The submarine force has taken hits over the years, and I’ve been more than happy to have fun at the expense of my bubblehead brothers. However, AW1 Tim is always happy to point out that the best ASW platform is a submarine. WE airdales can do a heck of a job, but our range and time on station is limited. Not so the SSN.
These United States depend upon the Sea Lanes of Communication for our commerce and economic livelihood. We need to be able to not only defend them, but to be able to counter any threat, especially submerged, that may appear. That is why the diminishing numbers of SSN’s are a cause of great concern to myself, and many many others in the fleet.
From Navy Times:
Critics worry over attack sub force planBy Lance M. Bacon – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 2, 2010 17:00:25 EST
The Navy’s plan to reduce its submarine fleet by 20 percent will render it unable to meet critical requirements, lawmakers and strategists say.
What’s still a mystery to many is whether the cuts are driven by decreasing missions or decreasing funding — or is this a gamble by the Navy that has a potential payout in the billions?
In the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, the Navy argued that a 48-attack-sub minimum is a moderate-risk force necessary to provide the roughly 10 subs that combatant commanders need on any given day.
But the 30-year shipbuilding plan released Feb. 1 would drop the current 53 attack subs to a low of 39 in 2030, then stabilize the fleet at 45 through 2040. The plan also eliminates the Navy’s four guided-missile subs in 2028 and replaces the 14 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines with 12 new boomers.
“I have real reservations about attack subs hitting a low of 39 boats, which is well below the minimum required,” Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Navy Times. “We can’t meet the demand that is out there now, and requirements will only continue to grow in the future.”
Go over and read the whole thing. Stalin once remarked that “Quantity has a quality all it’s own”. That’s true. The PLAN seems to think more is better. The question is whether it is better to have a few high-end boats, or a lot of less-capable boats, or something in the middle, or maybe a combination. I don’t have all the answers, but it’s a discussion we need to keep on top of.