While continuing to build more SSN Virginia-class attack submarines, the U.S. Navy is also investing in development of the SSBN Trident nuclear-missile fleet, according to its proposed fiscal 2015 spending plan.
The budget proposal announced March 4 includes about $5.9 billion for two more Virginia-class subs.
The Navy received authority for a follow-on multi-year-procurement (MYP) contract for up to 10 submarines beginning in fiscal 2014 and the fiscal 2015 request includes funding for that program, including advance procurement/economic order quantity as part of the overall fiscal 2014-2018 MYP.
The Navy also wants to continue research and development (R&D) to focus on reducing programmatic costs, operational evaluation testing, sonar development, combat control and electronic support systems as well as submarine multi-mission team trainer efforts. To that end, the fiscal 2015 spending plan includes $73 million for R&D, particularly for the improvement of electronic systems and subsystems, better silencing capability and reduced total ownership costs for Block IV Virginia-class subs.
The proposal also includes $133 million to help design a platform on the future Virginias’ strike payload capacity for Tomahawk land attack and follow-on missiles. The design is targeted for Block V ships, which are scheduled to begin construction in 2019.
As for SSBN Ohio-class replacements, the fiscal 2015 spending plan includes about $1.2 billion for R&D, particularly for propulsion plant, missile compartment development and platform development technologies such as propulsor, electric actuation, maneuvering/ship control and signatures.
“The funds provide for joint development of missile launch technologies in support of long-standing bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom,” the Navy says in documents accompanying the fiscal 2015 request. “The Department continues to fund design for affordability efforts necessary to meet the cost targets for the program.”
Subscribers to the Aviation Week Intelligence Network should keep visiting AWIN’s 2015 budget page for news, data and analysis of programs and priorities throughout the business day and as the proposal makes its way through Congress. The page can be found at http://www.aviationweek.com/awin/USBudget2015.aspx.