From the Congressional Budget Office September, 2013 Analysis of the U.S. Navy’s Fiscal Year 2014 Shipbuilding Plan:
The 2013 and 2014 shipbuilding plans are very similar, but not identical, with respect to the Navy’s total inventory goal (in military parlance, its requirement) for battle force ships, the number and types of ships the Navy would purchase over 30 years, and the proposed funding to implement the plans. Read More
An image of the French-built amphibious warship Mistral (L-9013).
One of the most significant decisions of Russia’s now-disgraced and soon-to-be-indicted former minister of defense Anatoly Serdyukov was the decision to procure Mistral–class helicopter carriers from the French. That was a radical departure from previous Soviet/Russian doctrine, which demanded that the country be able to produce all its own weapons systems. The total reliance on domestic suppliers was seen as a way to ensure the country’s sovereignty: the Russians thought that dependence, or even potential dependence on any external supplier would place major constraints on their decision-making. When one sees how the United States is able to comprehensively influence the foreign and defense policies of countries that rely on its military hardware, the Russian position does not seem without merit or logic. Read More
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released its May report on the economic impact of the shipbuilding industry in the U.S. The following was from the executive summary:
Currently there are 117 shipyards in the United States, spread across 26 states, that are classified as active shipbuilders. In addition, there are more than 200 shipyards engaged in ship repairs or capable of building ships but not actively engaged in shipbuilding. The majority of shipyards are located in the coastal states, but there also are active shipyards on major inland waterways such as the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Ohio River. Employment in shipbuilding and repairing is concentrated in a relatively small number of coastal states, with the top five states accounting for 62 percent of all private employment in the shipbuilding and repairing industry. Read More
An undated artist’s rendering of the Ohio Replacement. Naval Sea Systems Command
The Navy’s top acquisition official told the Senate Armed Services Committee Seapower Subcommittee that talks with the Defense Department “have not progressed” in putting the Ohio-class ballistic-missile replacement program into a special National Capital Ships Account.
Testifying on 8 May, Sean Stackley said the long-range impact of keeping the 12 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines in the Navy’s shipbuilding account means “we will not be able to hit the numbers” to build other ships. Read More
The following is a draft of the 2014 U.S. Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan, obtained by USNI News The plan, presented to Congress, outlines construction and retirement schedules for the service until Fiscal Year 2043. Read More
Shipbuilding and related programs that could experience execution problems under a year-long CR include the CVN-78 aircraft carrier program, the CVN Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) program, the DDG-51 program, the DDG-1000 program, an amphibious assault ship (LHA) funded in a prior year, and the Moored Training Ship, according to the Congressional Research Service March, 1 shipbuilding report. Read More
Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. The yard historically built amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. Owners are now exploring using the yard for manufacturing oil and gas infrastructure. Google Photo
Avondale Shipyards, in continuous operation since 1938, is best known in recent years for constructing Navy amphibious ships, including the Whidbey Island (LSD-41) class and the San Antonio (LPD-17) class. The yard was one of three spun off by Northrop Grumman to form Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in 2011. The company announced it would close the yard in 2013 at the completion of the last LPD scheduled there. At its height the yard employed 6,000; currently there are about 2,200 workers.In December, however, CEO Mike Petters announced HII was exploring use of the yard for the construction of oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) infrastructure around the Gulf Coast.
USNI News spoke with Christopher D. Kastner, HII’s corporate vice president and general manager–corporate development, about the future of the yard, its workforce, and what it means for the U.S. Navy.
Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy (ASN) (Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA), is currently leading U.S. Navy and Marine Corps acquisition programs through the most fiscally austere Department of Defense budget in recent memory.
He’s helmed RDA since 2008 and overseen some of the navy’s more complicated shipbuilding programs. Those include the San Antonio class (LPD-17), the block purchase of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Gerald R. Ford class next-generation carrier (CVN-78), among others.
Proceedings, January 2013
A close observer of defense-spending trends takes a look at dollars and sense and the looming budget challenges in the Pentagon.
Defense-budget headlines of late have concentrated on sequestration, as hand-wringing increased about the so-called fiscal cliff. Most coverage has focused on defense officials predicting dire consequences for the Department of Defense (DOD), or industry officials warning of job losses and collapse of certain technology sectors and associated businesses. The U.S. Naval Institute recently hosted Defense Forum Washington with a program titled “The Fiscal Cliff: What Does This Mean for Defense and National Security?” The conference focused on sequestration and its impacts. Speakers and panelists offered different perspectives on impact, ranging from disaster to a mere “pothole,” and on occurrence from irresponsible to a fait accompli that should happen to provoke fundamental changes in DOD.