Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
Congressional research rept.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Navys ballistic missile submarines SSBNs form one leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent force, or triad, which also includes land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs and land-based long-range bombers. The Navy currently operates 14 Ohio SSBN-726 class SSBNs, also known as Trident SSBNs, the first of which is projected to reach the end of its service life in 2027. The Navy is conducting development and design work on a planned class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBNXs, which the service wants to procure as replacements for the 14 Ohio-class boats. The SSBNX program is also known as the Ohio-class replacement program ORP. The Navys proposed FY2012 budget requests 1,067 million in research and development funding for the program. Navy plans call for procuring the first SSBNX in FY2019, with advance procurement funding for the boat beginning in FY2015. The Navy in February 2010 preliminarily estimated the procurement cost of each SSBNX at 6 billion to 7 billion in FY2010 dollars. The Navy is now working to reduce the average procurement cost of boats 2-12 in the program to a target figure of 4.9 billion each in FY2010 dollars. Even with this cost-reduction effort, some observers are concerned that procuring 12 SSBNXs during the 15-year period FY2019-FY2033, as called for in Navy plans, could lead to reductions in procurement rates for other types of Navy ships during those years.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Marine Engineering