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May 2, 2002

Key House committee seeks boost for shipbuilding
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) yesterday reported H.R. 4546, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, out of committee on a bipartisan 57 to 1 vote. The bill now provides $73.4 billion for procurement, $3.2 billion more than the Bush Administration’s request. Shipbuilding is a major beneficiary of the boost which, among other things, could lead to procurement of another Arleigh Burke class destroyer. An interesting item is a $7 million allocation for development of a Joint Mission High Speed Vessel.

The committee also recommends $54.1 million ($50 million more than the President’s request) for the Title XI vessel construction loan guarantee program administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration.

Here's what the HASC mark up of the Navy shipbuilding budget looks like in more detail:

Acoustic Rapid Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Technology Insertion (ARCI). The Navy plans to upgrade its current submarine sonar systems in fiscal year 2008 with ARCI, a computer technology which allows the continual upgrade of technology. To accelerate implementation, the committee recommends $123.5 million ($25 million more than the President’s request) for research and development to insert ARCI into submarine and other naval sonar systems.

Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Countermeasures, and Ship Self-Defense. Anti-submarine warfare, ship self-defense, and mine countermeasures capabilities are keys to successful naval operations in the littoral regions of the world. The committee supports the President’s request to boost these defenses and recommends an additional $312 million to improve U.S. naval sensors, command and control, weapons, and training. Specifically, the committee recommends $126 million in research and development and $82 million in procurement for the Navy’s antisubmarine warfare program, $18 million for research and development of mine countermeasures, and $61 million in research and development and $25 million for procurement for ship self-defense.

Aircraft Carriers. The committee recommends $91.7 million (matching the President’s request) for research and development on the CVN-77 aircraft carrier, $268 million (matching the President’s request) for CVN(X) research and development and $472.7 million ($229 million more than the President’s request) to accelerate the CVN(X)-1 contract by one year.

Future Navy Surface Combatants. The committee supports the Navy’s program for development of the next-generation surface combatant, the DD(X) land attack destroyer, and recommends a total of $960 million (matching the President’s request) for the program. In addition, the committee also recommends:

  •  $204 million (matching the President’s request) for the Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability ($89 million in research and development and $115 million in procurement);
  •  $134 million ($25.5 million more than the President’s request) for the Navy’s land attack technology program, including an increase of $11 million for the Secretary of Defense to re-establish a competitive program for development of the Advanced Land Attack Missile, and an increase of $14.5 million to the 5-inch extended range guided munitions program; and
  • $60 million ($20 million more than the President’s request) for development and integration of combat systems for naval combatants. 

Guided Missile Submarine Conversion. Through the guided missile submarine conversion program, the Navy will refuel ballistic missile submarines and replace their nuclear missiles with long-range conventional Tomahawk cruise missiles. The committee recommends $404.3 million (matching the President’s request) to complete conversion of the first two submarines and $421 million (matching the President’s request) for advance procurement of long-lead components to convert the remaining two submarines in fiscal year 2004.

LHD-8. LHD-8 will be the eighth ship in this amphibious assault ship class, improving the Navy and Marine Corps’ ability to operate helicopters, AV-8B attack aircraft, and amphibious assault and landing craft during assault combat missions. The committee recommends $243 million (matching the President’s request) to continue to build LHD-8. 

LPD-17 The San Antonio-class LPD-17 ships will provide improved capabilities to embark, transport, and land elements of Marine landing forces. The committee recommends $596.5 million (matching the President’s request) for the fifth ship and $8 million (matching the President’s request) for advance procurement of future San Antonio-class amphibious ships.

Joint Mission High-Speed Vessel. The committee recommends $7 million (the President did not request any funds) for development of a joint mission high-speed vessel for sea-based joint operations of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. The committee supports evaluation of this commercial technology-based capability to support high speed, sustained, sea-based joint operations.

Shipbuilding Initiative.
The committee recommends $810 million for one additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in fiscal year 2003 if the Secretary of the Navy certifies that the prime contractor for the Virginia-class submarine program has committed to expend from its own funds an amount not less than $385 million for procurement of components for Virginia-class submarines beginning in fiscal year 2003. If this certification is not provided, then $810 million will be allocated as follows: $415 million for Virginia-class submarine advance procurement, $210 million for cruiser conversion advance procurement, and $185 million for nuclear attack submarine engineering refueling overhaul.

DDG-51. The DDG-51 class of Navy AEGIS destroyers provides improved radar, fleet defense, missile defense, and land attack capabilities to the Navy’s surface fleet. The committee recommends $3.1 billion ($810 million and one DDG-51 more than the President’s request) for procurement of three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and $311 million ($10 million more than the President’s request) for AEGIS combat system engineering. If the settlement does not occur as anticipated, the committee recommends only $2.3 billion (matching the President’s request) for two DDG-51s and $311 million for AEGIS combat system engineering. 

New Attack Submarine. The committee recommends $1.6 billion (matching the President’s request) for advance procurement of the fourth boat in the Virginia-class of submarines, which will replace retiring Los Angeles-class submarines and constitute the bulk of the future attack submarine force. If the settlement does not occur as anticipated, the committee recommends an additional $415 million for advance procurement of equipment for one additional Virginia-class submarine to be purchased in fiscal year 2005.

 
Cruiser conversion. The cruiser conversion program will significantly upgrade the capabilities of the Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers. If the settlement does not occur as anticipated, the committee recommends an additional $210 million to purchase the first set of cruiser conversion materials, which would allow the Navy to accelerate the conversion by one year to fiscal year 2005.

 
Attack Submarine (SSN) Engineered Refueling Overhaul (ERO). The SSN ERO program refuels, modernizes, and upgrades SSNs for extended service in the fleet. The committee recommends $271.3 million (matching the President’s request) for one SSN ERO and $88.3 million (matching the President’s request) for advance procurement of components for the two SSN EROs planned for fiscal year 2004. If the settlement does not occur as anticipated, the committee recommends an additional $185 million for one more SSN ERO in fiscal year 2003. 

T-AKE. The committee recommends $388.8 million (matching the President’s request) for procurement of the third T-AKE, a ship that replenishes battlegroups at sea with ammunition, spare parts, and provisions.

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