August 18, 2008
Now it's back to three DDG-1000's
Here's strong support for the view of that CSIS report that says "the Navy's procurement policy is in serious disarray."
Senator Susan Collins seems to have succeeded in her efforts to get the Secretary of Defense to intervene in the Navy's decision to limit the DDG-1000 program to just two ships.
According to published reports, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England has written Collins a letter that says: "The Navy has been directed to ensure that its proposed plan will complete construction of the DDG-1000 ships currently under contract and conform to the president's (fiscal year 2009) budget submission by executing the third DDG-1000. This plan will provide stability of the industrial base and continue the development of advanced surface ship technologies, such as radar systems, stealth, magnetic and acoustic quieting and automated damage control."
The letter comes less than a month after a hearing of the House Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee on Navy Destroyer Acquisition Programs at which Allison Stiller, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ship Programs and Vice Admiral Barry McCullough, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Resources and Capabilities testified that the program was to be capped at two ships because, among other things:
"The DDG 1000 cannot perform area air defense; specifically, it cannot successfully employ the Standard Missile (SM-2), SM-3 or SM-6 and is incapable of conducting Ballistic Missile Defense. Although superior in littoral ASW, the DDG 1000 lower power sonar design is less effective in the blue water than DDG-51 capability. DDG 1000's Advanced Gun System (AGS) design provides enhanced Naval Fires Support capability in the littorals with increased survivability. However, with the accelerated advancement of precision munitions and targeting, excess fires capacity already exists from tactical aviation and organic USMC fires. Unfortunately, the DDG 1000 design sacrifices capacity for increased capability in an area where Navy already has, and is projected to have sufficient capacity and capability."