Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Weekend Reading

Check out this report on the Submarine Race in the Pacific, posted at The Heritage Foundation. (Disclaimer: A post from here is listed in the footnotes! I don't think I've ever been a footnote before.)


Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

Time to ask for residuals....

2/06/2010 11:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure we could build three virginias a year if we cut some crap out of the budget...let's start with the NWUs and Task Force Uniform

2/06/2010 11:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone seen the soy, jsoy, and jooy results?

2/06/2010 11:51 AM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Great footnote!

The article does not mention that the plan to build more Australian SSKs does not include how to crew them...they don't have enough people to fully man least not the last time I spoke with one of their COs.

VA build rate up to 3/year for a while is the only way, but that is not going to happen in the current budgetary times. Especially not with every surface ship wildly over cost.

2/06/2010 2:12 PM

Blogger Rubber Ducky said...

There is no question that the Chinese military is essential to the US military...

2/06/2010 3:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As heavily as the Chinese have invested in Africa, they have to be concerned with India building new subs. Navy needs to get a little cozier with the Indians, help train them, and make them a more formidable force. It would help balance out the Pacific if the Chinese have to maintain an Indian Ocean presence the way we have to maintain an Atlantic presence.

Just how much "travel time" would being forward-deployed shave off of a 6-month deployment? Although I suppose "local ops" would be more useful out of Japan...

2/07/2010 1:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being outnumbered didn't stop us from winning the cold war, so 3 VA class per year is probably not necessary, but continuously improving the new and existing boats is vital, and that includes the crews.


2/08/2010 8:13 AM

Blogger William said...

Mr. Eaglin failed to consider the SSBN quandry. There is no way that the US is going to expand VA class construction beyond 2 per year or embark upon a non-nuc sub program with the Ohio Class replacement looming just around the corner. In fact, it is entirely likely that VA class acquisition will be pulled back to one per year to fund the new SSBN.

Mr. Eaglin speaks foolishly when he recommends extending the life of some LA class boats. Unlike surface ships, submarine hulls have a definitive life based upon structural fatigue limits. Sorry, after service on BOISE (huge crack in the pressure hull at the foot of the sail), the Navy could not pay me enough to go to sea on an LA class that was older than 30 years no matter how long it was in the yards being "overhauled and evaluated".

When I was a watch officer at SUBLANT in the mid-90's, I watched the US Navy slice up 26 submarines; the PHOENIX, ATLANTA and BALTIMORE included, well before the end of their hull-life. In the same tour, we cancelled the SEAWOLF construction program. And the US was in fantastic financial shape then when compared to our current situation. I am as convinced now as I was then that the US submarine force will shrink to between 31 and 33 SSNs by 2026 when CHEYENNE is retired.

The harsh reality is that Combatant Commanders are going to have to figure out how to do a lot of things without US submarines. Maybe that means hugely expanding our partnerships with India and Austrailia as Mr. Eaglen briefly mentions. We must absolutely find other technologies other than submarine based applications to do wide area ocean surveillance. We may even have to shift the ASW role entirely to space based assets and the aviation community. I don't know the answer; but, contrary to Mr. Eaglen's predictions, there won't even be 41 submarines in 16 years.


2/09/2010 10:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a scary proposition.

We are in the same situation with China that we were in with Japan before WWII. We are providing China with the funding needed to build up their Navy by importing trillions of dollars worth of Chinese made goods and China is constantly trying to steal our military technology to further their military (Think about the W88 nuclear warhead design they stole in the 90's). China is building up their military force to take on the United States in the Pacific, when will we realize this and take the proper actions to counter it? Or will we? Maybe we'll just sue for peace and let China have their way.

Home porting submarines out of Japan will be impossible. They don't want the USS George Washington there in the first place and their newly elected government is growing wary of any US military presence in their country at all.

Right now Guam is ill-equipped to support additional submarines because it lacks proper support facilities to handle additional boats. The submarine tender in Guam is not as capable as a proper shipyard. A properly manned shipyard on Guam could better support additional submarines, but the financial expense for the required modifications is not in the budget. I hope the Navy makes the investment in Guam to build the infrastructure to allow additional home ported units.

It is doubtful the Navy will build new Tenders. The two tenders that remain are 30+ years old and have been turned over to MSC to reduce their operating expense. The Navy doesn’t actually want the tenders, NR saved them from the scrap yard.

The design for the Ohio replacement is about to start, but it's going to be impossible to predict how many will be built based on any new arms proliferation treaties with Russia. The SSBN fleet will always be the backbone of our nuclear deterrence, but their numbers might be going down in the future, which would lessen their impact on VA construction.

I have hope for the future of our submarine force because I believe our submarines are still the most technically superior boats in the world and our crews are the best trained and most proficient at their jobs (well, there are always some exceptions).

2/13/2010 4:19 PM


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