Page 60: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2018)

Marine Design Annual

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Revolution & Evolution of

Surface Combatants © temp-64GTX/AdobeStock

Following the drawdown at the end of the Cold War, the Navy ? nds itself trying to build up again. The expansion of Russian and Chinese naval power has changed the calculus.

By Edward Lundquist hile there will always be a Designing, Building, Maintaining Commonality Matters debate about the ? nal num- the Future Fleet The Navy is now planning for a large

W ber of ships to build, we can For the U.S. Navy, designing and build- surface combatant and a small surface all agree on one thing: the Navy must ing the ? eet of tomorrow has always combatant, referred to as the frigate. get bigger and the demand signal is to been heavily in? uenced by the past and “When we think about the distribution start building now,” said Chief of Naval present. That goes for the technology of our force, we need capacity, so we

Operations Adm. John Richardson, in on the ships to the industrial capacity to need some things to be big and some testimony before Congress regarding produce them. It takes years to build a things to be small, and ? guring out how the sea service’s 2019 budget request. ship from design to construction before we can balance capacity and cost and “The Navy (needs) a better ? eet, more entering the ? eet, especially the ? rst distribute those sensors and shooters capability achieved through moderniza- ship of a class. Making the design and most cost effectively within our force,” tion, networking, agile operating con- build particularly challenging is the fact said Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, director for cepts, and a talented force of sailors that a lot of technology changes from surface warfare on the OPNAV staff. and civilians with of? cers of competence initial drawing to commissioning, par- and character to lead them. And ? nally, ticularly today with the acceleration of The large surface combatant will take the nation requires a ready ? eet: more technology change. That’s why building the DDG 51 Flight III combat system at-sea time, more ? ying, more mainte- tomorrow’s Navy will require a different and place it on a larger hull, with the nance and more weapons of increased approach. One critical point to always space, weight and power for mission lethality that go faster, farther and are keep in mind: The industrial capacity to growth. The frigate is also moving more survivable.” design, build, out? t and maintain a na- forward, with ? ve industry teams under

A tall order indeed, with the main ques- val force is not a faucet that can simply contract for conceptual work. “They’re tion remaining: From where will the be turned on and off. working with our program of? ces to money come? mature the system speci? cation and

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