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Let me begin by thanking the Naval Submarine League for putting this symposium together. This is a valuable opportunity for experts from all the key submarine technology disciplines to exchange ideas, not just with one another, but also with Fleet operators, resource sponsors, and intelligence experts. This kind of open exchange is crucial to the innovation that has shaped the history of our Submarine Force and is needed to drive its future.

With our Nation engaged in an ongoing war on terrorism, the theme of this year’s symposium, “Development and Demonstration of Submarine Technology in Support of Fleet Operations, is on the mark. At the graduate level, we need to add a third D to accompany development and demonstration: we need to talk about delive1J’· All the development and demonstration in the world are pointless unless their product is actually delivered to our submarines. Perhaps you saw the recent Pentagon IG report, criticizing all of the services for failing to ensure that successful technology was transitioning to the acquisition stage.

Rather than wonder if the Submarine Force is part of the problem, let’s just take the lesson learned on board: let’s focus our efforts toward the Big D-let’s deliver. After all, the Navy’s need for new technology aboard our submarines has never been greater: our submariners on their attack submarines are being called to perform more, increasingly diverse missions than ever before, but with an ever-smaller Fleet.

Considering how our submarines are engaged throughout the world today, clearly they are a critical part of our Navy. They’re at sea gaining and sustaining access, developi11g a11d shari11g dominant knowledge, and deterri11g and dissuading potential adversaries, while ready to strike with surprise from close-in. These submarine strategic concepts that we’ve been talking about for years flow from the capabilities provided by the stealth, endurance, agility, and firepower that only submarines combine to deliver undersea superiority.

And if we forsake undersea superiority, our Sea Shield is porous, making our Sea Base insecure. Without the Sea Base, there is no Sea Strike-and there is no Seapower 2 I. Our Submarine Force must deliver undersea superiority for Seapower 2 I to succeed

Pertinent to this symposium, the undersea superiority our submarines so capably deliver today is not sufficient for the security environment of the future. The anti-access capabilities of potential adversaries are advancing day by day. The capabilities of our submarines must advance even faster to retain total undersea dominance: the ability to operate with total impunity against any adversary, anywhere, anytime.

But undersea dominance is not an option at any price. The CNO has correctly reminded us that budgets are tight and will remain so. Admiral Clark’s Sea Enterprise initiative must find better return on investment so that the Navy can recapitalize and upgrade.

The participants in this forum-all of us here-have a part in Sea Enterprise: to deliver technology that increases the warfighting return on the Navy’s submarine investment. As I see them, the most needed submarine technical achievements, starting with the near-term and moving forward, are:

  • High-bandwidth two-way commu11icatio11s at tactically useful speeds and depths to allow plug-in to FORCENet.
  • E11capsulatio11 through use of a multimission module that allows inexpensive adaptation of existing weapons and UA Vs in SSGNs and SSNs.
  • An adva11ced sail for the VIRGINIA class to add payload volume and improve mission effectiveness.
  • Development, demonstration, and delive1y of the technologies (to include the all-electric submarine) that are needed to leverage today’s SSN effectiveness and to make the next class of submarines enjoy improved payload fraction at reduced cost.

Let me elaborate on each of these.

In the past few years, we’ve taken a big leap forward in getting connected with the delivery of the High Data Rate Antenna-HOR. During this fall’s SILENT HAMMER experiment, an HDR surrogate in USS GEORGIA (SSGN 729) will enable the SSGN to host a Joint Special Operations Task Force Commander in the onboard battle management center. That commander will have access to all the local high-data rate information at the speed it’s generated ashore to give him the cohesive tactical picture he’ll need.

But impressive as the High Data Rate antenna is, it won’t cure the fact that today’s submarine must still come to periscope depth and expose a mast to connect to FORCENet. Until signals can get out of the pressure hull, through 150 or more feet of ocean, and into the atmosphere-and reverse the process for receipt onboard the submarine-submarines cannot gain the full benefits of FORCENet.

More important than this: if the submarine isn’t plugged in, then the battle force will lose out on the unique, invaluable products and services the submarine offers.

Fortunately, the FORCENet community understands this-they realize that fixing the undersea connectivity gap is in the best interests of the entire Navy, not just the Submarine Force. The CNO is leading the way here by pressing to demonstrate a candidate solution as part of the Navy’s Undersea Dominance Sea Trial initiative.

This experiment will demonstrate Seaweb, a network of bottom-mounted nodes that can communicate acoustically until the signal reaches a surface-connected node that transmits over the airwaves. This gives the submarine continuous, albeit low-data-rate, communications at tactical speeds and depths over an area encompassing hundreds of square miles.

Seaweb is not a silver bullet, even if it succeeds beyond our greatest expectations, but it is real hardware on its way to operational testing. Success would be a big step toward allowing a submarine to stay deep, mobile, and stealthy while integrated with FORCENet. If we combine Seaweb with a system like the Brit’s Remote Tethered Optical Fiber buoy-RTOF, also real hard-ware-we could have an even more effective, integrated solution.

We’ve talked about comms at speed and depth for years. Finally, we’re in position to demonstrate Seaweb, then move into acquisition-delivery-to start breaking through the submarine comms barrier.

Cost-effective encapsulation is another key for improving the return on our submarine investment. We need inexpensive, generic encapsulation to allow us to put a broader range of arrows in our undersea warfare quiver at reasonable cost and without time-consuming development.

The SILENT HAMMER demonstration will show the feasibility and value of encapsulation with the launch of a SACS capsule (stealthy affordable capsule system) from a missile tube aboard USS GEORG IA. GEORG IA’ s battle management center will then receive real-time data from a manned aircraft with Predator sensors and communications links. These are the final steps before we bring all of the pieces together by encapsulating an actual payload and deploying it at sea.

John Butler is pursuing a technology demonstration in FYOS for an encapsulated sidewinder missile that would provide a submarine both anti-air and anti-small-boat-swarm capabilities. Once we’ve demonstrated this, we’ll have opened the door to quickly and cost-effectively employ a range of off-the-shelf systems, including UA Vs and ONR’s affordable weapoFi.

We also need to broaden encapsulation to extend the submarine’s undersea reach. We need to generically encapsulate large-diameter UUV s and undersea off-board sensors. These, too, need to be deployable-with minimal development time and cost – from the increased payload volume in SSGN and hopefully as a back fit in today’s SSNs.

To bring these SSGN capabilities to our attack submarines, we need to develop-and deliver-the Advanced Sail. Traditionally, adding anything to a submarine sail has been a painful exercise in tradeoffs and compromises: which existing mast, which existing capability, to give up. But by expanding the sail space of VIRGINIA, we could add the communication capabilities, like RTOF or Sea Web, and increase support for SOF without sacrificing any existing capabilities.

These changes alone would greatly enhance the submarine/SOF team. But the volume to support modular payloads like UAVs and UUV s-that ‘s the better transformational opportunity. An SSN-SOF team that has continuous connectivity and organic UA V a11d short-range missile support would be a potent weapon in countering some of our more challenging asymmetrical threats.

The Advanced Sail may only be a first step toward increased payload modularity. Options for adding even more SSGN-like flexibility-such as a multimission module-to future VIRGINIA-class ships need to be developed quickly and affordably, too.

As we focus on delivering technologies in the near term, we also need to think to the future. Although sea trials for the first of the VIRGINIA class are just a number of weeks away, we need to be thinking already about the follow-on class. We’ll deliver the last planned VIRGINIA around 2024. The design effort for the follow-on class needs to begin around 2010.

That means the critical HM&E technologies defining that ship will need to be demonstrated by 2010-just 6 years from now! When you consider the pace at which these technologies can advance, we already face, in my view, a very pressing schedule.

The need for this work to move ahead quickly was recently made even clearer by DARPA’s look at future submarines. Though we have to maintain a healthy skepticism of even the most sincere paper studies, this DARPA preliminary work is really eye opening: it suggests that a few key advances over the next 6 years could dramatically reduce the size and cost of the submarine.

Foremost among these advances would be electric drive in the form of distributed propulsion. This concept, the subject of a paper presented here last year, replaces the center line shaft and propulsor with multiple electric pumps that accelerate water through nozzles. Picture, if you will, mounting several high-power, trainable Jet Ski• drives external to the submarine hull.

Eliminating today’s hull-penetrating shaft and the weight of the propulsor at the extreme end of the ship opens the door to using the back end of the ship for other purposes. One practical idea is to move the reactor plant all the way aft, eliminating a heavy shielded bulkhead. This starts a design cascade, where reduced weight leads to reduced non-payload volume and weight, which leads to reduced propulsion power requirements.

Other potential benefits of this concept might include:

  • A main propulsion system that can be vectored to provide “tum-on-a-dime maneuverability. This is growing more important as our submarines increasingly operate in shallow, high-contact areas.
  • And, obviously, the use of multiple electrical motors instead of the expensive reduction gear and propulsor. Using the larger, established industrial base that exists for electric motors would further reduce costs.

    The core benefits of electric drive that got our interest years ago remain inherent in this concept:

  • Replacing mechanical drive with an electrical system offers the opportunity for the next generation in stealth; and
  • Going electric puts the full useful power of the.reactor at the commanding officers’ disposal for whatever application they need-propulsion or payload delivery.
  • Of course, distributed propulsion needs to get wet to prove its advantages in acoustic stealth, maneuvering, cost, and payload adaptability. Remember my sermon from last year-PowerPointTM dreams and program manager’s goals can never substitute for honest testing and analysis.

    We must press hard on shortening the concept-to-delivery time-line from the historic 14 years. We must capitalize on advances in design tools and take advantage of the streamlined acquisition process so that we can deliver the next generation in undersea capability as soon as possible.

    Fortunately, Jay Cohen and Steve Johnson are already working on some of the enabling technologies, like power-dense motors and controllers and electric actuators. And ONR has a program to deliver a UUV that will demonstrate key attributes of distributed propulsion so we can quickly determine if we’re on the right path.

    As we sharpen our focus on a future electric drive, we should recognize that even that design would be a milestone, not the end goal. The first all-electric ship will drive the next phase of innovation, with ideas like:

  • A nuclear power plant that uses direct energy conver-sion to change reactor heat to electricity without moving parts; and
  • Electric weapons that would use a massive pulse of electrical energy to fire a laser or a projectile.

    These are just the beginning of a development spiral we should pu~sue with vigor.

    While I want us to have the future in mind, let me bring this discussion back to the present. Any vision for the future is merely a fantasy, unless we take the right steps now. We must stay on course to deliver real technology improvements. That direction has not changed, and for that reason everything I’ve said should have a familiar ring to it. Yes, you are experiencing deja vu all over again: I just gave you my “five gets talk. What we need to do is:

  • Get connected to FORCENet with a near-term solution.
  • Get payload by delivering encapsulation so that we can inexpensively, quickly adapt and deploy new weapons and sensors .
  • Get modular at the next level in VIRGINIA by adding an Advanced Sail and, down the road, a multi-mission module.
  • And get electric so that we can achieve reduced cost, improved payload fraction, and greater stealth in the next generation of submarines.

The fifth .. get -get real-is another way of expressing the third DI added to this symposium: deliver. By focusing on delivering real capabilities to the Fleet, we’ll keep our Submarine Force and Navy firmly grounded in reality. We’ll force ourselves to move beyond PowerPointTM fantasies of untested ideas and systems to the tough, real world of at-sea demonstration … and delivery.

I know many of you have watched the declining trends in our submarine R&D funding with the same concern that I have, and some may have begun to believe that our technology initiatives are just fantasies. But in recent weeks, it appears that advanced technol-ogy is a growth industry.

Just last Friday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to authorize $56 million on top o/the President’s budget proposal for design work on the VIRGINIA’s multimission module. They also authorized another $10 million on top of the President’s budget.for the submarine payload and sensor program. Put this significant plus-up in the context of the Pentagon IG ‘s criticism that we need greater emphasis on transferring technology to the warfighter, and my message is clear: we must deliver the real, affordable technologies that are close at hand.

These technologies-Seaweb, RTOF, encapsulated payloads, the advanced sail, and even electric drive-are not beyond our means, and we need to make the affordable investments now to make them happen. These are advances that will increase the warfighting return on the Navy’s investment, not merely satisfy scientific curiosity.

So let’ s get moving! Let’s press forward with shorter timelines to develop, demonstrate, and, most importantly, deliver technology for Fleet operations.

Thank you.

Naval Submarine League

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