Sequestration poses minimal threat to Ohio-class replacement subs

Navy officials said Tuesday the budget cuts associated with sequestration will have a minimal effect on the Ohio-class submarine replacement program.

The service is in the early phases of developing a class of high-tech, next-generation Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. Budget adjustments due to sequestration will for the Navy to synchronize elements of the technology development phase but not largely impact the program, program managers said at the Sea Air Space Exposition at National Harbor, Md. 

“The next contract for the lead ship will be for fiscal year ‘17, which we expect to award in December of 2016. It will be for detailed design and construction,” said Capt. Bill Brougham, program manager, Ohio-class submarine replacement program.

The original nuclear-powered Ohio-class submarines, built in the late 1970s, will begin to retire by 2029. The acquisition strategy for the replacement program will call for competitive prototyping in order to mature the technologies and lower risk prior to moving into the next-phase of development, Brougham said.

Brougham explained that current plans for the ship call for the program to go before the Joint Requirements Oversight Council in 2015 and move into the next phase by 2016.

The Navy awarded General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division a $1.85 billion contract for the development of the Ohio-Class Replacement Program. Navy leaders hope to build 12 new ballistic missile submarines out of the program to replace the 14 existing Ohio-class submarines.

The $1.85 billion will obviously not cover the entire development, but it’s a boost for a program that Navy officials have listed as its top priority.

Navy acquisition officials worked a series of incentives into the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. They were included by Naval Sea Systems Command to motivate General Dynamics in a sector they don’t face much competition.

The U.S. Navy is partnering with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense for the development of a key part of the submarine’s technology, the common missile compartment.

“The common missile compartment is a joint program signed up with the British government. They are paying for the design and have a cost share to buy into the program. We’re progressing and we have lots of reviews and we’re making good on our commitments,” said Brougham.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior and a former associate editor at Military.com.

8 Comments on "Sequestration poses minimal threat to Ohio-class replacement subs"

  1. Why does it appear that the submarine branch of the Navy seem to have their act
    together, whereas the surface and tacair branches seem to be the 'dumb and dumber' side of the family with the little crappy ship LCS, and F-35 budget black hole? It makes me wonder.

  2. Duh!!!!!!!!!

    If no design will be selected by 2017 none entering service till 2029 the threat of current money makes no problems.

  3. Oh good, the least important and most expensive program will be immune to cuts. We haven't needed the triad for decades, if we ever did in the first place.

  4. Sequestration represents approximately a 3% cut in DoD's bloated budget, so I certainly would hope the Navy can limp by on only 97% of its usual spending………..

  5. The SSBN fleet is essential to Sea power and Nuclear detterence. The fact that when one of the SSBNs is out to sea, it is the 3rd largest nuclear power in the world says a lot. As for the "3%" cut you may wanna check your facts. I am pretty sure the DoD voluntarily cut 10% before when all the talks were happening to show that they were willing to help the issue and now they are going to cut more money? I would ask you Fred, do you care about your safety that is afforded to you by the military? I am not saying that there is too much money being spent but lets look to other areas to cut from so we can keep our military forces ready for what comes at us. I still find it disgusting that a congressman makes $175,000 or so to start, does a few years and then gets full retirement for the rest of his life. Why do they never offer to cut their pay? their benefits? Just a thought.

  6. What happened to the 1st amendment?

  7. I've got a great idea, instead of spending billions, if not trillions on a new ssbn, why don't you submariners do a slep on the ohio class. This GD only program coupled w/the brits sounds like what BUSH I said of the whole sub constuct. program, just a jobs machine. Do a slep on the 18 tridents like u did on the Big E, get another 20 yrs out of them boats! it will keep EB div of GD busy + a least one naval shipyard, and split the virgina class new contruction between EB & NPNSB 1 per/yr….what a concept!…..saving billions for much needed fleet improvments!……The ghost of ADM R lives on………with the o8 mafia in the shadows

  8. It would cost less if they took an existing Virgina Class sub and put in a missile section with all the electronics needed to fire the missiles.

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