Fleet growth hampered by Navy budget request for fiscal year 2022

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Submarine construction continues at a steady pace in the U.S. Navy’s latest budget request, which calls for two more Virginia-class submarines and another tranche for the Columbia submarine missile. Here, the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) is seen just after launching in March 2021 at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. Photo HII

The long-delayed Navy FY2022 budget request submitted to Congress on May 28 reflects modest increases in several areas, but overall shows no significant change, either in procurement of weapons or readiness accounts.

The service calls for eight ships, but only four are combatants – two submarines, a destroyer, and a frigate – while the other four are support ships. Demand for new ships is thwarted by the decision to deactivate 15 ships, including seven cruisers and four Littoral combat ships.

Aircraft purchases drop significantly from 96 in 2021 to 59 in 2022, but this reflects the end of several product lines, including the F / A-18 Super Hornet.

Total demand for the Department of the Navy (DON) – which includes the Navy and the Marine Corps – is $ 211.7 billion, an overall increase of $ 3.8 billion from the $ 207.9 billion dollars received by the ministry in fiscal year 2021. other ownership groups – operations and maintenance, military personnel, infrastructure and research and development – are all growing.

In addition, shipbuilding purchases fell 3%, from $ 23.3 billion to $ 22.6 billion. Request 22 calls for eight ships: two Virginia-class SSN-774 Block V fast attack submarines; an Arleigh Burke DDG-51 Flight III-class destroyer (a drop from last year’s plan to request two DDGs in 2022); an FFG-62 Constellation-class frigate; a John Lewis-class T-AO 205 fleet tanker; two T-ATS 6 Navajo-class tow, rescue and rescue vessels; and a new T-AGOS (X) ocean monitoring vessel.

The request also calls for additional funding for the FY2021 Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine SSBN-826 and advance procurement funds for another frigate and tanker.

PACIFIC OCEAN (January 30, 2021) An F-35C Lighting II of the Argonauts ?? Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 sits on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson is currently conducting routine maritime operations. (US Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Erin.C. Zorich)

Funding for aviation purchases fell 15.6% to $ 16.5 billion from $ 19.5 billion in fiscal 2021. The Navy notes that the drop is due to the end of procurement for aircraft. F / A-18 Super Hornets, P-8A Poseidons, Presidential VH-92A helicopters and E-6B Mercury TACAMO airplanes. Overall, demand is for 107 aircraft, including 17 F-35Bs and 20 F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters; five E-2D Advanced Hawkeye tactical command and control aircraft; five Super Tanker KC-130J aircraft; nine CH-53K King Stallion helicopters; the multi-year acquisition of three delivery variants on board the Osprey tilt rotor aircraft carrier CMV-22 (COD) as well as five MV-22B Ospreys; and 36 TH-73A training helicopters.

Applications for unmanned aircraft include six Medium Altitude Tactical Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) (MALE-T). Purchases of long-range, high-altitude MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft are “on hold” during fiscal year 2022, the Navy said, “to enable the design of Integrated Functional Capability-4 (IFC 4.0) to mature, which will eliminate the risk of competition and minimize the cost of the renovation. The hiatus comes after the service ordered 15 Tritons, including test planes, out of a planned overall purchase of 68 production planes.

The purchase of weapons fell $ 300 million, or 0.6%, to $ 4.2 billion. Among the individual requests are 34 Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) and 14 NSM Missile Modules for Coastal Combatant Ships. Other on-board weapons include 60 Tomahawk Block V tactical cruise missiles; 125 SM-6 standard missiles; 100 Rolling Aeronautical Missiles (RAM); 108 Advanced Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs) and 58 Mark 48 Advanced Capability Heavy Torpedoes.

The Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepare to depart Cold Bay, Alaska, in support of Northern Edge 2021 May 10, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps Photo

Airborne missiles include 178 Sidewinders AIM-9X; 48 long-range anti-ship LRASM; and 54 extended range AARGM-ER advanced anti-radiation guided munitions AGM-88A.

Marine Corps purchases are up 11% from $ 2.7 billion in fiscal 2021 to $ 3.0 billion. Highlights include 613 light joint tactical vehicles, 92 amphibious combat vehicles and eight task-based TPS-80 ground / air radar systems (G / ATOR).

In the readiness category, funding for vessel operations increases 6.4% year over year, although the provision for 58 on-going days per quarter during deployment and 24 on-going days per quarter without deployment the same as in 2021.

Staff levels are down slightly. The active Navy strength is down 1,600 from the authorized level of 346,200 for fiscal 2021, attributed by the service to efforts to “actively manage personnel to meet fleet needs.” The active military strength of the Marine Corps drops from 2,700 to a final strength of 178,500, reflecting, according to DON, the Corps’ modernization efforts and divestment from older programs, such as tanks, bridges and the law application. DON’s civilian employees increase slightly to 223,113.

Ships

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) conducts cyclic flight operations while navigating the Atlantic Ocean November 13, 2020. US Navy Photo

Navy requests $ 2.4 billion for Ford-class aircraft carrier production, which covers fifth increase for USS detailed design and construction Business (CVN-80) and the fourth increment for the USS Doris Miller (CVN-81). The second funding increase for the guided-missile submarine USS Columbia (SSBN-826) totaling $ 4.6 billion is also included, as well as $ 6.4 billion for the Virginia-class attack submarines that cover two Block V submarines and advance purchases for Block VI vessels for fiscal year 2024.

The service is asking for just one $ 2 billion Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the DDG-137, instead of two, a move that will certainly face a major setback in Congress. The choice to delay the ship does not reflect a cancellation, as the Navy has committed to purchasing two more ships, the DDG-138 and DDG-139, as part of a 2018 multi-year supply plan (MYP ). But that MYP was supposed to expire in 2022, and it’s unclear whether the service would incur contractual penalties for delays in awarding individual construction contracts.

2022 request requests partial funding of $ 60.6 million for USS Pittsburgh (LPD-31), an amphibious transport dock funded largely in 2021, as well as $ 68.6 million for the US-class amphibious assault ship LHA-9.

The surface vessel acquisition program is offset by an increased ship decommissioning program, including four littoral combatants – USS Fort worth (LCS-3), entered service in 2012; USS Coronado (LCS-4), commissioned in 2014; USS Detroit (LCS-7), commissioned in 2016; and USS Small stone (LCS-9), which has only been in service since the end of 2017. Fort worth, Detroit and Small stone all are Liberty class ships, while the Coronado is Independence class ships.

The service is also seeking to decommission seven CG-47 Ticonderoga-class cruisers, including the USS City of Hue (CG-66) and USS Anzio (CG-69), with the landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41) and a T-ATF ocean tug. The Navy is also seeking funds to inactivate 12 Mark VI patrol boats for a savings of $ 74 million, although it has spent nearly $ 200 million in recent years to purchase the craft and set up efforts to training and support.

Plane

An undated photo of the RQ-4A BAMS-D. Photo by Norfolk Grumman

The service is speeding up the withdrawal of “legacy” F / A-18A / D Hornet attack fighters, bringing forward the date by which all aircraft are to be retired from 2024 to 2022. Interestingly, the Navy plans to cover some of the missions carried out. by the older aircraft with F-16 fighters transferred from the Air Force. The service also aims to speed up the sale of BAMS-D maritime surveillance demonstration aircraft for the large area.



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