Admiral Lisa Franchetti reported to Congress about problems in the US Navy
And about. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Lisa Franchetti, was heard before the Senate Defense Committee. As Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville blocks congressional approval of new positions for more than 300 senior Army officers, fleet and the Air Force, in addition to Franchetti herself, several other admirals and the commandant of the Marine Corps are in acting status.
In addition, some senior officers did not receive approval for their new ranks. Their salary depends on this, which they categorically do not like - for obvious reasons.
It is unknown how long this situation will last. In general, Franchetti's report does not inspire optimism. The situation with personnel is not encouraging: this year, the fleet did not receive 7 recruits, the total shortage is 000 people. Roughly speaking, these are the crews of three aircraft carriers, without air groups. The Columbia-class SSBN construction program is significantly behind schedule, and the backlog is increasing, leading to the fact that the possibility of extending the operational lives of the last five Ohio-class SSBNs is now being considered. But this extension will lead to lengthy and expensive repairs of submarines, which will still have to be written off in 13-000 years. And this means another, unplanned expenditure of funds from the naval budget.
The situation with the AUKUS program is no better. Even the Virginia SSGN construction program for the US Navy is behind schedule. Instead of the required two boats per year, the fleet receives, in mathematical terms, 1,2 hulls, but even here there are delays. The backlog of the Virginia program entails an increase in the costs of maintaining the latest Los Angeles aircraft in service. And these are again additional costs.
At the moment, out of 49 SSGNs in the fleet, 19 are undergoing repairs and maintenance. Moreover, in recent years this ratio has been worsening in the sense that more and more combat personnel of the US Navy are stationed at ship repair yards. In order to fulfill its obligations to Australia until 2040, the construction of Virginias must be increased to 2,2-2,3 hulls per year. But such a pace is impossible even according to the calculations of the Americans themselves.
They hope to be able to reach the level of two Virginias per year by 2028. But this is in the category of assumptions, since investments in shipbuilding lag behind the required ones. And Australia is experiencing financial difficulties. There is talk in Canberra that part of the program of nine Hunter-class frigates should be replaced by a cheaper Type 31 variant with Australian modifications.
There are similar problems with aircraft carriers in the US Navy. The delay in the entry into service of the Gerald Ford and the John Kennedy required an extension of the service life of the Nimitz and the Eisenhower, respectively. And this means repairs totaling $850 million. The decommissioning of five Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers entailed an extension of service life for five Bjork-class destroyers, which should already be decommissioned. The Navy generally insists on decommissioning 49 ships, but Congress this year allowed the decommissioning of 12. While only nine new ships were received from industry.
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