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HASC Mark Adds $120 Million for 3 Destroyer Combat System Upgrades, Money for Missiles

Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG-88) underway on April 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG-88) underway on April 18, 2015. US Navy Photo

The House Armed Services Committee added $120 million to pay for a total of three Aegis combat system upgrades to the Navy’s Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) as part of the chairman’s mark for the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.

The funds would upgrade three planned mid-life modernizations from a basic hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) systems repairs to include a complete refresh of the Aegis combat system from current 1980s era computing technology.

The combat systems upgrades would strip out the older computing architecture from the ships, replace the systems with modern modular servers and add an signal processor to allow the ships to both fight off traditional air threats — like enemy fighters — and perform ballistic missile defense at the same time.

The Baseline 9 upgrade also allows the destroyers to tie into the Navy’s Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA (pronounced: nifk-kah) concept that would create a data linked network that uses allows ships to use targeting information from other ships or aircraft to fire missiles well beyond the range of their existing SPY-1D radars.

The Navy had quietly scaled back its modernization efforts as part of its fiscal year 2016 budget submission that resulted in the planned cancelation of five combat systems upgrades to DDGs over the next five years, USNI News reported in March.

If approved, the upgrades would most likely occur in FY 2018.

In its unfunded priorities list, the service had asked for funds to buy back one of the combat system modernizations.

The committee also added funding for a variety of items, particularly munitions, to protect the industrial base, according to the bill.

The Navy’s budget request contained $21.4 million to fund termination costs for Raytheon’s Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1 program, but the bill notes committee concerns about the termination “given the current threat environment, as well as current munition inventories.”

“The committee notes this request contradicts budget justification material used as part of the President’s request for fiscal year 2015. The committee also notes that the Chief of Naval Operations has indicated potential shortfalls exist for the JSOW C-1 munitions,” according to the bill.
“The committee understands that a technical Nunn-McCurdy breach has been triggered by the reduction in quantities proposed in the request, and encourages the Secretary of Defense to expeditiously complete required certifications to continue the remaining program.”

HASC chose to add $47.8 million, for a total of $69.2 million, to buy 200 JSOWs in FY 2016 to sustain the industrial base and prevent an inventory shortfall.

Similarly, the committee added $30 million to Raytheon’s Tomahawk missile program to bring the program to its minimum sustaining production rate of 198 missiles. The committee also added $77.5 million to Raytheon’s Javelin missile program, which the Navy asked for in its “unfunded requirements” wish list.

Also from the unfunded requirements list, the committee recommends adding $1.15 billion for 12 additional Boeing F/A-18E-F Super Hornets for the Navy and $1 billion for six additional Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) for the Marine Corps.

HASC added $28 million for the AN/SLQ-32 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program Block II upgrade, also on the unfunded requirements list.

The committee chose to add $250 million to the Navy’s procurement account and $29 million to the research and development budget to help accelerate the LX(R) amphibious dock landing ship replacement program. The Navy plans for the program to go into construction in 2020, but HASC hopes that by beginning advance procurement and design work now, the Navy could bump that schedule up two years.

After years of depleted budgets for maintenance and upgrades for naval aircraft, HASC added several line items in to help rebuild readiness. There is $25 million for a UH-1Y/AH-1Z readiness improvement effort, as well as $90 million spread out across the Navy’s operation forces account in the operations and maintenance budget for fleet engineering support, contract maintenance and depot maintenance.

Additionally, the committee added $65 million for one Northrop Grumman MQ-4 Triton air vehicle, $36 million for three Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout air vehicles, $97 million for advance procurement for a third Afloat Forward Staging Base variant of the Mobile Landing Platform, and $20 million for submarine towed array procurement.

HASC will mark up its bill on Wednesday before sending it to the full House for a vote. These additions would only be enacted if the Senate Armed Services Committee agreed to them and the House and Senate appropriations committees funded them.

  • Marjus Plaku

    All in all though a properly used Burke is a highly potent ship. It’s just a sad that we have to have the politicking and mismanagement which defeats national treasures such as this. All hostile powers are laughing at how our bickering and patchwork leaders waste the vastest amount of funds the world has ever seen. All on the backs of the citizens.

  • Enough carriers…the United States Navy has more large carriers than the rest of the world combined. This dose not include large deck LHA’s. The billions, 12-14 I think, could be better used in building more DDG’s including Zumwaults. The latter should have a nuke plant and called q heavy cruiser. The CNO stated that the F35 will be the last manned F/A the USN purchases. Drones can be carries and flown off smaller ships. It would be a win/win more ships with greater anti ballistic defense. Navies are changing, the battle line is in transition from ships of the line, to iron clad vessels, to all big gunned battleships, then to carriers, to what is evolving now. What final hull/weapons/defense will sail the oceans is TBD but it will not be the large “super carrier” …MMCS(SW)(SS) USN Ret.

    • Secundius

      @ Ken Badoian.

      We already had four Nuclear-Powered Cruisers (Longbeach, Bainbridge, California and Virginia), until the Navy decided that Conventional was cheaper to operate…

  • Curtis Conway

    The basic hull, mechanical and electrical (HM&E) systems repairs are important, and necessary. However, the Baseline 9 upgrade Integrated Air & Missile Defense upgrade should be the baseline configuration for all DDG-51s, and the combat system upgrades should pursue this goal.

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      Just to let you know, the US. Navy acronym BBG which was designated for Battleship, Guided-Missile. Is now Arsenal Ship (example being BBG-72, Uss. Louisiana)…

    • PB

      EW may need to be improved after that Russian fighter caused some of the destroyer’s electronics to fail in the Black sea. Of course in wartime the Russian plane with the EW device may not have been able to get close enough to the ship,.

      • Secundius

        PB.

        The Russian “Khibiny” Electronic Jamming System, is a Directional Jammer. System was intentionally aimed at Destroyer Donald Cook. AESA system was partially developed to counter such systems…

  • Secundius

    Current AB Flight IIA under construction:
    DDG-114, Ralph Johnson
    DDG-115, Rafael Peralta and
    DDG-116, Thomas Hugner

    Other Ship’s Still under construction:
    DDG-1001, Michael Monsoor
    DDG-1002, LBJ
    JHSV-6, Brunswick
    JHSV-7, Carson City
    JHSV-9, Bismarck
    JHSV-10, Burlington
    LHA-7, Tripoli
    LPD-27, Portland…

  • Secundius

    Last of the Flight IIA, AB Destroyers. DDG-119, Delbert D. Black, DDG120, (UnNamed) and DDG-121, (UnNamed), are to have Fiber-Optic Communications Systems installed. The system AN/USQ-82(V), GEDMS (Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System)…

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