2 avril 2024 | International, Naval

US Navy ship programs face years-long delays amid labor, supply woes

Most new shipbuilding programs are running one to three years behind schedule, including the Columbia and Virginia subs and the Constellation frigate.


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  • The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal

    28 septembre 2020 | International, Naval

    The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal

    David B. Larter and Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's upcoming recommendation for a future Navy is expected to call for a significant increase in the number of ships, with officials discussing a fleet as large as 530 hulls, according to documents obtained by Defense News. Supporting documents to the forthcoming Future Navy Force Study reviewed by Defense News show the Navy moving towards a lighter force with many more ships but fewer aircraft carriers and large surface combatants. Instead, the fleet would include more small surface combatants, unmanned ships and submarines and an expanded logistics force. Two groups commissioned by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to design what a future Navy should look like suggested fleets of anywhere from 480 to 534 ships, when manned and unmanned platforms are accounted for — at least a 35 percent increase in fleet size from the current target of 355 manned ships by 2030. The numbers all come from an April draft of inputs to the Future Navy Force Study conducted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While the number will likely have changed somewhat in final recommendations recently sent to Esper, the plans being discussed in April are notable as they reflect what will likely be major shift in the Navy's future — and the expectation is that a larger-than-planned Navy based on the concepts laid out in the documents will remain intact in the final analysis. Esper himself hinted at that in comments last week. In a speech delivered at the think tank Rand, the secretary called for a Navy of “over 350 ships,” specifically by increasing the Navy's shipbuilding funding account. “In short, it will be a balanced force of over 350 ships — both manned and unmanned — and will be built in a relevant time frame and budget-informed manner,” he said. Indeed, the fleet compositions presented in the inputs broadly reflect the concept of a lighter fleet more reliant on unmanned or lightly crewed vessels that Esper described to Defense News in a February interview. “One of the ways you get [to a larger fleet] quickly is moving toward lightly manned [ships], which over time can be unmanned,” Esper said then. “We can go with lightly manned ships, get them out there. You can build them so they're optionally manned and then, depending on the scenario or the technology, at some point in time they can go unmanned.” The Future Naval Force Study, overseen by Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, kicked off in January after Esper decided he wanted an outside take on the Navy's self-review of its future force structure. The OSD-led review tasked three groups to provide their version of an ideal fleet construction for the year 2045, one each by the Pentagon's Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation office, the Joint Staff, the Navy and a group from the Hudson Institute. Those fleets were war-gamed and the results were compiled into the Future Naval Force Study, which was briefed to Esper earlier this month. Ultimately, the Navy is using the feedback from the study to create their shipbuilding plan and fiscal 2022 budget request, the service said in a statement. “The Future Naval Force Study is a collaborative OSD, Joint Staff and Department of the Navy effort to assess future naval force structure options and inform future naval force structure decisions and the 30-year shipbuilding plan,” said Navy spokesman Lt. Tim Pietrack. “Although COVID-19 has delayed some portions of the study, the effort remains on track to be complete in late 2020 and provide analytic insights in time to inform Program Budget Review 22.” The April documents viewed by Defense News included notional fleets designed by CAPE and the Hudson Institute. Defense News did not have access to the Navy's inputs into the FNFS. Neither fleet reviewed by Defense News, nor the fleet developed by the Navy, will be the final composition reflected in the FNFS. The numbers, however, provide a glimpse of the radically different future fleet likely to be reflected in the final analysis expected later this year. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/09/24/the-pentagon-is-eyeing-a-500-ship-navy-documents-reveal/

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