Secretary of Defense Press Release, September 22, 1994
DOD Review Recommends Reduction in Nuclear Force
Secretary of Defense William J. Perry today announced the results of the Department of Defense’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).
“In light of the post-Cold War era, President Bill Clinton directed the Defense Department to reexamine its forces,” said Secretary Perry. “First, there was the Bottom-Up Review of U.S. conventional force structure conducted under Secretary Aspin. Now we have just completed a review of our nuclear forces .”
The NPR is the first such review of U.S. nuclear policy in 15 years, and the first study ever to include policy, doctrine, force structure, command, and control, operations, supporting infrastructure, safety and security, and arms control in a single review.
Strategic Nuclear Forces. The most important results of the NPR can be seen in the decisions made to reduce the strategic nuclear force structure the U.S . plans to retain after the START n Treaty is implemented. The NPR recommends the following strategic nuclear force adjustments:
- 14 Trident submarines carrying Trident n (D-5)
missiles-rather than 18 submarines, 10
carrying D-5 and 8 carrying C-4 missiles
- 66 B-52 bombers, reduced from the 94 planned a year ago
- No requirement for any additional B-2 bombers in a nuclear
- All B-1 bombers will be reoriented to a conventional role
- Three wings of Minuteman III missiles carrying single
No new strategic systems are under development or planned.
“NPR decisions allow us to put the U.S . nuclear programs on a stable footing. But a fundamental underlying judgment of the Review is that we are at the threshold of a decade of planned reductions, and we will continue to reassess the opportunities for further reduction or, if necessary, respond to unanticipated challenges as time goes on. The NPR strategic force provides that needed flexibility,” Secretary Perry said.
Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces. In the Non-Strategic Nuclear Forces (NSNF) arena, the NPR makes the following recommendations, including eliminating entirely two of five remaining types of NSNF:
- Retain our current commitment to NATO of dual-capable
aircraft based in Europe and the deployment of nuclear
weapons in Europe (less than 10 percent of Cold War
- Retain continental U.S.-based dual-capable aircraft.
- Eliminate the option to deploy nuclear weapons on carrier
based dual-capable aircraft.
- Eliminate the option to carry nuclear cruise missiles on
- Retain the capability to deploy nuclear cruise missiles on
The effect of the NSNF recommendations is to eliminate the capability to deploy nuclear weapons on surface naval ships while maintaining a non-strategic force capability to fulfill our commitments to allies.
Nuclear Safety, Security and Use Control. In addition to the reductions in overall numbers of weapons as noted above, since 1988 the U.S. has taken a number of steps to improve the safety and security of nuclear weapons. U.S. bombers no longer stand day-to-day alert and strategic missiles are no longer targeted against any country. The U.S. has reduced the. the number of nuclear storage locations by over 75 percent and the number of personnel with access to weapons or control by 70 percent. The NPR examined ways to ensure U.S. ability to continue to meet the highest standards of stewardship of its nuclear forces and identified several areas for further improvements in U.S. forces’ safety, security, and use control. The NPR recommends that:
- The U.S. equip all its nuclear weapons systems, including
submarines, with coded control devices by 1997; and
upgrade coded control locking devices on Minuteman III
ICBMs and B-52 bombers.
“These adjustments reflect the changed political situation at the end of the Cold War and the reduced role nuclear weapons play in U.S. security. “said Dr. Perry.
“As we make adjustments in our future plans for the U.S. nuclear posture. uppermost in our minds is the fact that the states of the former Soviet Union are yet in the early stages of implementing the agreed reductions called for by the START I and START n agreements,” Dr. Perry said. “We are trying to hasten that process through. among other things our Cooperative Threat Reduction programs with Russia. Ukraine. Kazakhstan, and Belarus. But we kept in mind as we conducted the NPR that START I has not yet entered into force. nor has START n been ratified. For this reason. and because of the uncertain future of the rapid political and economic change still underway in the former Soviet Union. we made two judgments in the NPR.
“First. we concluded that deeper reductions beyond those we made in the NPR would be imprudent at this time; we took several actions to ensure that we could reconstitute our forces as the decade went along. if we needed to.” Secretary Perry said.
“The results of the NPR strike an appropriate balance between showing U.S. leadership in responding to the changing international environment and hedging against an uncertain future,” he said.
Background: Reductions in the U.S. Nuclear Forces Underway.
Since 1988. the U.S. has made a number of significant changes in its nuclear posture.
percent and will be reduced by a total of 79 percent by 2003.
and will be reduced to a total of 71 percent by 2003 with the
implementation of START I and START II.
over 75 percent.
Marines. The Navy no longer routinely deploys non-
strategic nuclear weapons. and the Air Force has dramatically
cut its tactical nuclear stockpile.
We have terminated almost all of our nuclear modernization programs.
Senate Appropriations Committee Report on DOD Appropriations for 1995
Over the next five years, in the constant fiscal year 1995 dollars, the Navy plans to spend $7,690,000,000 to develop and produce the first new attack submarine and to complete payment on the SSN 23. Over 10 years, the costs would be $18,600,000,000. The Navy plans would develop the new attack submarine as a lower cost alternation to the Sea wolf Program. The Navy argues, that production of one Seawolf every other year is adequate to sustain the nuclear submarine industrial base hi the near term, but it must purchase the new attack submarine to lower total costs and, because continuing Seawolf production at this rate would be insufficient to sustain a force structure of between 40 and 55 attack submarines in the long term. Further, it argues, that a new submarine design is needed to sustain the industrial base for submarine design capability.
Clearly, the concerns expressed by the Navy while not inconsequential are based on costs and future force structure requirements. It appears, based on the 30-year life of the Navy’s SSN-688 Class submarines, that a shortfall will not begin until the middle of the second decade of the next century, raising questions about the need to finance a new low–cost alternative to the Sea wolf during the current five-year plan. The quandary is how can DOD best protect the industrial base at the lowest cost until it is time to purchase a relatively large number of SSN 688 replacements.
The cost of the Seawolf, at approximately $2,500,000,000, is expensive. However, the first New Attack Submarine will cost more than $3,100,000,000 to produce, in 1995 constant dollars. This is about 25 percent more than the SSN 23 is expected to cost. Furthermore, in conjunction with ordering the first NAS, the Congress will need to provide an additional $2,068,000,000 to complete the development of this alternative submarine. Recently, Deputy Secretary Deutch instructed the Navy to reduce its NAS spending by $1,000,000,000 over the five-year plan. One alternative would be to delay the NAS. The Committee finds that the NAS program could be delayed eight years and still satisfy the requirement to maintain an acceptable attack submarine force structure. However, this alone will not sustain the submarine industrial base.
If an alternative submarine construction program continued during this eight-year period, the industrial base could be sustained. The Committee notes, for example, that purchasing one Seawolf every other year through 2004 while delaying continued NAS development until 2003 would cost approximately $4,700,000,000 over the five-year plan, and $14,400,000,000 over the next 10 years. This amounts to a savings of nearly $3,000,000,000 over the next five years and nearly $5,000,000,000 over the 10 year period compared to the current plan. Such an approach would minimize the financial burdens facing the Navy and the Defense Department over this period and could allow for the much-needed recapitalization in other areas, such as Marine Corps amphibious ships.
The Committee shares the Navy’s concern that the submarine design base would not be entirely safeguarded by this type of approach. The Committee believes the continuation of a technology demonstration program studying advanced submarine concepts, especially with the objective of reducing the costs of the new attack submarine would be a useful and cost-effective method for sustaining these design skills, A $1,000,000,000 program over an eight-year period could offset this need. Together, this approach would still save the Navy nearly $2,400,000,000 over the next five years, including more than $900,000,000 next year alone.
The Committee directs the Navy to consider an alternative to the new attack submarine program before going forward to Milestone III. The Committee expects this review to be completed before the Navy will need to obligate more than 50 percent of the fiscal year 1995 development funding associated with the new attack submarine. It, therefore, directs the Navy to withhold from obligating SO percent of the fiscal year 1995 new attack submarine funds until the review has been completed and a report on the review has been submitted to the congressional defense committees.
House Appropriations Committee Report on DOD Appropriation for 1995
New Attack Submarine
The budget request includes $508 million in the fiscal year 1995 for the development of the New Attack Submarine (NAS). The Department of the Navy has reported to the Congress that the total development cost of the NAS is expected to be $3.5 billion and procurement costs are expected to be $57.8 billion. The Committee believes that an investment of this scope must be very carefully reviewed to achieve the highest possible return in capability at the most realistic cost. The Committee further believes that a program of this magnitude deserves special attention early in its development phase to ensure that the Congress and the Department are fully aware of financial implications for the future, in particular the potential drain on budgetary resources available for other Navy shipbuilding programs as well as overall Department of Defense requirements.
Much of the testimony and correspondence received by the Committee this year has concentrated on the preservation of the submarine industrial base. The Committee recognizes the importance of this aspect of the NAS program and also notes that the end of the Cold War has not resulted in an end to submarine mission requirements.
At this time the Committee is prepared to offer a limited endorsement of the role NAS plays in the Navy’s overall plan for the preservation of the submarine industrial base. However, the Committee is concerned that the current plan needs to be refined to control total program cost while keeping open the option for improvements to adequately address the threats of the future. First and foremost, the Committee has added $100,000,000 to the fiscal year 1995 budget request for Advanced Submarine System Development (P.E. 0603561N). The funding is to be dedicated to improvements in producibility with the overall goals to be (I) a reduction in risk associated with the program, (2) a reduction in follow-ship procurement cost to no more than $1.2 billion versus the current estimate of $1.54 billion, and (3) allow for future insertion of new technology. Along these lines, the Committee directs the Navy to incorporate full modular reconfigurability into the design for NAS. Such reconfigurability at a minimum must allow for the insertion of large-scale new technologies that become available or adapt the design to shifts in mission focus or operating environment. Such modularity must also include the ability to accept replacement of machinery plant, entire propulsion plant (machinery and reactor), sail, and the forward end, as well as insertion of special mid-hull mission modules forward of the reactor plant.
Second, the Committee recommends a reduction of $137,322,- 000 for Ship Contract Design (P.E. 0604567N). This is the total amount specified in project F2199 for New Design SSN. The Committee has deferred embarking on the new design effort until the completion of producibility studies to reduce future costs. The Committee further recommends a reduction of $62,678,000 for New Design SSN Development (P .E. 0604558N) for similar reasons. The Committee has recommended no reduction to the funding request of $82,412,000 for S9G nuclear propulsion plant development (P.E. 0603570N) since this effort.is essentially in its sixth year of development and the Committee believes it is too late to re-think the size and power of the system. However, the Committee directs the Navy to use a portion of the funding requested to continue efforts to find better and cheaper ways to produce the propulsion plant.
The Committee advises the Department of Defense that future funding for NAS will be dependent upon the Secretary of Defense certifies that the follow-ship procurement cost goal of $1.2 billion in constant dollars will be met and that the Navy cost estimate has been verified by an independent Department of Defense cost estimate. In addition, the Committee directs the Secretary of Defense to submit detailed quarterly reports to the Congress on the efforts being undertaken to reduce the cost of the submarine. The first report is to be submitted on March 31, 1995.
CAPT James G. Partlow, USNR(Ret.)