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Navy Proposal To Cut Surface Combatants


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#1 Burncycle360

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 2111 PM

Combatants^

They'll redefine terms and count unmanned vessels towards the total ship count in order to pay lip service to the stated goals. 

https://www.defensen...ng-13-cruisers/

 

 

Pentagon proposes big cuts to US Navy destroyer construction, retiring 13 cruisers
By: David B. Larter
 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense has sent a plan to the White House that would cut the construction of more than 40 percent of its planed Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers in in fiscal years 2021 through 2025.
 

In total, the proposal would cut five of the 12 DDGs planned through the so-called future years defense program, or FYDP. In total, the plan would cut about $9.4 billion, or 8 percent, out of the total shipbuilding budget, according to a memo from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to the Defense Department obtained by Defense News. The memo also outlined plans to accelerate the decommissioning cruisers, cutting the total number of Ticonderoga-class cruisers in the fleet down to nine by 2025, from a planned 13 in last year’s budget.
 

The Pentagon’s plan would actually shrink the size of the fleet from today’s fleet of 293 ships to 287 ships, the memo said, which stands in contrast to the Navy’s goal of 355 ships. The 355 ship goal was also made national policy in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

The memo comes on the heels of a wave of rhetoric from the Navy and the highest levels of the Trump Administration that the goal remains 350-plus ships, and the memo directs the Pentagon to submit a “resource-informed” plan to get to 355 ships, though its unclear how that direction might affect the Navy's calculus with regards to destroyer construction. The document gives the Navy a degree of wiggle-room to try and redefine what counts as a ship.

“OMB directs DOD to submit a resource-informed plan to achieve a 355-ship combined fleet, including manned and unmanned ships, by 2030,” the memo reads. “In addition to a programmatic plan through the FYDP and projected ship counts through 2030, DOD shall submit a legislative proposal to redefine a battleforce ship to include unmanned ships, complete with clearly defined capability and performance thresholds to define a ship’s inclusion in the overall battleforce ship count.”

Destroyers are built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine and by Huntington Ingalls in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Each destroyer costs an average of $1.82 billion based on the Navy’s 2020 budget submission, according to the Congressional Research Service.

A Trump Administration official who spoke on background said the Navy's proposed plan to shrink the fleet is being driven primary from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and that OMB is strongly behind the President's goal of 355 ship.

“OMB strongly supports 355 [ships] and is working with the Navy on it,” the official said. “OSD seems to be the most opposed to it.”

A Navy spokesman declined to comment on the contents of the memo, saying it was related to a budget still in development and was “pre-decisional.” The military has a policy of refusing to comment on budget matters before they've been submitted to congress.
 

Cruisers (Again)

The fate of the cruisers has been a nearly annual fight on Capitol Hill, as the Navy has tried desperately to divest themselves of the troublesome class, though this year's proposed cancellation of six cruiser modernization plans did not make a stir on the Hill.

The cruisers themselves are the largest surface combatants in the Navy’s inventory but have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Cruisers have 26 more vertical launch system, or VLS, cells per hull than their Arleigh Burke Flight IIA destroyer counterparts, and 32 more than the Flight I Burkes.

Cruisers act as the lead air defense ship in a carrier strike group but as they have aged, the fleet has managed everything from cracking hulls to aging pipes and mechanical systems. The ships’ SPY-1 radars have also been difficult to maintain, as components age and need constant attention from technicians.

Last year, the Navy proposed canceling the modernization of Bunker Hill, Mobile Bay, Antietam, Leyte Gulf, San Jacinto and Lake Champlain in 2021 and 2022. The new proposal would accelerate the decommissioning of the Monterey. Vella Gulf and Port Royal to 2022, which would cut between three and seven years off each of their planned lives. The plan would also advance the decommissioning of the Shiloh to 2024, three years earlier that previously planned.

The service's past efforts to shed the cruisers to save money repeatedly drew the ire of former House Armed Services Committee sea power subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes, R-Va., who didn’t trust the Navy to keep the ships in service and therefore wrote clear language into several National Defense Authorization Act bills prohibiting the move.

The Navy ultimately agreed to the so-called 2-4-6 plan in 2015, which allowed the service to lay up to two cruisers a year, for no more than four years and allow no more than six of the ships to undergo modernization at any one time
 

'Making a Case'

The 2030 deadline for 355 ships as mentioned in the OMB memo was first laid out earlier this month by acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly in a speech at USNI’s Defense Forum

 

“[Three hundred and fifty-five ships] is stated as national policy,” Modly told an audience on Dec. 5. “It was also the president’s goal during the election. We have a goal of 355, we don’t have a plan for 355. We need to have a plan, and if it’s not 355, what’s it going to be and what’s it going to look like?

“We ought to be lobbying for that and making a case for it and arguing in the halls of the Pentagon for a bigger share of the budget if that’s what is required,”

The speech was followed by the President's National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien at the Reagan National Defense Forum saying that Trump was serious when he committed to a 350-ship Navy.

“When President Trump says a 350-ship Navy, he means a 350-ship Navy, and not decades from now,” O’Brien said.

Bryan McGrath, a retired destroyer captain and analyst with the defense consultancy The Ferrybridge Group, said the plan to reduce the size of the fleet is a sign that the Defense Department isn't willing to put the resources required toward growing the fleet.

“If what you are reporting is true, this is a sign of the tension between the grand desires for a much larger fleet and the modest resources being applied to the problem,” McGrath said. “There simply is no way to grow the fleet as it is currently architected while maintaining the current fleet at a high state of readiness with the given resources."

McGrath said if 355 is still the goal, the Pentagon has to either dramatically restructure the fleet to switch out large surface combatants such as cruisers and destroyers with smaller, less expensive ships, or it has to change what’s counted as a ship – both moves that have been signaled by the Navy in recent years.

“This is why it's so hard to grow a Navy,” McGrath said. “You have to decide it's a national priority, you have to devote a lot of resources and you have to do it over a period of years. None of that has happened.”

Dan Gouré , an analyst with the Arlington-based think tank The Lexington Institute and former Bush Administration Pentagon official, said trading existing force structure for unproven technologies such as unmanned ships that may pan out down the road is a classic Pentagon trap that rarely pans out.

“It sends a bit of a chill up my spine to hear that the Navy may be considering cutting a bird in the hand for a theoretical eagle down the road,” Goure said. “That almost never works. I’ve been doing this long enough, 40 years of this, tell me when that’s ever really worked.”


 

 


Edited by Burncycle360, 24 December 2019 - 2114 PM.

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#2 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 0229 AM

So they get rid of a tried and tested platform, and instead bank on completely untested and uncertain technology. Doesnt the USN learn any lessons at all?


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#3 JasonJ

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 0446 AM

AFAIK, the flight III came about because of the failure of the Zumwalt-class. More destroyers needed to be in in place of the cancelled Zumwalts. But the Burke hull seems to have upgrade limits. New equipment require much more energy. The biggest energy eating is the SPY-6 radar. But other energy eaters are expectations for growth in energy weapons. Something else that seems to be wanted out of Flight III is the ability to function in the central nerve control role that the Ticonderoga-class since Ticonderoga are expensive to maintain. So for filling that role, the crew size requirement on the Burke goes up by about 50. It seems to be pushing the Burke to its limits. Kind of like Panzer IV, it might have reached its end. But of course.. a new large combat ship platform doesn't seem to be available any time soon. Sounds like a bit if a bind... Although, Japan seemed to have lengthened the general hull from Atago-class to Maya-class. But maybe the insides in what not are not so similar. Although Maya still uses SPY-1D radar, not the new SPY-6.
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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 0540 AM

They could always pick an allies design, tool about with it and get something like what they want. I dont necessarily mean a Type 45, but I mean a Type 45. :D

 

After all, they are considering doing this with the Type 26.


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#5 JasonJ

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 0625 AM

Type 45 needz prove can BMDz firsto :)
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#6 Nobu

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 1210 PM

So they get rid of a tried and tested platform, and instead bank on completely untested and uncertain technology. Doesnt the USN learn any lessons at all?

 

Retired USN flag-rank officers may be on the payroll, so to speak.


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#7 Yama

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 1407 PM

So they get rid of a tried and tested platform, and instead bank on completely untested and uncertain technology. Doesnt the USN learn any lessons at all?

I can totally understand why they'd want to get rid of the Ticos. The systems are old and finding spare components and qualified people to maintain them must be a nightmare. Note how Norway with its much newer Aegis system already thinks they are hard to maintain. And Tico hulls have always been a bit troublesome, basically overloaded destroyer hulls. Only issue I see is that AFAIK Ticos are equipped to be flagships and Burkes aren't.


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#8 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 0557 AM

Well they are still making Burkes, but they arent launching Ticonderoga's. The difficulty in maintaining may be purely due to the age of the platforms. If they had been replacing them like for like, as they have with the Burkes, they may not have had a problem at all.

 

This kind of reminds me of the 1970's when they had aging ships they hadnt replaced from the buildup in WW2. And we are as far from the 1980's buildup now as that generation was from WW2.


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#9 Chris Werb

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 0827 AM

I can remember when the goal was a 600 ship navy. The DoD needs to focus on capabilities and particularly distributed lethality instead of the number of high end combatants it can deploy.
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#10 Panzermann

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 1632 PM

Well they are still making Burkes, but they arent launching Ticonderoga's. The difficulty in maintaining may be purely due to the age of the platforms. If they had been replacing them like for like, as they have with the Burkes, they may not have had a problem at all.

 

This kind of reminds me of the 1970's when they had aging ships they hadnt replaced from the buildup in WW2. And we are as far from the 1980's buildup now as that generation was from WW2.

 

USN seems sucks at fleet management as an institution, that they get into these situations. That ship class X is going to need replacement is no suprise after Y years of servie. Either new builds of the same class or a new class for the role.


Edited by Panzermann, 28 December 2019 - 1633 PM.

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#11 Ken Estes

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 1847 PM

Nothing new, the Navy has not had a relevant strategy since 1945 and that was canx when the funds went south. The much vaunted 600 ship Navy of R Reagan and his hysterical Secnav Lehman had no strategic basis, except for one wag's analysis that it equaled 25 ships per time zone. 'Nuf said?


Edited by Ken Estes, 29 December 2019 - 0303 AM.

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#12 JasonJ

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2120 PM

Conclusions about USN development and procurement can be met with various other conclusions that kind of dampen the USN conclusion. On one hand, there are the arguments that still point out that the USN is by far the most powerful navy in the world and that make a case that the PLAN still has a very long way to go before remotely challenging the USN in general capabilities. But on the other hand is the argument that points out the maintenance problems with things like F-18s on carriers, the destroyer accidents, and development/procurement errors such as Zumwalt and LCS (speaking of which, might retire 10 years early). So its like, when the surrounding understanding is in disagreement about evaluating USN and PLAN, any more specific conclusions gets watered down. Then further pile on conflicting interest for the USN to continue a global role or to pull back. 5 years ago when I started here, I thought it be easy to see positive reaction and interest to see strong naval relations between the USN and JMSDF. But its been really hard actually. And I've been stun how easily interest in today's naval relations between the USN and JMSDF can be so easily blunted by disagreement over the general narrative about WW2.  This thread has yielded very little positive showing out of the US contingent even though it is in large part about balancing a big red china that everyone here I think would feel being necessary. Had the core American contingent fancied the amount of effort that went into it to only be left out drying, and for the most part, talking to my self, very little active participation by the American contingent to add content in it to keep it vibrant? lol Instead it feels like a bunch of grumpy people with arms crossed given reserved nods about it. Well, take a nod if that's all one can get I figured.. Well by average of course. The USN has reigned supreme over the Asia-Pacific throughout the whole Cold War and afterwards and still does with only a recent possible change in some parts inside of the 1st island chain. To that "no relevant strategy since 1945" Sometimes one wonders if a post is for informative or for invoking a response. Or is its a mix. Sometimes goals are stated higher than whats achieved but still makes the general direction. Maybe some flashy noise about 600 ship fleet? But was any other Navy willing to try calling out that bluff and test its integrity? But if then if its true, and that the USN was a paper tiger the whole time to be lucky to not have been seriously challenged, then its kind of like a bad joke for the USN to be competent, come to this region, take out the IJN and enable the break up of the empire, cut Korea in half and toss the north to the Fat-Kims, then to only later go incompetent and to then subsequently just leave to let the CCP's PLAN a good chance in dominating the whole thing. But the USN while having troubles, hasn't gone that incompetent no has it? Sometimes I wonder about the general deposition behind the opinions of posters. If your weak, then its your fault. If your strong, then you're a competitor. Can't win. One way or the other, its "FU" behind it. Or maybe its not. Could be just the "no your wrong" knee jerk reaction regardless of content. But clarity is needed. More active posts showing a positive interests to actually be part of the activities between the USN and JMSDF would make such clarity. Well IDK, I could be rambling on unnecessarily. I do that sometimes. But reaffirming active posts would make a huge difference. Without it, then its just wondering. So why get into that, well it sort of influence what posture I should take when responding about problems with the USN. Does the American contingent want to the USN to stay in the Asia-Pacific? Do they want to keep an active defense relations with the JMSDF in the Asia-Pacific to counter China? Or do they want to do it on they own without developing a inter-dependent defense relation? Or do they just want to up and out. Several posts have been made that make quite clear on the "just want to up and out" but are those really the long term sentiment or on the spur of the moment reaction during hot debate? The posture of the general US contingent and mine is going to be a factor in how to address problems with the USN. Do I want to point out the still positive things about the USN capabilities? Or do I just want to jab and just say they should be Type 45 destroyers ( :) ) ? Sometimes I think negativity towards US forces gets carried away, despite LCS, Zumwalt, the destroyer collisions. The USN is very big and very active. Well the US contingent is made up of different posters as well, I don't want to blur them all together as characterizing all as how I went rambling on with. Sometimes the American contingetn is most negative about their Navy, except when talking about the British capabilities :D Should I be left in trying to keep the negative ways always in check even though I'm somewhat of a different contingent, being an odd one out? Well anyway, I think the main point I'm trying to make is, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO RESPOND :) I could just not worry about all that and just go with straight factual posting, even if it rubs the wrong way with a sentiment by another posting that just wants to bash the USN out of feeling of being disappointed with it or whatever. Or maybe I should just not respond :D

 

USS JFK being launched on December 17th.


Edited by JasonJ, 28 December 2019 - 2140 PM.

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#13 Nobu

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2139 PM

Concentration on the global force for good mission may have diluted the Navy's search for a strategy in various ways. 


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#14 JasonJ

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2231 PM

Its probably more the fault of changing administrations than the Navy itself. NASA had the same problem, going from Moon mission during Bush Jr to asteroid/Mars under Obama, and then back to Moon with Trump. Each administration has different ideas and different people they prefer.


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#15 Nobu

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2236 PM

Nothing new, the Navy has not had a relevant strategy since 1945 and that was canx when the funds went south. The much vaunted 600 ship Navy of R Reagan and his hysterical Secnav Lehman had no strategic basis, except for one wag's analysis the it equaled 25 ships per time zone. 'Nuf said?

 

I have heard it theorized that the 600-ship Navy may have helped spook the Russians into playing the arms race game they eventually lost. If that was the strategy, it certainly worked at least partly as intended.


Edited by Nobu, 28 December 2019 - 2237 PM.

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#16 JasonJ

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2237 PM

This times' 355 isn't going to work.


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#17 Nobu

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2245 PM

USN seems sucks at fleet management as an institution, that they get into these situations.

 

What it has figured out, however, is that correctly portraying these situations in way that generates funding cures almost anything.


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#18 JasonJ

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2318 PM

Another funding cure is supplementary budgets added later in the fiscal year. This year's defense budget was 5.26 trillion yen or about 48.1 billion USD. A supplementary budget added in December was worth 0.4287 trillion yen. So really defense spending for 2019 ended up being about 5.68 trillion yen or about 51.9 billion USD.

https://www.mod.go.j.../hoseiyosan.pdf


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#19 lucklucky

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 2358 PM

USN+US shipyards are at almost like Boeing level, milking designs from decades ago, at least they tried the clumsy  DDG-1000, i don't know how that was expected to be Burke successors.

 

Burke is right entering obsolescent phase: propulsion is from XX century with only gas turbines and double the crew it should.  Not to even to talk about Ticonderoga...

Meanwhile next SSBN is said to take 30-40% of building budget so something will have to give. There will not be another cruiser, that is obvious. Priority should be to build a new destroyer to replace Burke that will also have flag capabilities to replace Tico.


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 0241 AM

Nothing new, the Navy has not had a relevant strategy since 1945 and that was canx when the funds went south. The much vaunted 600 ship Navy of R Reagan and his hysterical Secnav Lehman had no strategic basis, except for one wag's analysis the it equaled 25 ships per time zone. 'Nuf said?

It was perhaps a case of a political statement for X amount of Ships looking for a strategy as a reason to justify it. But that said, we should not overlook that the strategy was ultimately successful. Yes, it nearly started WW3, but it also freaked out, bankrupted and otherwise demoralized the Soviet Union. In absolute fairness to Lehman and Weinberger, any strategy in the 1980's would have been fraught with risk, so dangerous had the Soviet leadership become.

 

Lets be honest, there is no strategy behind the 350 ship navy either. The idea is to have more ships than the previous Presidents had, and worry about the strategy later. Which funnily enough, might be the right way to approach it. If they come up with a stategy that required a build of 300 ships, the politicians will probably tell them to do it with 250. :D


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