and spending bills based on previous year levels could halve the amount of money
required in fiscal 2014 to ramp up toward production of the first ship in the
next class of ballistic missile submarines and delay it by as much as two years,
the Navys top officer for submarine procurement said yesterday.
Adm. David Johnson, the program executive officer for subs, said at the Navy
League symposium outside Washington that 2014 is a key year in transitioning to
construction, and includes detailed design and prototyping of the submarines and
its components, such as missile launch tubes.
Two years ago, the Navy
announced plans to delay construction of the first ship of the Ohio-class
replacement program, from 2019 to 2021. But that scenario could worsen under the
absurdity of the CR and the sequester, Johnson said, referring to a continuing
resolution that keeps spending at previous year levels.
like the rest of the federal government, has had to live under a CR for most of
the last few years because Congress and the Obama administration have been
unable to agree on a budget, the main cause of the recent government shutdown.
Congress earlier this month passed a bill to keep the government running under a
CR until January, but there appears to be no sign lawmakers are close to
resolving differences to pass a proper appropriations bill.
if sequestration remains in place, it will deprive the SSBN(X) program of $153
million needed in 2014 to forge ahead, but the scenario would be worse under a
CR, costing the Navy more than $566 million required to keep the first ship on
schedule for 2021 and deployment in 2028.
Its disruptive, he said.
And if we have to live through that level we would be likely two years-plus off
an FY '21 lead ship.
The Navy plans to begin retiring the
Ohio-class ballistic subs toward the end of the 2020s and maintains that
the replacement program is among its highest acquisition priorities. Navy
officials have also expressed concerns that because of the tight budget
environment, the SSBN(X) program could place a heavy burden on the rest of its
shipbuilding accounts in the 2020s.
The Navy estimates the
Ohio-class replacement will cost of average of $6 billion for 12 ships,
with the first submarine expected to cost $12 billion, a figure that includes
$7.4 billion in construction costs and $4.6 billion for engineering and