Thursday, January 10, 2008

Admiral, we can get there with these ships

I think it is great the CNO is doing a Shipyard tour; but we need some honest talk, in public, with each other.
The Navy's oft-stated goal of a 313-ship fleet should be considered a minimum level that may have to be increased to meet obligations around the world, the Navy's top admiral said Tuesday.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, suggested the fleet will have to grow to meet the Navy's commitments. 'The 313 will not be enough for the missions that we're going to be tasked with in the coming years,' he said.

Roughead's remarks after touring Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works and submarine repair yard Portsmouth Naval Shipyard follow a briefing issued by another admiral before Thanksgiving that indicated the 313-ship goal may be adjustable.
It is all simple math. DDG-1000, LCS, LPD-17, and CG(N)(X) are simply too much $$$ for each hull. The budget is what it is. We need the kind of decision that gave us the FFG-7 class. An imperfect ship, but one that gave us the numbers we need.

There are some very good ship designs out there in Europe we can build until we get our act together. Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Spain - heck even France have Frigate to Corvette designs with proven designs, equipment and off the shelf weapons that can fill the gap.

The Shipbuilding budgets are not going to increase as fast as the costs of LCS, DDG-1000, and LPD-17 classes have. Just isn't going to happen. For the last decade+ we have been told that we are decommissioning the old to recapitalize the new towards a Transformational Navy. However, we have transformed ourselves into a crisis.

The Perfect is always the enemy of the Good - and more often than not loses to the Good. CNO, throw away the "revolutionary" and the "transformational" on your Staff (they are due for Sea Duty anyway) until the "evolutionary" gets our Fleet back. Talk to the Canadians about the Clue-Bat they have received in AFG WRT armor. No one is shooting at the Navy right now, we still have time, though not much more. Click the "Shipbuilding" tag for the details.

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