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Columbia-class SSBN (SSBN-X Future Follow-on Submarine)

Grey Havoc

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Under sucessive governments dating back to Tony Blair's time, the Brits treated START and New START as annexes to the NPT, so generally honored those treaties limits even though they weren't formally parties to them.
 

bobbymike

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Pure speculation but two things to consider:
1) China’s nuclear program “footprint” (people infrastructure, etc) is vastly larger than ours to support their “disclosed” arsenal
2) All this sudden talk about China’s nuclear arsenal/programs could represent a way to speak to a possible a larger arsenal or massive breakout potential without disclosing TS information or sources and methods??
 

Trident

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I doubt this admin would make any bones about plainly stating their accusations if that were the suspicion. They're demonstrably not shy to do so with Russian transgressions (perceived and actual).
 

Rhinocrates

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IIRC, treaties limit the number of missiles actually carried on the RN's Dreadnoughts to eight, leaving four tubes empty.
Great Britain is not a member of any nuclear reduction treaty, so they can put as many missiles and warheads they want into however many boats they want.

Ah, thank you. Obviously it should be IIRI - If I Recall Incorrectly.
 

Grey Havoc

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And it was already in something of a mess even before the virus came on the scene.
 

bobbymike

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bobbymike

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bobbymike

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Grey Havoc

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Both bodies restore a Virginia-class attack submarine the Trump Administration would have cut, but the HASC cuts other shipbuilding programs to build the sub sooner; HASC adds $2.16 billion to shipbuilding overall when SASC added $1.35 billion. UPDATE A HASC aide argued vehemently that SASC really only funds a quarter of the missing sub, punting most of the cost to another year — which could disrupt the production line not only for Virginias but for the larger Columbia class. (Much more on this below).

Differences Over The Fleet

While the House and Senate Armed Services committees both sought to restore the. Virginia submarine cut by Trump’s budget and cut unmanned warship prototypes, they did so in markedly different ways.

All told, the administration asked for just over $19.9 billion for the Shipbuilding & Conversion, Navy (SCN) account. Both committees increased that, but by different amounts: SASC by $1.35 billion (7%); HASC by $2.16 billion (11%).

That’s in large part because, while SASC restored the submarine by adding $472 million in Advanced Procurement to start buying it, with funding to finish it left to a later year, the HASC restored the full $2.6 billion to buy it in 2021.

UPDATE Congress, shipyards, and the Navy have labored mightily to keep building two Virginias a year, but after the Trump administration cut one from its 2021 request, “the Senate did nothing to fund the second submarine in FY 21,” a HASC staffer told reporters.

The $472 million SASC labeled Advanced Procurement is only enough to buy the submarine’s reactor, the staffer elaborated to me after the conference call. You’d need to find nearly $3 billion more to buy the whole boat, he said, and you’d need to find that money in the next two years. Otherwise, not only are you stuck with a useless fraction of a Virginia submarine, you disrupt the production line so badly it hurts the larger Columbia class as well.

Without full funding for two Virginias in 2021, the shipyards, Electric Boat and Newport News, will have to start laying off workers — at the very time they need to ramp up their workforce to build the even larger Columbia class. The shipyards’ contract with the Navy and the multi-year timeline to buy a sub give them some leeway to keep building two boats a year, the staffer said, but by 2023 they’d run out of room and have to start layoffs.UPDATE ENDS

To make up the full amount required to restore the Virginia submarine, HASC also had to dock several other shipbuilding programs that SASC increased.

The major differences, besides the Virginia?

  • Columbia-class nuclear missile submarine: SASC added $175 million to shore up the shaky submarine supplier base; HASC added nothing UPDATE but would argue their plus-up to the Virginia program does much more to keep the supplier base strong.
  • Ford-class aircraft carrier: SASC funded the administration’s full request; HASC cut $90 million.
  • Arleigh Burke destroyers: SASC cut $30 million, HASC funded the full request.
  • Amphibious ships: SASC added $500 million to both the mid-size LPD class and the larger LHA, HASC cut $37.7 million from LPD and did nothing on LHA.
  • Support craft: SASC cut $126 million from various landing craft and other auxiliaries, HASC funded the full request.
Given the popularity of shipbuilding programs, which are big employers in many states, the odds are good that the final compromise will have more adds than cuts.
 

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bobbymike

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bobbymike

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Prediction a Biden administration delays all nuclear modernization programs. They will pretend to support but dramatically cut funding and greatly extend time schedule.
 

aonestudio

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bobbymike

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Columbia faces overruns and delays

Cost overruns and delays will be excuses for cancellation
 

sferrin

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Columbia faces overruns and delays

Cost overruns and delays will be excuses for cancellation
Yep. Because everybody knows that starting over always results in getting a better product sooner and cheaper.
 

bobbymike

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Ironmiked

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Will there also be an SSGN replacement?
Yes. This is from a separate post on the next USN attack boat: SSN(X)

To clarify...SSN (X) is not a the planned replacement for the Ohio Class SSGNs or the Virginia Class Block V & VI boats. The Columbia Class derivative "Large-Volume Host Platform" will address that mission. Please see below. It seems like the Navy is going to end up with three very large boats (SSBN, SSN, & SSGN) all based on a common baseline platform. I think the Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) will also be joining the fleet in large numbers too. Ultimatley, the real challenge will be getting the funding to buy this new undersea fleet the USN needs.

The WAR ZONE: Navy Plans For 'Large Payload Subs' Based On New Columbia Class To Take On SSGN Role And More​


The U.S. Navy has started exploring its options for a next-generation nuclear-armed submarine-launched ballistic missile to arm its future Columbia-class ballistic missilesubmarines and that design will incorporate elements of the existing Trident D-5. At the same time, the service will keep the Columbia production line "hot" to potentially build more of those boats or produce a conventionally-armed, multi-purpose "Large Payload Submarine." This latter design could end up packed with cruise missiles or hypersonic weapons, be able to act as an undersea mothership for special operations forces or large underwater drones, and more.

Various naval officers offered updates on the future of the Navy's strategic and other large submarine capabilities during talks at the Naval Submarine League’s annual symposium on Nov. 8, 2018. At present, the service expects to purchase at least 12 Columbias to replace its existing 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, or SSBNs. There are also plans to buy a minimum of five of the as yet unnamed Large Payload Submarine, also known as the Large-Volume Host Platform, primarily to replace the four additional Ohios that have been reconfigured as conventional cruise missile and special operations submarines, or SSGNs.
 

bobbymike

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Ohio SSBN-726 launches 40 years ago today. Wow!

 

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