Contact Us   |    Join   |    Donate


Submarine Industrial Base

  • Inside the Navy, April 12, 1993
    “The Clinton administration appears ready to protect the subma-rine industrial base through additional production even if that production exceeds the Navy’s stated requirement. Deputy Defense Secretary William Perry told an industry group last week that President Clinton’s defense conversion plan will not work with some defense programs such as submarine production. Perry said the Navy is expected to show that their nuclear submarine inventory is greater than what is needed to sustain the industrial base. “We will have to take some action to keep the submarine industrial base [healthy] in spite of [the Navy’s] inventory needs,” Perry said. Perry’s comments came before a Cruise Missile Association luncheon last Monday (April 5).”

“Aspin’s bottom-up review of the nation’s defense will examine acquisition and industrial base issues and the Navy’s nuclear-attack submarine program will be the focus of a special review as part of that, according to a memorandum from Frank Wisner, the under secretary of defense for policy Gnside the Navy, March 15, p1). During the budget briefing Aspin told reporters there is enough work in FY-93 and FY-94 for the nation’s two submarine shipyards, Newport News and Electric Boat. “The question is how do we keep the submarine industrial base alive until the CENTURION begins production?,” Asp in said. The CENTURI-ON is the next nuclear attack submarine the Navy plans to build. Production is expected to start in FY-98 .”

  • Defense News, June 14-20, 1993
    “WASHINGTON – Concerned that construction of the U.S. Navy’s next aircraft carrier may be postponed too late in this decade, a major American shipyard is calling for a new review of the nation’s nuclear shipbuilding base.

“Officials from Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, VA, and parent company Tenneco Inc., Houston, last week charged the Pentagon’s ongoing high-level review of weapon systems is biased because it focuses exclusively on preserving nuclear submarine industrial capabilities and ignores the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier industry.

“Building carriers preserves the shipbuilding base for carriers and submarines,” Michael Walsh, chairman of Tenneco, said in a June 10 news conference in Alexandria, VA. “Building subma-rines does not preserve the carrier industrial base.”

“The Pentagon review, launched by U.S. Defense Secretary Les Aspin in February, is assessing weapon systems and industrial base concerns and what is affordable for the future. Aspin was expected to be briefed on initial recommendations from the review on June 12, Pentagon sources said.

“To reduce near-term budgets and still preserve the nation’s capacity to build nuclear-powered warships, Pentagon officials are studying a number of proposals, including delaying production of the Navy’s next aircraft carrier, CVN-76, from 1995 until later this decade, Pentagon sources said.”

New U.S. Submarine

  • Defense News, March 8-14, 1993
    “U.S. Navy planners are looking at as many as 12 submarine alternatives as part of a Pentagon-directed review to determine the most effective design to pursue under the CENTURION program, service sources said March 4.

Navy sources said they expect the review to be complete by midsummer but caution that the review may be delayed since it takes a great deal of time to assess each alternative. A separate Pentagon-directed study assessing the future of the submarine industrial base should be complete next month, the Nvy sources said.

The two studies will be used to guide development of CENTU-RION, a lower-cost replacement for the SSN-21 SEAWOLF submarine that was canceled in 1992 for being too expensive. CENTURION is expected to begin construction in 1998.”

  • Defense News, May 3, 1993
    “Navy officials bracing for the Pentagon’s bottom-up review of the submarine industrial base are pushing for building a lone SEAWOLF in fiscal 1996 followed by a low-cost successor in 1998, according to Pentagon sources.

The preferred Navy option, along with others that the Pentagon is considering, also would construct one SEAWOLF successor, known as CENTURION, annually thereafter.

Pentagon officials said the recommendation has gained a key endorsement from ADM Bruce DeMars, the director of nuclear propulsion.

One Navy official described the position as the service’s baseline going into the submarine industrial base bottom-up review discussions with Pentagon civilians.”

  • lnside tbe Nayy, May 3, 1993
    “While there is support in Congress and in the administration for building a third SEAWOLF as a way of protecting the fragile submarine industrial base, congressional sources said last week that adding funds to the FY-94 defense budget is unlikely. “There is no room for it in the [FY -94] budget, and no one is up for a floor battle,” a congressional source said. The sources agreed that a third SEAWOLF may be considered for FY-95 or FY-96.

Defense Secretary Les Aspin and Deputy Defense Secretary William Perry have been thinking about the overall industrial base over the last few weeks, the sources said . The sources said Aspin and Perry have developed a short list of unique items that need to be protected. Attack submarines are one of the items included on the list.”

  • lnside the Pentaion, June 3, 1993
    “Pentagon officials are  considering a plan to  build  a third SEAWOLF attack submarine modified for special operations in FY-96, which would help preserve two shipyards and meet legitimate defense needs, according to informed sources. These sources say the plan to modify the SEAWOLF for special operations, shallow water, and littoral warfare is emerging as the leading alternative in the bottom-up review of the submarine industrial base by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The new boat, the SSN-23, has a pricetag of about $2.5 billion, but it will require new funding of only $1 .6 billion because portions of the boat have previously been funded by Congress. “I:he boat’s nuclear reactor and combat system have already been purchased, and lawmakers appropriated an additional $540 million that can be used to buy the third SEAWOLF, numbered SSN-23.”

Submarine technology

  • Navy News and Undersea Technoloa, May 3, 1993
    “ADM Bruce DeMars, director of naval nuclear propulsion, did not testify last week before the House Armed Services Committee’s military applications of nuclear energy panel, but did release a statement to the group.

“Within my declining budget, reactor development ($316.5 million, up 3% from FY 1993) and plant development ($124.9 million, up $19 million from FY 1993) increase due to work on a new reactor plant components/systems, which will progress into test hardware development in FY 1994,” said the DeMars statement.

“This plant is intended initially for a new, more affordable attack submarine class, planned for FY 1998 authorization. Work includes the full-scale new concept steam generator, next genera-tion reactor, and power and control systems.”

The new steam generator for CENTURION, DeMars said “will allow greater ship design flexibility and decreased construction costs due to its smaller size, spatial orientation, and improved beat transfer efficiency which reduces coolant flow requirements.””

  • Defense News, March 1-7, 1993
    OTIAWA –  Canada will proceed with advanced studies into air independent propulsion technology to eventually equip a new submarine fleet with significantly enhanced underwater capability.

Within the next month Canada’s Defense Department will announce a 10 million Canadian doJlar contract ($7.95 million) for the study of two types of air independent propulsion (AIP) for submarines.

The money would be used to design and build a scaled-down version of a fuel cell AlP device. The system would be capable of producing 40 kilowatts of energy, Canadian Navy LCDR Leo Clarkin, research and development project director for Air Independent Propulsion, said in a February 22 interview.

  • Navy News and Undersea Technology, March 15, 1993
    “American attack submarines built two decades from now could be smaller and stealthier than SSN 688s by using superconducting electric motors.

But first the Navy has to find  one or more contractors to develop the high-tech motor and generator. It issued a broad agency announcement last month for a 3,000-horsepower proof-of-concept or technology demonstrator, and has $15 million to spend in the first year of the project. If all goes well, the Navy hopes to be able to use design data in ship concept analyses in the next 10 years, and fit them in a new boat within 20 years, according to the announcement.

The money for electric drive is just a small part of the Advanced Submarine Systems Development, funded at $133 million this year. But it could face trouble in Congress since its long lead time disqualifies it from use aboard the CENTURION, or whatever submarine the Navy builds next. In its FY 1993 authorization conference report, the two armed services commit-tees said, “The Navy must place priority on efforts supporting the first flight {of CENTURION] and must assign lower priority to those affecting later flights.””

  • Navy News and Undersea Technology, May 31, 1993
    “Thyssen Nordseewerke’s closed-cycle diesel (CCD) submarine propulsion system exceeded “even the most optimistic expecta-tions,” according to a company report on the test.

The report outlining details of the installation and sea trials indicates Thyssen Nordseewerke (TNSW) officials are extremely pleased, and are intent on developing larger CCD systems for air-independent submarine propulsion (AlP). The tests, which concluded in late April, used a 150 kW diesel truck engine, coupled with a 120 kW DC generator, aboard a former German submarine called the EX-U 1.

The key to Thyssen’s ceo is an exhaust gas management system patented by Carlton Deep Sea Systems of Kettering, England. The document described the noise produced by the gas management system as negligible. The Carlton system is now in its third generation.

The Carlton device extracts carbon dioxide from the diesel exhaust and dissolves it in seawater, eliminating the need for power-robbing pumps to expel the exhaust at depth and pressure. To operate the diesel, small quantities of Argon gas are injected into the intakes to replace atmospheric nitrogen, which is con-sumed slightly during combustion. The entire CCD kit is dubbed the Argo-Diesel.”

Russian Submarines

  • Inside the Pentagon April 15, 1993
    “The Russian Navy continues to pour money into its submarine fleet, and is expected to launch five new submarines in 1993, according to RADM Edward Sheafer, head of the U.S. Navy’s in-telligence office. In additiont Sheafer expects Russia to launch its next-generation attack submarine in 1997 with quieting perfor-mance that in some respects will surpass the U.S. Navy’s SSN-688 improved submarine. “They have already developed and tested all the fourth-generation quieting techniques that they intend to employ in their next-generation submarinet” be said. “That will make them quieter than the 6881 across many acoustic domains, [though] not across the board .”

Speaking at an April 12 press luncheon, Sheafer previewed his likely testimony before Congress near the end of this month, telling reporters that the Russian Navy will remain highly capable during the coming decade, despite the nation’s economic and political unrest. He said that while Russian ground forces are in decline, the Russian Navy wants to modernize its submarine fleet and continue building aircraft carriers. But Sheafer said it will be hard to convince lawmakers that the Untied States still must worry about the Russian military.

“Selling the Russian threat on Capitol Hill is like selling used underwear,” he said. “It’s just something nobody has ever found a way to do.”

Sheafer also said the Russians have exported wake-homing torpedoes with a range of 20 kilometers to India and probably to Iran. This allows submarines to stand off at about 10 kilometers and fire the wake-homing torpedoes at ships just over the horizon, which makes the U.S. Navy’s antisubmarine warfare (ASW) task even more difficult when facing nations that possess these torpedoes. “You don’t have to be the most capable mariner in the world if you’ve got the right kind of weapon,” Sheafer said.”

Naval Submarine League

© 2022 Naval Submarine League