30 Year Shipbuilding Plan–Where Is Ours?


The Navy has provided their 30 year Ship Acquisition Plan. Here is their news release.

WASHINGTON (NNS) — The Department of the Navy submitted the long-range ship acquisition plan to Congress Feb. 12.

The 30-Year Ship Acquisition Plan is a Congressionally-mandated report which describes the Department of the Navy’s long-range shipbuilding plans for 2019-2048. This year’s report focuses on meeting the Navy’s baseline acquisition requirements needed to build the Navy the Nation Needs (NNN) and sustaining the domestic industrial base to meet that aim.

In support of the National Defense Strategy’s stated goal of achieving a more lethal, resilient and agile force, the plan serves as a roadmap to reach a 355-ship fleet by the early FY2050s, potentially quicker with an aggressive investment of resources. The plan pursues acquisition strategies to build ships more quickly and affordably and places top priority on sustaining the industrial base now and for the future. Ultimately, the plan supports the Navy’s overall effort to build the Navy the Nation Needs to protect the homeland, defend the interests of America and its allies abroad, and preserve America’s strategic influence around the world.

This plan addresses the Navy’s most critical shipbuilding needs by:
* Building CVNs four years apart after CVN 82 instead of five to support a 12-ship CVN force.
* Building 12 Columbia-class SSBNs in support of the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and STRATCOM deterrence requirements.
* Establishing a stable profile of two per year Attack Submarines (SSN).
* Establishing a stable profile of 2.5 per year Large Surface Combatants (DDG), plus an additional ship in FY2022.
* Establishing a stable profile of two per year Small Surface Combatants (LCS, FFG) starting in FY2022, accommodating the transition to FFG(X).
* Increasing the pace for amphibious ship production to support a 12-ship LHD/LHA force and modernized lethality in FY2033, FY2036 and FY2039.
* Addresses the candidate long-term replacement for the NNN payload-based submarine, filled mid-term by Virginia Payload Module (VPM).

The plan can be viewed in its entirety here: www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/Pages/Fiscal-Year-2019.aspx.

I have to ask, where is ours? Perhaps Congress should mandate one for us, but we don’t always respond to Congress anyway. There is a mandate for a 20 year plan, but I haven’t seen that yet either. Really Congress is trying to help us communicate our needs without having them filtered by DHS and GAO. Maybe it is DHS and GAO that are the roadblocks, but the Navy seems to find ways to get their needs to Congress.

An important part of the “Acquisition Plan” is really what they plan to decommission. Which constituencies are going to lose an asset? This is something we also need to pass to Congress, and we need to mean it. It is also where we have an advantage because our assets impact so many constituencies. We should not be operating 50-year-old ships.

The Navy does not always get everything they ask for, but at least they ask.


14 thoughts on “30 Year Shipbuilding Plan–Where Is Ours?

  1. According to “DoD Buzz”, the USCG “ASKED” for ~$11.7-Billion for the 2019 Appropriations. And got more or less a “Token” response for “Some”, not specifying on a specific amount. But getting ~$750-Million for “ONE” New Heavy Icebreaker for “Maybe” 2023. So much for “Promises”…

    • What is fundamentally different here is that this larger budget request is coming from the Administration. In the past Congress has generally give the Coast Guard more than the Administration requested. The money for the icebreaker is in the DHS budget request. 2023 is the projected delivery date for the icebreaker if contract is awarded in 2019.

      I do think it is a mistake not making the icebreaker contract a block buy, but generally things are looking up. It is just coming very late.

  2. where indeed is the 20 year plan? lets start one if indeed the life of a ship is 30 years
    2019 Replace the inland fleet
    2020 procure 2 heavy ice breakers commission 2024
    2021 Procure 3 medium ice breakers commission 2025
    2022 replace the 140’s and 65’s
    2023 decom Polar Star
    2023 begin planing replacement of WLB’s with award in 2025 and commissioning in 2028
    2024 begin planning replacement of the WLM’s with award in 2026 and commissioning in 2029
    2027 Decom Healy

    • That looks like a good start. In a 30 plan we should include replacement of the first of the NSC (Bertholf is almost ten years old already), the 87 ft WPBs (the oldest are already 20 years old), and the Webber class (earliest of them are seven years old now)

      Add to that it now seems to take ten years from the start of a program until delivery and you really have to start thinking ahead. We need to start planning the Bertholf’s replacement in about ten years.

      Note no current plans to even look at a replacement for the 65 ft tugs.

      • You might be better off looking at a NSC 2.0 as a replacement for NSC. To keep the design processes as simple as possible. Just look how long the Burk has been in production.

      • Lyke, I am definitely in the design evolution, rather than revolution school. When the time comes it could be either an evolved NSC or an improved OPC. They really aren’t that far apart. Or maybe a derivative of the FFG.

      • Your better off Building a stretched version of the NSC hull for the FFG(X) program, and piggy backing off that program NSC replacement. We’ll still be buying FFG’s when the first NSC needs to be replaced. Remember I said needs, not will be replaced.

      • I do think the NSC derived frigate has a good chance of being selected. If we have a ship that is recognized as upgradable in time of war, it is one more reason to have them funded.

      • @DaSaint, Good point about the helicopters, actually the situation is a lot worse than you indicate.

        Both the H-65s and the H-60s are coming due for replacement.

        The H-65 entered service with the CG in 1985, so the oldest are about 33 years old. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_HH-65_Dolphin

        The H-60s entered service with the CG in 1990, so the oldest is almost 28 years old. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_MH-60_Jayhawk

        Will we replace all the H-65s before we start having to also replace the H-60s?

        These are relatively big ticket items and there are a lot of them.

  3. Seems like the same song and dance for CG ship procurement I heard while on active duty 20 years ago, when MMA of the 210 fleet was ending and they had ’10 years extended life’ yet they still keep trucking = after another major yard availability/rehab, at least after SLEP for 180s they got replaced, and most 378s are done (not that they’re one for one replaced).
    CG shipbuilding plans – when all is said and done, more is said than done.

  4. Pingback: Navy Will Release New 30-Year Ship Repair, Modernization Plan with Annual Shipbuilding Report–USNI | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

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