Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tiffany begets fragile

Quotes like this make me set me teeth. From Bloomberg,
The Pentagon’s comprehensive review, which will include the U.S. Navy’s vessel procurement budget, must consider the “fragile” status of the nation’s shipbuilding industrial base, according to the chief of naval operations.

“The industrial base is really a strategic asset,” Admiral Gary Roughead told Bloomberg TV. The Pentagon is reviewing its future spending after President Barack Obama last week announced his plan to reduce the national debt.

“That has to be part of our calculus as we make decisions,” he said. “The industrial base today, particularly as it applies to shipbuilding, is probably as fragile as it has ever been.”
Why is it fragile? Simple; too little work. Why too little work? Simple; too few ships. Why too few ships; because we decided to build a Tiffany Navy of LPD-17s, DDG-1000, LCS, etc. Why did we decide to do that? Simple; ask those responsible over the last decade + for our shipbuilding priorities.

Do we learn? No, let's keep deluding ourselves a little longer.
The Navy’s current 2011-2016 shipbuilding budget plan calls for spending $74.7 billion to buy 55 vessels, including $14 billion in fiscal 2012, increasing to almost $17 billion in 2015.
Really? We expect with the macro pressures of a budgetary nightmare and decreasing budgets that we will get a 21.4% increase in the shipbuilding budget? Really? Who's taking bets on that?

Maybe I am wrong, I'm open to that. However .... I really want someone to start an adult conversation on this. Right now, I simple cannot take that seriously.

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