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  • submarines are quiet, deadly and expensive. submarines come in

  • two main types diesel powered conventional submarines and

  • submarines that run on nuclear power. The US Navy's underwater

  • ambitions since the 1950s have been driven by nuclear a nuclear

  • powered submarine can stay out to sea for months and has almost

  • unlimited range. Combined with nuclear weapons. This makes the

  • Navy's so called Boomer sub. Some of the deadliest boats in

  • the history of humankind

  • Navy specifically has a very important part of this job its

  • ballistic missile submarines carry a substantial portion of

  • the US nuclear warheads. But even these billion dollar boats

  • have a set lifespan

  • Los Angeles class attack submarines and Ohio class

  • ballistic missile and cruise missile boats are getting older

  • and they need to be replaced. Our friends in Indonesia have

  • suffered a terrible tragedy in the last few weeks. With an old

  • submarine you know, we don't know what happened yet. But the

  • older a ship or submarine is, the more likely it is to suffer

  • an accident at sea. The Navy has ambitious goals for the future

  • of the fleet. But some problems could

  • stand in the way now the state of Navy shipyard infrastructure

  • is not great. On the way out the door the Trump administration

  • said over 400 ships in the battle force fleet plus 130 or

  • so unmanned vessels so a total fleet size of over 500 ships.

  • So how can the US Navy field the submarine fleet of the future

  • building ships is hard in crafting a vessel for wars even

  • harder. Boats like those in the Virginia class, which is an

  • attack submarine can cost $3.4 billion and take seven years to

  • build. These views are my own. Certainly I don't represent the

  • Department of Defense or the US Navy in any capacity. submarines

  • are really right at the center of Fleet design, partly because

  • that's an area where the US still considers itself to have

  • kind of an uncontested advantage. And since the 1950s,

  • the Navy has relied on companies such as General Dynamics

  • electric boat and Huntington Ingalls industries to produce

  • these nuclear powered underwater weapons of war. A Navy is a long

  • term project, and it requires some some real kind of visionary

  • leadership to ensure that the fleet remains relevant in the

  • capabilities that it has, and that we continue to replace

  • ships as they get older. Which is why the US Navy has what is

  • known as a 30 year plan. To build these ships, the US Navy

  • needs shipyards operating at full strength.

  • Right now the Navy is go undergoing a 20 year plan that

  • costs $21 billion to upgrade its infrastructure. They've been

  • underfunded for the past couple of decades as have been other

  • priorities. Right now we're hitting a point where there are

  • very significant maintenance delays. The US Navy currently

  • has 68 submarines in service

  • and the Navy wants to start shipbuilding on two to three

  • Virginia class subs per year in roughly one Columbia class per

  • year until around 2035. The Columbia class is a ballistic

  • missile submarine capable of launching nuclear weapons 1000s

  • of miles. It's a crucial part of American nuclear policy. The

  • Navy estimates the total cost $109.8 billion for 12 boats, but

  • experts at the US Government Accountability Office remain

  • concerned about the ability of the US to build these boats with

  • current shipyards and suppliers how large the Navy can become

  • and how many submarines that can build are all controlled by the

  • defense budget passed in Congress. There is there is a

  • very real conversation that has to take place about where our

  • budget is prioritized. This roughly 1/3 mix going to the Air

  • Force the army in the in the Navy doesn't really suit our

  • strategic reality

  • from fiscal year 2015 to 2019. Though shipyards completed 75%

  • of maintenance periods for submarines and aircraft carriers

  • too late, you know over time, and that accounted for over 7000

  • days of maintenance delay. So the Navy is trying to fix that

  • they've made some progress in the last two years, but there's

  • still a lot of work to be done. If the Navy messes up a 30 year

  • plan the consequences could be devastating.

  • China's shipbuilding capabilities have skyrocketed in

  • the last two decades, Chinese shipyards have been churning out

  • commercial ships and military vessels at a rapid pace. This

  • has left the US Navy with a dilemma on how to allocate

  • precious tax dollars to keep up. China operates a mix of nuclear

  • subs and conventional subs, but its Navy also operates mainly

  • close to its own shores. That means the range of Chinese

  • submarines is less of an issue.

  • Our nuclear strategy is different, it's specific, and to

  • sustain it we need a triad. The

  • nuclear triad refers to the three main ways the US could

  • deploy nuclear weapons by land

  • by air and by sea. The Navy specifically has a very

  • important part of this job its ballistic missile submarines

  • carry a substantial portion of the US nuclear warheads. And it

  • is the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad. So once a

  • nuclear submarine is out to sea, it's sailing in the middle of

  • the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans, it's nearly impossible

  • for an adversary to detect that.

  • This is why replacing existing Ohio class submarines armed with

  • ballistic missiles is such a big concern within the US Navy.

  • So the Columbia class submarine is the ballistic missile

  • submarine. The goal is a 2028 delivery to the Navy and early

  • 2030s. You'll start seeing them you know, subbing in for the

  • Ohio class, the Ohio class started the false one was

  • delivered in 1984. And those have a 42 year lifespan so we're

  • starting to hit the end of of their lifespans. And the

  • Columbia game the Columbia class out there, as I mentioned, is a

  • Navy's number one priority. In early 2021. The US Government

  • Accountability Office expressed concerns that the new Columbia

  • class could take longer than expected to build and also cost

  • more than initially expected. That could put the Navy in a

  • very tough spot.

  • A conventional submarine is one that isn't powered by nuclear

  • fuel. The majority of submarines in the world fall into this

  • category. Conventional subs are cheaper and don't carry the risk

  • of a nuclear accident. And perhaps more importantly,

  • they're quieter than nuclear subs. These stealthy

  • conventional submarines known as SS Ks have embarrassed the US

  • Navy before a Swedish submarine part of the Gotland class became

  • infamous for its ability to quietly dodge US Navy anti

  • submarine forces in 2005. During the joint naval exercise, a

  • Swedish Navy boat was able to skirt past escort ships and

  • achieve a simulated killing a US nuclear powered aircraft

  • carrier. So modern SS Ks are very, very quiet. And that's an

  • incredible advantage that's really kind of been one of the

  • game changers in in recent decades is the rise of these

  • very, very stealthy SS Ks for a submarine fleet that that does

  • operate closer to home. That's great, you know, you're getting

  • very similar bang for the buck, but it just stays closer to

  • home. That's the biggest downside to conventional

  • submarines. They can't stray as far from shore as the nuclear

  • counterparts and they can't stay out to sea for as long. But

  • uncrewed submarines, also known as unmanned underwater vehicles,

  • or uuvs, could be able to help solve this problem.

  • unmanned underwater vehicles uuvs. So these are basically

  • drones that can either travel on the surface or underwater for

  • long durations.

  • Russia has already been working on an uncrewed nuclear powered

  • submarine that is also potentially armed with nuclear

  • weapons.

  • This submarine drone was one of several exotic nuclear weapon

  • systems that President Putin announced a few years back. The

  • motivation for these is kind

  • of puzzling. The US Navy hasn't invested in this kind of risky

  • technology yet, but other types of uncrewed submersibles could

  • be part of the future fleet. For now, nuclear powered attack

  • submarines, ballistic missile submarines and cruise missile

  • submarines will continue to be the primary force that the Navy

  • uses to project underwater power around the world.

  • As we talk about the growth of the Navy moving forward that is

  • large that is largely fueled by more submarines. You know,

  • Congress is concerned about the length of the Navy's plan to

  • revitalize its public shipyards. And, you know, to to beat that,

  • you know, recently proposed bill led by Senator wicker $25

  • billion. 21 of which would fund this AI up 4 billion which would

  • go to the private shipyards. So the idea being that they could

  • help the Navy speed that

  • up how the defense budget shakes out and Congress could mean the

  • difference between building one Virginia class submarine per

  • year or three and some politicians have pushed for

  • fewer ballistic missile submarines as part of a hard

  • look at the size of the US nuclear deterrent. In a request

  • for comment in reference to a Congressional Budget Office

  • appraisal, the Navy said that quote, focusing on improving

  • productive capacity by initiatives to increase on time

  • delivery and operational availability while reducing

  • maintenance costs,

  • the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review highlighted this idea of hedging

  • against an uncertain future. our adversaries are increasing their

  • capabilities all the time, the United States is increasing its

  • capabilities all the time, technology can rapidly change.

  • So we need to build a nuclear force that the designer nuclear

  • force to last for decades, people from the army Are you

  • know, soldiers feeling like I'm trying to take their budget away

  • from my service, you know, but it is it is really a very,

  • it's a bigger issue. It's not a competition. It's not a rivalry.

  • It's a recognition that we we need those ships to be able to

  • execute the national strategy the United States as currently

  • spelled out

submarines are quiet, deadly and expensive. submarines come in

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Why Submarines In The U.S. Navy Are Getting An Expensive Update

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    joey joey に公開 2021 年 06 月 05 日
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