Category Archives: Budget Industry

Forbes Wants 'Intensive Oversight' On LCS, Hearings Likely

Forbes Wants ‘Intensive Oversight’ On LCS, Hearings Likely

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) will likely hold hearings on the state of the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship. AP Photo

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) will likely hold hearings on the state of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship. AP Photo

Congress will likely hold hearings on the state of the Littoral Combat Ship program, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) , the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection forces, told reporters on Tuesday.

“We are going to do some intensive oversight of this program, which will include hearings,” Forbes said in a report from Reuters.

The hearings are prompted by an anticipated Government Accountability Office report that will likely advise Congress to slow down acquisition of the program so the ships and the planned mission packages.

“I have felt that LCS had bumps in the road but it was moving. The only thing that’s really raising this flag is what this GAO report may or may not say,” Forbes said.

Excerpts of a draft GAO LCS report have appeared in several press outlets. The draft recommends Congress slow down acquisition of the ships and the mission packages pending further study.

“The apparent disconnect between the LCS acquisition strategy and the needs of the end user suggests that a pause is needed,” a draft of the GAO report was quoted in a Friday Bloomberg story. “Congress is in a position to slow funding… pending the results of the technical studies that are already underway.”

The U.S. Navy currently plans to acquire 52 LCS hulls to round out the low-end of the Navy’s surface combatant roster. The two hulls being built — Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class and Austal USA’s Independence-class — are part of a dual acquisition strategy formulated in 2010. After a fierce competition between Austal’s aluminum trimaran and Lockheed’s steel mono-hull design, the Navy elected to buy both versions in a deal for 20 ships with an estimated value of $8.9 billion.

In addition to four ships the Navy funded outside of the 2010 deal, the Navy’s current plan is to buy 24 ships with both hulls.

In November, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, commander of U.S. Surface Forces, sent a classified memo to Navy leadership that advised narrowing down to a single LCS design modified to carry more weapons than the current version or an entirely new class of ship.

Document: May CRS Destroyer Report

Document: May CRS Destroyer Report

USS Spruance (DDG-111) is pierside at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., Jan, 2012. US Navy Photo

USS Spruance (DDG-111) is pierside at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif., Jan, 2012. US Navy Photo

From the Congressional Research Service May, 14 2013 Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress:

As part of its action on the Navy’s FY2013 budget, Congress funded the procurement of three Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers, or one more than the two that the Navy had requested for FY2013. The Navy is examining whether, following the March 1, 2013, sequester on Department of Defense (DOD) funding, the third DDG-51 will be executable with current funding. If the Navy determines that it is executable without additional funding, it would be built on a schedule similar to what would be executed for a ship fully funded in FY2014. If the Navy determines that it is not executable with current funding, Congress would have the option of providing additional funding for the ship in FY2014 to make it executable. Read More

Navy Awards $6.1 Billion in Nine Destroyer Deal

Navy Awards $6.1 Billion in Nine Destroyer Deal

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) is moored at its homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. US Navy Photo

USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) is moored at its homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. US Navy Photo

The Navy has awarded $6.1 billion in contracts to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamic Bath Iron Works (BIW) for nine Arleigh Burke–class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51) to be purchased between Fiscal Years 2013 to 2017 in a massive multi-year shipbuilding deal, Naval Sea Systems Command told USNI News on Monday.

The contract award has HII building five of the hulls for $3.3 billion and BIW four for $2.8 billion. The multi–year deal — starting with future ships Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) and Daniel Inouye (DDG-118) — includes an option for a tenth DDG-51 if the Navy can overcome a sequestration funding challenge. The extra ship would likely be built in 2014 by BIW, NAVSEA said. Read More

Document: Think Tanks Call for Personnel and Base Reforms

Document: Think Tanks Call for Personnel and Base Reforms

The following is a Monday open letter to Pentagon leaders and Congress from a bi-partisan group representing ten D.C. think tanks that focus on national security issues. The groups are calling for reform on the most politically sensitive defense expenditures: Military compensation, closing excess military facilities and the size of the Pentagon civillian workforce. The letter appeared as an advertisement in The Hill newspaper.

Dear Secretary Hagel, Chairman Levin, Ranking Member Inhofe, Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith,
Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Cochran, Chairman Young, and Ranking Member Visclosky:

A striking bipartisan consensus exists today across the think tank community on the need for Pentagon and Congressional leaders to address the growing
imbalances within the defense budget that threaten the health and long-term viability of America’s volunteer military.

It is our shared belief that the Department of Defense urgently needs to close excess bases and facilities, reexamine the size and structure of the DoD civilian
workforce, and reform military compensation. While we do not all agree on the best approach to reform in each case, we agree that if these issues are not addressed, they will gradually consume the defense budget from within. Read More

Electric Boat Called in To Fix Flawed Spanish Sub

Electric Boat Called in To Fix Flawed Spanish Sub

Image of the Spanish Navy's planned S-80 diesel attack submarine. Navantia Photo

Image of the Spanish Navy’s planned S-80 diesel attack submarine. Navantia Photo

General Dynamics Electric Boat has been asked by the U.S. Navy to help correct problems with the Spanish Navy’s S-80 submarine to correct design flaws, several sources have told USNI News.

Setup through the U.S. Foreign Military Sale office, EB will consult in assisting the Spanish Navy and shipbuilder Navantia correcting problems with the S-80 that could prevent the submarine from surfacing after it dived. Read More

Document: Naval Power Roadmap

Document: Naval Power Roadmap

Naval Sea Systems Command’s Electric Ships Office released its May roadmap to develop improved electrical systems in the U.S. Navy’s current fleet and future ship designs. The document outlines the types of technologies available today and explores future concepts powering not only onboard systems but the drive trains of ships themselves. Read More

Think Tanks Call For Massive Pentagon Personnel Cuts Under BCA

Think Tanks Call For Massive Pentagon Personnel Cuts Under BCA

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon's budget under sequestration. CSBA Image

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at cutting the Pentagon’s budget under sequestration. CSBA Image

Four D.C. think tanks took a crack at balancing the Department of Defense’s budget if the Pentagon has to weather ten years of ten percent across-the-board sequestration budget cuts sequestration on Wednesday.

The consensus of the four (American Enterprise Institute, Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment) was unanimous.

First, cut the Department of Defense’s civilian employees – including shipyard and depot workers. Then reduce the services’ end strength – particularly the Army’s. Read More

Amos: F-35B IOC in 2015, ACV Design Award Next Year

Amos: F-35B IOC in 2015, ACV Design Award Next Year

Gen. James Amos talks to reporters in 2011 following a demonstration of the F-35B. US Marine Corps Photo

Gen. James Amos talks to reporters in 2011 following a demonstration of the F-35B. US Marine Corps Photo

The commandant of the Marine Corps said the service’s short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter will reach initial operating capability sometime in the later half of 2015.

Gen. James Amos said that means 10 of the 16 planes assigned to a squadron would be in place with aircrews and maintainers fully trained and shipboard qualified, he said Wednesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Read More

Pentagon Still Confident In Weapons After China Design Hack

Pentagon Still Confident In Weapons After China Design Hack

The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo

The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo

The Pentagon attempted to allay fears Tuesday it had lost an edge in technology development following a Monday revelation China had hacked more than two dozen weapons programs from the U.S.

“Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a Tuesday statement. Read More