Parts of Navy shipbuilding plan "unsustainable"

The current Ohio class of ballistic missile submarine is expected to retire its first vessel by 2029 The current Ohio class of ballistic missile submarine is expected to retire its first vessel by 2029

JULY 9, 2014 — The Navy can't figure out how to pay for all the ships in its latest annual 30 year shipbuilding plan, which it submitted to Congress on July 1. The plan sets out a road map for getting from the present battle force fleet of 289 ships to the post 2020 goal of 306 vessels that will include 12 new Ohio replacement class ballistic missile submarines.

• 12 fleet ballistic missile submarines;
• 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers;
• 48 nuclear-powered attack submarines;
• 0-4 nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines;
• 88 large, multi-mission, surface combatants;
• 52 small, multi-role, surface combatants;
• 33 amphibious landing ships;
• 29 combat logistics force ships; and
• 33 support vessels.

"As long as the Navy is able to procure the ships reflected in the plan, we will have a battle force that meets QDR requirements, and that will adequately sustain the national shipbuilding and naval combat systems design industrial bases," says the Department of the Navy.

That's going to be expensive.

"Beginning in FY2020 and running through the end of the 30-year plan horizon. the plan requires an average annual investment of about $17.2B (FYI4$) to finance. which is ~$4B/year more than our historical average annual investment of ~$13B/yr. In particular. for the period while we are procuring the OHIO Replacement (OR) SSBN (essentially FY25-FY34), the Navy will have to provide an average of $19. 7B annually with the peak year in FY32 at slightly more than $24B. Even if the OHlO Replacement Program (ORP) is removed from the resource total, the average funding required beginning in FY2020 is ~$14-15B/yr to build the FSA force."

The document says that the battle force that meets the requirements of the National Security Strategy and the 2014 QDR, "requires funding at an unsustainable level, particularly between FY25 and FY34" and that "the average cost of this plan during the period in which the DON is procuring OR SSBN (~ $19.7B/year FY2025-2034) cannot be accommodated by the Navy from existing resources."

Read the 30 year plan HERE

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