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  • Inside tbe Nayy of 2S June reported that the submarine Industrial Base issue bad been raised: “Top-level Pentagon officials Donald Atwood and John Betti this week recommended that Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney consider cutting in half the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine shipbuilding base in the first round of briefings in the Department of Defense’s Major Warship Review, according to informed sources. The move is likely to launch a major Navy lobbying effort to reverse the recommendation before the review is made final next week, these sources say. But they add that the Navy may have a difficult time reversing the decision because of Navy plans to cut SSN-21 SEA WOLF production from three ships per year to two ships per year in FY-92.

“Sources say that Atwood, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Betti, Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition), don’t support the sharp per-ship cost increase that the Navy would suffer if it kept two submarine yards open while building only two SEA WOLFs per year. While the exact figures are classified, sources estimate that the per-ship cost of SEA WOLF would jump from $1.25-billion to close to $2-billion in order to sustain the overhead costs of both yards. This assumes the loss of TRIDENT production at 18 ships, according to sources. Neither Betti nor Atwood support this ‘inefficiency,’ according to sources, and thus are arguing that if two SEA WOLFs are built annually then only one yard should build them.

“While the SSN-21 program seems to be in danger, the DDG-51 program will emerge relatively unscathed with shipyards and industrial base kept in tact, according to an informed source who says that there will be ‘no surprises’ from statements made earlier by Cheney in the Major Warship Review concerning the projected total amount of DDG-51s. The Navy’s program calls for building 33 destroyers, with an estimated cost of $27-billion.”

  • Inside the Nayy of 2 July commented on the move to limit the TRIDENT force level. “A movement to forego further procurement of Trident submarines is gaining supporters in both the House and Senate, according to congressional sources. These sources say lawmakers who support such a decision feel that it would be foolish to provide long-lead funding for the 19th and 20th lRIDENTs while any uncertainty remains over the final language of the pending Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) treaty which could limit the U.S. to no more than 18 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Even though it is possible that the final START agreement will allow the U.S. to build up to 21 TRIDENTs, many lawmakers are concerned that the expenditure of approximately $2-billion per fully loaded TRIDENT would be wasted if, as expected, future arms control agreements place lower limits on the U.S. SSBN force.

I’ve been concerned about continuing to build a $2-or $3bil/ion submarine that we may very well under some future START agreement — maybe this one — wind up having to dismantle, Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR) told Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney at a defense appropriations subcommittee hearing last month. That would be folly in the extreme.

“Negotiations on SSBN and submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead limits for the pending START treaty are still continuing in Geneva but arms control experts say it is likely that the U.S. will be successful in attempts to exempt any SSBNs in overhaul or refueling from the START-imposed limits. The Soviet Union bas agreed in principle to exempt these SSBNs from the counting rules, according to an expert at the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based think tank. The Soviets have said they would allow 48 SLBM launchers in overhaul to be exempted from the limits while the U.S. is seeking exemption for 72 launchers. The likely outcome of the ongoing negotiations, said this expert, is that a compromise figure will be reached that will allow the U.S. to exempt two TRIDENTs from the SLBM limit. Each 1RIDENT carries 24 missiles.

Nevertheless, congressional sources say it is extremely shortsighted -and expensive- for the Navy to proceed with building more 1RIDENTs when future arms control agreements will most likely require further cuts in SLBMs. At some point we 11UlSt start to look at START 2 and beyond, said one Senate source. We’re almost certainly going to come down further on warheads and even if you could justify 21 {TRIDENTs] under START 1, there’s no way you can justify it under START 2”

  • NAVY NEWS & Undersea Technology of July 16, in discussion of the Soviet submarine force, reported that they had completed their second nuclear-powered UNIFORM class submarine. They went on to describe the class as … The UNIFORM is the only operational Soviet nuclear submarine to feature single-hull construction, and is UIUlrmed. The boats are used for special operations.

“Propelled by a single pressurized water nuclear reactor, each UNIFORM can carry at least 40 Spetznaz troops for insertion along hostile coastlines. It has the capability to deploy swimmers and is suspected of being able to carry a portable dry deck shelter to house at least one swimmer delivery vehicle. ”

‘The first boat in the class was launched in June 1982 and became operational in 1984. The second was launched in 1987. Both were built at the Sudomech division of the Admiralty Yard in Leningrad.

“‘The submarines have a surface displacement of 1,600 tons, and a submerged displacement of 1,800 tons. Overall length is 239 feet, five inches with a maximum beam of 23 feet and a draft of 21 feet, three inches. “The launch of a second UNIFORM is another example of the Soviet penchant for construction of submarines to perform specialized missions.”

In addition, the paper further commented – “Another new class of Soviet submarine which has raised the curiosity of Western analysts is the X-RAY. This sub was launched in 1984 from the Sudomech facility – known since the 1950s as a center for engineering innovation- and completed in 1987. It is the equivalent of the U.S. Navy’s NR-1 research submarine.

“Used in oceanographic research, the X-RAY has an overall length of 144 feet, four inches with a beam of 13 feet, one inch and a maximum draft of 14 feet, five inches. Estimated displacement is 450 tons submerged and 325 tons surfaced. It uses a single pressurized water nuclear reactor to produce a surface speed of five knots and a submerged speed of four knots. The X-RAY is unarmed.

“With a hull made of HY 130 steel or titanium, the single X-RAY has a maximum diving depth of 3,250 feel A crew of six, including one scientist and one technician, is used to maneuver the sub and control its television cameras.

“The American NR-1 was launched in 1969. At 372 tons surface displacement it is slightly larger than the X-RAY, making the Soviet boat by a small margin the smallest nuclear submarine in the world. The NR-1 uses HY 80 steel.”

  • DEFENSE NEWS of August 20 reported on a study recommending a basic change to the U.S. strategic 1RIAD -“‘The United States should consider eliminating the land-based portion of its strategic nuclear triad as part of a revised postCold War defense strategy, a new study recommends.

“The study, titled After the Cold War: U.S. Security for the Future. released last Tuesday by the Washington-based Atlantic Council, also recommends cuts in the U.S. military force structure over the next 20 years totaling about $70 billion.

“The proposals for revising the structure of the U.S. military is part of an overall U.S. security strategy as Cold War tensions recede and global economic competition intensifies.

“The basis for U.S. strategic nuclear forces since the 1960s has been a combination of air-launched ballistic missiles and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) collectively called the triad. The study’s author, Seymour Deitchman, senior research associate at the Institute of Defense Analyses, argues in his report that silo-based ICBMs have long been considered wlnerable and a source of instability between the superpowers.

“With the advent of extremely accurate D-5 submarinelaunched missiles, the U.S. Navy bas argued that the seagoing leg of the triad can strike a greater range of targets. The Navy’s baUistic missile submarine force remains the most costeffective and secure leg of the nation~ strategic detetTent capabUily, Vice Admiral Daniel Cooper, assistant chief of naval operations for undersea warfare, told the House Armed Services Committee in March.”

  • DEFENSE NEWS of August 20 also reported the results of DOD’s Major Warship Review. “‘The results of the longawaited Major Warship Review released last week by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney spell continued political trouble for the SEA WOLF nuclear attack submarine program, government and congressional sources say.

“Following a comprehensive four-month review of the SSN21 SEA WOLF submarine and DDG-51 ARLEIGH BURKEclass destroyer programs, Cheney opted to reduce SEA WOLF construction to three vessels every two years. Original Navy plans bad envisioned the acquisition of 10 subs every three years.”

– and went on – “‘n action last month, the full Senate voted to forgo procurement of SSN-21s in the 1991 defense budget and instead added two SSN-688 LOS ANGEL~lass subs to the budget. The House Armed Services Committee approved funding for only one SEA WOLF. The full House will vote on the defense spending bill when it returns in September.”

– further observing that – “Reducing the number of submarines built each year also will increase the cost of each SEA WOLF, which has a production cost cap of $1.25 billion per copy.

“While estimates of the likely cost increase are still being debated, the issue wilI have a major effect on the Navy’s abUily to maintain support for the program in 1992 a congressional source observed. He added that rising program costs coupled with pressures to cut the budget even further next year dramatically increase the chances that the program will be canceled.”

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