvero
        dzvero 18 December 2017 13: 23 New
        0
        Technically, yes, doable. But whether they can pay - that is the question. How many high-tech projects have been cut due to the money issue (and not just naval ones)? Will it work out like with somvolts - 3 instead of 24?
        1. karabas-barabas
          karabas-barabas 22 December 2017 23: 30 New
          0
          Many projects were frozen, not because they did not find money, but because what is still more modern and more effective than the latest Chinese and Russian counterparts.
  2. Boa kaa
    Boa kaa 17 December 2017 15: 35 New
    +6
    SSBNs need to be changed, say? And before that, they cried that the nuclear warhead is also surviving the estimated operational terms ... And the Minitmen also need to change ... Damn! And your printing press will not overheat !? Or do you naively believe that the Russian Federation and China will continue to meekly accept your unsecured banknotes?
    By the way, how's your public debt doing? And when are you going to settle accounts with China on the trade balance ???
    1. thinker
      thinker 17 December 2017 16: 17 New
      +2
      Every minute, US government debt increases by $ 2,5 million recourse
    2. Vadim237
      Vadim237 17 December 2017 17: 06 New
      0
      The entire US nuclear weapons rearmament program creation of new ones: submarines, ICBMs, warheads, bombers, cruise missiles, will amount to about a trillion dollars, until the year 2040.
    3. gaudin
      gaudin 17 December 2017 18: 49 New
      +3
      Quote: BoA KAA
      Or do you naively believe that the Russian Federation and China will continue to meekly accept your unsecured banknotes?

      What Russia and China meekly buy US securities, the fleet will be built with this money.
      1. Monster_Fat
        Monster_Fat 17 December 2017 19: 12 New
        +3
        A machine tool, a machine tool, and one more time a machine printing all the necessary green-violet (now it has such a color) paper is something that allows the United States not to worry too much about the “price” of anything needed to achieve its goals. Remove the “machine” and you will remove the USA from the world stage. But the problem is that the United States and its allies have created the global financial system and they are steadily controlling it and therefore it is unlikely that they will get away from the "green paper" that is being circulated there in the foreseeable future, despite the "wet dreams" of the apologists for gold futures "," renminbi ", etc. The only hope is for" crypto "and" blockchain ", as substitutes for" approved currency's "and SWIFT," collateral loans "and ..... banks in general - that is, for a completely new financial world order .. .. However, the Americans would not have been Americans if they had not been ahead of the game — now in the USA methods are discussed explicitly how to take "crypto" under your control or .... destroy it so as not to interfere. Those who offer to control the “crypto” offer to create their own system of legalization of “crypto” drove it into a single exchange trading, but just-ATTENTION! -Through the dollar, giving it (“crypto”) the functions of gold (and thereby killing the “hopes” of those who stands for the "gold standard"). That is, to make a “crypto” interbank asset, leaving it only through the dollar and its derivative currencies. So, what I think, nobody will be able to “kill” the dollar, which means that they will not succeed in undermining the power of the United States.
        1. Cherry Nine
          Cherry Nine 17 December 2017 21: 26 New
          0
          Quote: Monster_Fat
          Remove the “machine” and you will remove the USA from the world stage.

          Do it
        2. dzvero
          dzvero 18 December 2017 13: 38 New
          0
          It is not the United States, but the Fed and the political structure that is built under it. The Fed (and the US + dollar) will be able to “kill” either disagreements among the owners or an equal external financial group. Since this is not observed, the first option remains. Trump’s election highlighted a split in the political elites of the United States, but it is very likely that it reflects a split among financial tycoons. Bearing in mind that wealth can be created either slowly during the creation of an empire or quickly during their collapse, then someone can play all-in.
        3. polkovnik manuch
          polkovnik manuch 23 December 2017 19: 33 New
          0
          You shouldn’t be so, it would have been a wish, but many and the PRC already have it in front of everyone, so "Uncle Sam" is afraid
    4. Conductor
      Conductor 20 December 2017 13: 31 New
      0
      And the Russian Federation invested in Amerov’s papers this week again, and here’s the security.
    5. karabas-barabas
      karabas-barabas 22 December 2017 23: 34 New
      +1
      The Russian Federation also has a public debt, and its payment, maintenance, is spent 2 times more% of GDP than in the United States, as well as army spending as a percentage in Russia is 2 times higher than the NATO average.
  3. shinobi
    shinobi 17 December 2017 16: 08 New
    0
    Well, wanting is not harmful. An interesting picture is emerging, by the time they have new boats, we will finish the re-equipment and building up the marine component. And not the fact that their boats will be better. If at all.
  4. arkadiyssk
    arkadiyssk 17 December 2017 21: 31 New
    +3
    Quote: Chertt

    Ambitious in what? Reduction of the underwater component, and an increase in the number of surface ships.


    Let's not throw hats, but try to seriously look at the realities of American plans?
    They do not reduce the underwater component in the 355 program, but rather add to 49 pieces - 12 pieces of Virginia nuclear submarines to contain China.
    Quote: Chertt

    Moreover, due to the construction of "Arly Berkov" (they wanted to launch a new project. And nothing is heard), as well as littoral ships (generally a dubious project)

    So ArlyBerk III version - this is essentially a new destroyer. It is in fact redesigned by 75%. Redesigned almost all rooms. The new radar around which the ship is being built. New cooling system from the docks of SanAntonio. New power supply system from Vaspov. New generators from Zumwalt.
    Littoral ships are not entirely unsuccessful, they remain in the niche of coastal work, but an additional program on frigates starts. Here are the frigates and according to the plans of the U.S., the LCS will provide air defense support by working with them as the lead ship.
  5. Old26
    Old26 18 December 2017 11: 28 New
    +4
    Quote: seti
    The program is ambitious but how feasible is it? There are doubts about this. But one thing is clear - corruption and cuts will destroy this country. Black Jack is definitely right here. We will soon find out what happens with this new project.

    Corruption and cuts will destroy any country. And we are no exception. They (cuts and corruption) were, are and will be. The question is different. In one case, there is a drank, and corruption, and at the output of one or another weapon system (though much more expensive than the initial cost). And in another case, there are cuts and corruption, and as a result, the terms either shift to the right for years, or give out with imperfections.
    The program for Americans is really ambitious. But since they have the basis of strategic deterrence forces - these are SSBNs, I am sure that the program will be implemented, even to the detriment of other systems.

    Quote: Chertt
    Ambitious in what? Reduction of the underwater component, and an increase in the number of surface ships. Moreover, due to the construction of "Arly Berkov" (they wanted to launch a new project. And nothing is heard), as well as littoral ships (generally a dubious project)

    They have an option to increase without the massive introduction of new ships. A couple of days ago, a message flashed that they could withdraw from the reserve, located there, Oliver Perry. The construction program is really ambitious. The creation of not only a completely new boat with electric vehicles), but also the creation of, say, a “universal” SSBN. I don’t know how much they are going to place there on the bow of the Tomahawks, but certainly no less, if not more, than at Virginia. Plus a new rocket. And plus, after all, the creation of new surface ships, starting from new aircraft carriers and ending with ships of other classes

    I don’t know if they will reduce other subprograms of this naval program, but they will almost certainly build boats

    Quote: Vadim237
    Absolutely doable - SSHA for shipbuilding ahead of the rest, as many submarines and ships are told to do, they will do so.

    The question is not how much they say, they will do so much. The question is price. As the character of one Soviet comedy movie said - IN WHAT IT WILL RESULT

    Quote: BoA KAA
    SSBNs need to be changed, say? And before that, they cried that the nuclear warhead is also surviving the estimated operational terms ... And the Minitmen also need to change ... Damn! And your printing press will not overheat !? Or do you naively believe that the Russian Federation and China will continue to meekly accept your unsecured banknotes?
    By the way, how's your public debt doing? And when are you going to settle accounts with China on the trade balance ???

    Hello Alexander.
    Well, the way to “cry” is a universal way to get extra money. And at all. From whom it is, this extra money will be taken away - this is the second thing. They will not let the flyers build a fleet of, for example, 100 new bombers, limiting them to 50 pieces and take this money and transfer it to build SSBNs, or sequestrate the social budget - that’s the question.
    Rumors that their nuclear warheads are surviving the estimated terms are somewhat exaggerated. They simply upgrade them, sawing including and non-nuclear components. They had W-76 and W-80 type BGs. But in carrying out a life extension program, they upgrade them to W-76-1 and W-80-1. And in the long term (until 2030), the year will be brought to the W-76-4 and W-80-4 versions. In the future, it is planned to replace all existing BGs with three universal ones. IW-1, IW-2, and IW-3.
    Yes, now the Americans have the problem of creating NEW ammunition, but it is being solved. If interested, you can talk about it in the evening.
    The Minuteman modernization program they have already completed. In fact, there are now missiles in the US mine PUs that are only called the same name as Minuteman 3 before. In essence, these are missiles with completely updated all components. Starting from the steps and fuel and touching the control and guidance system. Well, and accordingly, other nuclear warheads are already part of them ...
    This is regarding the technical side of the problem. I do not consider financial and “machine tool”, since in this case absolute zero

    Quote: shinobi
    Well, wanting is not harmful. An interesting picture is emerging, by the time they have new boats, we will finish the re-equipment and building up the marine component. And not the fact that their boats will be better. If at all.

    Really interesting picture. We are building as many as 8 missile carriers with the Bulava, at the same time we are writing off with 100% guarantee the BDRs and, most likely, the majority of the BDRMs. And they begin to build new SSBNs to replace the Ohio and not in the amount of 8. And at some point in time they will have 14 Ohio with 20 missiles each, and how many Boreev and the rest do we have? It is difficult to call the buildup of the marine component its reduction.
  6. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 23 December 2017 19: 40 New
    0
    The article was very interesting, and some comments too. For screaming "everything is gone!" I’ll say that we probably have an “ace of trumps” in our sleeves, so that an asymmetric answer will be necessary and at times cheaper.