Page 31: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (February 1989)
submarines and other high priority programs for a share of the SCN budget.
At $1 billion each, a larger force objective for DDG-51 surface com- batants will meet resistance.
DOD's decision to retire P-fired boiler frigates has taken or will take 16 ships from the fleet over the next year. Several other older frigates will likely be retired by the early 1990s. SWATH-type hulls are being studied for future frigate design.
However, no frigate building pro- gram is in the five-year ship con- struction plan.
The Navy plans a major modifica- tion program for FF-1052 Class fri- gates—intended to add five years of useful life to existing ships. An im- proved ASW system, anti-ship mis- sile protection, and better command and control capability is to be added. This is a major program which should keenly interest ship- yards and ship systems manufactur- ers.
Four LSD-41 (CV)s are planned under an option package to Avon- dale. Two LHDs are to be ordered from Ingalls. Completion of the
LHD and LSD-41/49 programs will add eight to 10 amphibious ships to the fleet in the 1990s.
While no other amphibious ship- building program is planned at this time, the Marine Corps will likely press for at least one amphibious ship of some type to be funded annually. Candidates include a pro- gram to replace several LPHs or
LPDs which will reach 30 years of age in the early 1990s.
The Navy has plans to build six high-speed patrol boats in the early 1990s. A proven hull design—hydro- foil or high-speed displacement hulls—is to be chosen. However, this program is very tentative. Pa- trol craft don't generate much inter- est in the Navy and funding will not likely receive high priority.
The remaining MCMs will be contracted to Peterson and Ma- rinette Marine—completing the ob- jective of building 14 new MCM ships. An additional 16 MHCs are to be ordered. A second source is to be chosen for the MHC program—to provide competition to Intermarine, the current builder. No other major program is planned. Old MSOs will be retired as MCMs and MHCs are delivered.
COMBAT LOGISTICS SHIPS
According to the Congressional
Budget Office, the Navy may be understating its force requirements in this area. An April 1988 CBO study says the Navy's force goal for combat logistics ships (AOE, AOR,
AO, AE, AFS) may be too low. The
Navy says it needs 65 ships. CBO thinks a figure of 93 ships is more realistic.
Some of the older tenders may be retired over the next 10 years. Three submarine tenders (AS) and three destroyer tenders (AD) date from
World War II. The two repair ships (AR) now in service were built in the early 1940s. However, there are no plans to replace these ships in the foreseeable future.
This program has essentially been completed. There are now 39 strate- (continued)
U.S. NAVY SHIPBUILDING
IN A PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY
A Forecast and Assessment of
Navy Ship Construction
Over the Next Ten Years
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