The Navy projects that the SSN force will drop below 48 boats, a level the Navy has identified as necessary, in 2020 and remain below that number through 2033, a period of 14 years. In 2028 and 2029, when the force is projected to bottom out at 40 boats, it will be lacking one boat out of every six that the Navy has stated are required. The bottom will occur just as the Navy's four converted Trident cruise missile submarines (SSGNs) are scheduled to leave service, so the SSGNs will not be available to compensate for the reduced number of SSNs when the force bottoms out, and in the years after that.I'll look over the articles again when I'm more awake and see what other interesting tidbits they might have; of course, you're invited to bring up any salient points in the comments.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
The New London Day has a series of articles on the future of the Submarine Force in the Sunday paper -- read it today, though, because you'll have to register to see them tomorrow. The articles include a case for Force growth, an overview of current threats, a discussion of EB's role, a call for submariners to be "louder", and one saying that subs are worth the money it costs to build them. The one I found most interesting on first reading was this one discussing the future Force numbers for various construction scenarios, including this excerpt: