Thank you very much, John.
All right, so good morning. This is my fifth time getting to address this crowd, and as your program executor
for submarines, as John noted, I’ve been doing this for a while. I took over as Virginia program manager in 2005, and that was after slaving away for two of my mentors, Steve Johnson and then Tom Eccles to get JIMMY CARTER delivered, that ship was still one of the coolest things we’ve ever done as a nation. But it was a great experience getting ready to do the tough work and getting Virginia’s back on track and also then getting ourselves prepared for the next big challenge for our industrial base, which of course is called Ohio Replacement. But for the now, I think we have had what I would call an exceptional year for our business, and it’s probably been the most successful since I’ve been the PEO starting in October of 2010.
And we’ve seen Department of Defense, and I’ll say Big Navy, in Congress’s recognition into the value of what our undersea systems bring to our national defense. If you just look at our budget and the support that we’ve gotten; two per year Virginias for as far as we can see through the FYDP locked up in a multi-year procurement contract, we call that the block four. Also fully funding the research and development for Ohio Replacement in a very tough competing environment, and starting a recapitalization of our torpedoes, probably the only naval munition that is in the plus column and not the minus column. So, I think undersea dominance, undersea warfare, respect for the credibility that this team brings and our ability to deliver, as I tell my folks, what we see when we say it and for what it’s going to cost does bring you credibility in this tough acquisition game that we play every day.
A full contact sport. In my discussion today, I’ll highlight some of
the areas Team Sub has been working on. Expanding undersea
dominance, which is the theme for this conference. I will start with
the best platform.
Now, my Team Ships friends say, “Hey, now, what about DDG51?” Well, I still think Virginia’s topped that, but that’s always a friendly tussle between me and my PEO Ships friends, and what we’re doing to keep this DoD best acquisition benchmark ever-improving and ready for future adversaries, I’ll spend some time discussing payloads, growing longer arms in the words of Admiral Connor, and the Undersea Dominance Campaign Plan with Torpedo Restart, our universal launch and recovery module, and the dry deck shelter extension and the modernization of that. And then we’ll change tack a bit and discuss our model for rapid acquisition and give you some objective quality evidence. Today I’ll tell you about our low profile photonics mast work that Captain Debus and his team have pulled off, and the work that Moises Del Toro has done in the anti-torpedo business protecting our CVN fleet. Truly eye-watering performance. And then I’ll finish up with Ohio, our future, and the planning for the next SSN, which we should not forget. At the end of the Ohio build, we have to build something after Virginia, and right now it’s cleverly called SSNX.
First up, the Virginia class. Now, you may have recognized that on the 12th of October we had a significant milestone. That was the 10th year since we delivered USS VIRGINIA, and it has been without a doubt a decade of excellence since. In that timeframe, we have delivered 10 ships since VIRGINIA delivered. So we just are going to commission the 11th this Saturday. We reduced our build span by two years as part of our twofor-four-in-12 program, and we’ve delivered over four years of additional Virginia class service. Four years that the fleet gets to use submarines before they thought they’d get them. We reduced our ship costs by 20 percent, one-fifth, and we did that while we were building a ship class. We were adding content, reducing span, and reducing cost all simultaneously. No one thought we could do it.
We reduced total program cost by over $4 billion, and that is
reflected in our selected acquisition report. Numbers are solid. We
improved the quality and the completeness with every successive
ship. It’s without a doubt that the 784 was our most complete and
highest quality ship, and I will show you some objective measures
that prove that.
But, what’s most important to Admiral Sawyer and Admiral Connor is, can I use it, and is it a mission-ready ship at delivery, and they are. We’ve open architected the payload capability with the Virginia payload tubes, and frankly, our open architecture submarine warfare tactical federated system, SWFTS, allows us a true plug and play capability for modular payloads. We’ve delivered ships with modern combat systems. 2010 for the first four ships of block three and 2014 technology. And so think about it. We contracted in 2009 for a ship with a 2014 combat system in it. If that’s not a statement of interface standards and open architecture, I don’t know what is. And I can tell you that the folks at GDAIS, the folks at Lockheed Martin and others are a bit sweaty because they’re delivering stuff for that 2014 combat system this December at the COATS Facility at Electric Boat. They’re the lead. We haven’t been in this position. A bit sporty, I’ll say, but we’re heading in the right direction.
This program office was awarded multiple times, including the 2008 David Packard Award, and I’ll talk later that I think potentially another one is on the horizon. But most importantly, these ships have conducted 14 deployments to frontline missions. This is an outstanding story that we should not forget to remind others about, and for which this audience should feel justifiably proud. So, a round of applause. Well done.
All right, next. That’s the most fun part of the brief. Okay, now to the business. Blocks: we buy our ships in five-year increments that matches the multi-year procurement contract span limits that’s in law. Ships from block one and two were essentially the same configuration. We worked very hard early on getting the requirements right. If you look at VIRGINIA, the operation requirements document for that ship was really solidified in 1993,
signed in 1994, and has not substantially changed in now almost two decades. And that is because we got it right. We worked hard, we tussled between the operational and acquisition community, and then stacked hands and off we went.
And we executed this thing called Virginia. You don’t see a lot of change in our programs, and that’s because we build flexible, adaptable programs on platforms, but also because we work hard up front to get it right. So block one and two essentially the same, VIRGINIA to MINNESOTA, 774 to the 783. And we focused on improved construction performance throughout that block, injecting block three strategy improvements and cost reduction items incrementally as we went down from 84 months, 86 months for VIRGINIA, down to just over 60 months for the last ships in block two. Stunning performance. If you look at the ship delivery spans, we delivered essentially from HAWAII, that would be ship three, with a small blip for two months for the 777, which I’ll say delivered on time because it would have, and then all the way through the 10th ship. All early, all under cost, and all, each one, better and more complete. So in block three, that’s the 2009 to 2013 authorized ships, a 20 percent re-design that included inserting the Virginia payload tubes and the large aperture bow array, and a host of other acquisition and life cycle support changes like high solids paint in the main ballast tanks that resulted in not only acquisition but operating and support cost savings. We just delivered the first ship of this block, the NORTH DAKOTA, two days early to contract, and we’ll commission her this Saturday up in Groton, Connecticut. The 2011 ships, we call them ILLINOIS and WASHINGTON, are the two-for-four-in-12 ships, the $2 billion in FY05 dollar Virginias achieved one year early. So really should have been two-for-four-in-11. In block four, we tackled reduced total ownership costs, RTOC, which improved our operation and support savings and squeezed availabilities and added deployment.
So we now get 15 deployments, the same as our Los Angeles class ships do. These ships continue the trend of reduced costs and shorter construction spans with 57 month ships or less. We’re getting there. 57 month ships later in the block. I think actually we are going to achieve that in block three, but we’ll see. Block five, that’s where we see substantive capability improvements, including the introduction of the Virginia payload module, the VPM. It’s a validated requirement.
RDML Joe Tofalo and his team have done a great job of getting us a capabilities definition document approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and they did that almost a year ago in December of ’13. It leverages the success of the Virginia payload tube work. That was block three. Developed for that ship class and existing multiple-all-up-round canisters currently in use back at our SSGNs. VPM (Virginia Payload Module) adds key performance parameters for strike capacity, cost, and schedule. We are the first guys really to get the cost, key performance parameters put into an operation requirements document. It was really an annex called a capability definition document, but it’s in there, and we’re living to them. Not only for construction, but also\ for design. It increases the Tomahawk land attack missile capacity from 12 to 40, that’s a pretty good jump, without precluding future capability to host other missile systems in other combinations with a different interface configuration. Payload open architecture. Much like our predecessor class, the Los Angeles, Virginia class will continue to be updated to keep well ahead of the threat and adapt to ensure continuous undersea dominance.
Now, from a program point of view, delivering early is a substantial achievement, but what the fleet cares most about is capability and quality, and is this early delivered ship ready for tasking. We have the objective quality evidence that the answer is yes. The Board of Inspection and Survey, our independent assessor in the Navy, keeps scores on delivery and each shipyard has improved their scores with each delivery, and NORTH DAKOTA came in at 0.93. And believe me, Bob Bolden who’s working on the 785, the JOHN WARNER knows that number, and he’s determined we’re going to do better than 0.93 on the WARNER. You talk about collaborative competition, that’s it. These are proud shipbuilders, and it actually works out the best for the Navy and for industry. But that 0.93, best SSN score in five years. Pretty
We see our grades on areas graded. So not only have we continued to do better at the test, but the test keeps getting harder every year. The number of graded areas are improving or increasing every year. NORTH DAKOTA is the second ship of the last three to get all satisfactory ratings. We would have gottenthat on her predecessor ship if it weren’t for one darn weapon simulator that we fixed on the spot. Now, as for the number of material deferrals. It’s no good if I delivered early with a lot of what we call liabilities in this business, but we continued to push downward the trend for those, where the number of deferrals today is only about 10 percent of what they were at the beginning of the program. You see a slight uptick for the 84. That’s the 20 percent redesign with some issues as we come through the first of, in that almost lead class—I’ve called it at the christening for that ship, the NORTH DAKOTA class because it was substantively different than her block one and two predecessors, but that’s the right trend.
And then finally, the one factor I think is the most important. How long does it take me to turn over a Virginia class ship to the fleet? Now, the early Virginias were tied up with operational tests and evaluation as we stamped out a brand new class of SSNs, but however, after that, we worked to accelerate turnover. And the key component is that you have to reduce the post-shakedown availability. How do you do that? You’ve got to deliver the ship with a modern combat system. It does not have to go into a postdelivery availability like we did with the previous 10 ships, and modernize them right out of delivery. That’s not required anymore. That, by the way, is also another procurement Navy savings for which we don’t even take credit, but it’s real money that the Navy does not have to spend. But we also are shortening the post-shakedown period. So 12 months. That’s our metric. From the time that ship delivers to the time it’s in what we call the fleet readiness training plan, FRTP. We can actually probably do better. Six years from when you strike an arc to when the ship is in the fleet commander’s hands ready for workup and getting ready to do its work. Delivering early, under cost, with first time quality.
That’s our standard.
Nine ships are under construction, including the first of the block four ships, which are the two FY14 ships. We just began construction of ship number 20, and that’s the second FY14 ship on the 30th of September. We are full into the two per year drum beat. We’ve waited a long time for this. Let’s see, where’s John Casey? How many times did we listen to John stump for two a year Virginias? Well John, we’re there. And we’ll have two keel layings this year. We did the ILLINOIS and we have the WASHINGTON coming up in December. That’s the 786 and 787.
That trend will continue. We awarded the block four contract only five months ago, now six months ago really, at the end of April, and block four is the 10 ship. $17.6 billion multi-year procurement contract providing two boats a year all the way through the acquisition year 18. Multi-year procurement was a Congressional authorization and appropriation committee-supported effort. So we have great support in Congress. The contract has minimal design changes, increasing the availability of the ship and reducing the time it spends in the shipyard. It is the largest contract in Navy shipbuilding history. Simply impressive.
The team that negotiated this contract is the Navy submission for the David A. Packard Award for acquisition excellence. That would make the third Packard Award for the Virginia class program. Continued excellence. That’s also a standard we expect. All right, onto payloads. We’re going to talk a bit about torpedoes. The third element I talked about is being very well supported in a budget. MK 48 mod 7. It’s the US Navy’s latest torpedo with advanced capabilities against advanced countermeasures, and which significantly improves torpedo performance in the littorals. The MK 48 mod 7 capabilities were initially introduced into the fleet by upgrading the guidance and control system of the pre-existing MK 48 mod 6 torpedo inventory. We are essentially in an inventory conversion business. That’s how we get to the mod 7s. The last production of a complete MK 48 torpedo was more than 15 years ago, and some of you, some of the more mature people like Phil Davis will remember those days. But the Navy has retained its current inventory of mod 7s by upgrading existing torpedoes. Now while these 48 inventories have drawn down, the Navy’s inventory objectives have gone up. And that’s why we need a production restart of an all-up round production contract that’s expected to award in FY16. As the threat has continued to evolve, the Navy has begun exploring options for improving performance in traditional anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare missions, and additionally expanding into missions such as longrange safe haven attack and covert mining with a family of 21″ submarine weapons potentially evolving from the MK 48 heavyweight torpedo. With its long history of reliable performance, the MK 48 provides a solid foundation to build upon. The key to providing an affordable multi-mission platform will be the introduction of open architecture upgrades to the MK 48 as a technology enabler.
Advanced Processor Build 5 provides the first step to open architecture. In providing flexible and modular adaptable software necessary for implementing future upgrades. The first APB 5 has been completed and is scheduled for the sub launch in-water testing late October. So, this month. APB 6, tech insert one, it will build on that APB 5 modular software by adding significant capability improvements with a new 112 element array and transition of anti-surface warfare and extended range future naval capability upgrades from our friends at the Office of Naval Research and modularity improvements.
Now additionally, the APB 6 software will advance the modularity of the software itself to enable plug and play capability so that new internal devices can be integrated into the torpedo with significantly less effort. This plug and play capability enables a range of potential missions so that the next step has multiple simultaneous options which can be tailored to the hardware configuration of the specific unit being prepared at Pearl, Yorktown, or Keyport, our intermediate maintenance activities, by the demand signal of the fleet. For Admiral Davis and Dick Bonnen, they led a heavyweight torpedo restart and future modular undersea heavyweight vehicle review committee which concluded on 15 September. This was an outstanding effort by this group, and gave myself and Rear Admiral Joe Tofalo a series of recommendations which today we’re already moving out on to the next step. So, open architecture upgrades combined with the ongoing heavyweight torpedo production contracts will provide the path for inserting new technologies as they become available to meet the future undersea warfare weapon needs. So that’s torpedoes.
Now, payload. Plug and play. You all are in the universal launch and recovery module (URLM). It’s a prototype today configured to fit inside a specially designed C4 missile two canister, because that’s what we had, and is totally self-contained within the missile tube of an SSGN. External power and signals are the only penetrations. The payload module provides large diameter ocean interface, pressure boundary, wet space, and maximum payload volume. The launch and recovery mechanism is housed within the payload module and provides mechanical advantage to hoist and pivot payloads up to 10,000 pounds, that’s the prototype, and 30,000 pounds, which is tactical, which greatly opens the aperture for this unit. The payload support service module, PSSM, is dedicated to the hydraulic and electrical services, ULRM monitoring and control operations, standard plug and play payload interface and payload cradle command and control, and isolated payload control networks. You can hear a lot of payload, networks, plug and play. It’s because we want to make this the home to house vehicles like large diameter UUVs or shallow water combat submersibles in this configuration. It will go either on an SSGN—if I had my vote, it’d be on a block three Virginia—this next fiscal year to demonstrate the at sea capability and build the foundation for subsequent tactical unit build.
Key is to establish a good interface control document to tie payload and deployment efforts together. This is one of two key large ocean interface efforts that we’re undertaking at Team Submarine. The second is next. The dry deck shelter modernization project, it establishes a submarine large ocean interface. I don’t like that acronym, SLOI, it sounds a little weird, but it is a large ocean interface capable of launching larger special operation forces vehicles, some of the work that we’re doing today with our friends at SOCOM, large displacement unmanned undersea
vehicles, the LDUUV that’s out of PMS406 in ONR and then testing and validating new concepts for launch and recovery. We do this right and it should be relatively low risk. Captain Mike Stevens in PMS399, is leading this effort, and it’s accomplished between four separate but related field changes. It was the most efficient way to press on with this change. This is ground breaking. It is co-funded by the Special Operations community and the Navy. We don’t usually do that. And it will greatly expand our ability to host large payloads effectively.
Now I want to brag a little bit about rapid acquisition. So in 2011, PMS435, that’s Captain Steve Debus’ group, began developing a low profile photonics mast (LPPM) with a planned introduction in 2018, four years from now. The LPPM has a visual size. It’s about the size of a type 18 periscope. The ISISaugmented system, ISIS is the integrated submarine imaging system, well this is a nested acronym. Very clever. The IAS mast, which is also Kollmorgen, Lockheed Martin effort, L3 KEO and Lockheed, and an OMS 200, which is the other variant, 3 Phoenix with Cassidian, they were planned as technology prototypes to test different design approaches and technologies, and to foster competition to build a competitive market for Low Profile Photonics Masts. They had this thing called CLUSTER BIGHT it has been developed by the Office of Naval Intelligence. It’s a special purpose photonics mast, and is approximately nine inches in diameter at the top. It deployed initially in 2011.
In June of 2014, COMPACFleet, Admiral Haney, identified an urgent requirement for a lower profile photonics mast, and determined that commencing in ’15, Virginia class ships are required to have these to deploy. That resulted in a bit of a change to our plans. This time, we had to shake up our schedules to meet it. And it was necessary to convert these technology development prototypes into fleet deployable assets. Those of you in this business know that’s no small deal. So to do this, we had to improve the reliability well beyond a prototype, develop logistics and sparing to support these all the way out to 2022, plan an install cycle that would support various configurations, TIO 2, 8, 10, 12, 14. Several baselines in the Virginia class throughout their
deployment cycles, converting the OMS 200 mast to be on a preTI 10 baseline. That was not our plan. Procure enough, at least five, to support the fleet until the program of record low profile masts are fielded in 2017 through 2022, and not least, finding the money. Now, working closely with SUBPAC and N97, we put a plan together, found the funds, prioritized the puts and takes, and brought it all together. These masts will go to sea in the second and third quarter respectively of FY15, and the plan of record low profile contract will be awarded in the summer of ’15 with an initial installation in ’17. This is rapid acquisition. This is an outstanding effort by Captain Steve Debus and his team to accelerate this capability three years. Outstanding. Could not have done it without guys like Jack Gellen, Matt Reiki, and 3 Phoenix to actually pull together with the industry and get this done. It surely shows what we can do when we work together.
I know this is a submarine audience, but we do work on things that protect these big flat things, called carriers. So now onto surface ship torpedo defense and the great work Captain Moises Del Toro and his team have done. The system reached a major milestone back in February when the first article deployed aboard the USS GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH. That’s CVN77. The countermeasure anti-torpedoes, that’s a CAT, are located on the port sponson. The USS BUSH is now eight months into a scheduled nine month deployment with the first hard kill torpedo defense system. The first. Data collected from this, numerous straight transits executed by the BUSH and lessons learned in the crew employment will have benefit as we develop future systems.
Now SSTD, surface ship torpedo defense, is a different kind of program. We greatly streamline the acquisition process to get this onboard the ship, tested, verified before she deployed. We did at sea testing, and we did a quick reaction assessment on the BUSH before that ship deployed. It is a CNO priority, and required close collaboration between that surface ship torpedo defense team consisting of small business, Penn State and the Warfare Centers to put this capability together. A great team effort on a program that has run through some pretty unstable budget environments. We did that all despite sequesters and CRs and furloughs. Yet, we still delivered a capability in 16 months from the time the CNO said, “I want it,” and 25 months to get that on deployment. That’s the kind of responsiveness and ingenuity we need, and is a very good example of what we can accomplish together. Now, what next?
The TEDDY ROOSEVELT has been outfitted with a slightly different variant, and this is pretty darn clever, than the BUSH—a roll-on, roll-off capability. It was necessary because there isn’t enough time to complete an install similar to what we did on BUSH. ROOSEVELT will have added capability in an active component to her towed array. The USS EISENHOWER and the USS TRUMAN, they’re the next CVNs to be outfitted with a torpedo warning system and a countermeasure anti-torpedo. EISENHOWER will get a roll-on, roll-off installation. However, TRUMAN will get an engineering development model install similar to BUSH. Each of these systems should have incremental improvements as they deploy. Now so this rounds out my section on velocity to the fleet. Low profile photonics mast, I didn’t talk about TB29As. They fit in that also, our thin line towed arrays, and the anti-torpedo defense systems. We know the fleet needs these capabilities, and we are simply pulling out all the stops to meet the demand. And I offer this as great work by my program managers to get this critical work done.
Now to the last but not least, Jack Evans and his Ohio Replacement team. The next generation SSBN. We do call it Ohio Replacement. Some day in the hopefully not too distant future, we’ll have a more appropriate name than the replacement for the Ohio class, but for now it fits. There’s been a significant discourse by the Navy, both by senior Navy, Department of Defense, and Congressional leaders about paying for Ohio Replacement. There’s no question, a ship of this capability and cost will impact the Ship Construction Navy (SCN) budget, from FY19 to FY35. Just look at the budget. Jack Evans and his team are acutely aware of this fact and are pushing in all areas to drive down the cost, in engineering and design, in construction, and in operation and support. This is a tough problem that will require the Navy and our industrial partners’ best efforts. Just listen to what Admiral Richardson talked about yesterday. We’ll move the capability definition document (CDD), to the Joint Requirement Oversight Council this spring, and at the end of ’15, submit a request for a proposal for the Ship Construction Navy design contract. Milestone B is not far away, occurring in 2016. So this program, after I talk to you, you’ll get the distinct feeling we’re moving.
What Admiral Richardson discussed yesterday about alignment is our holistic plan to deliver a capability. Sea-based strategic deterrent is a capability. It’s not a platform or a missile or a reactor, it’s a capability. And we have to have our funding fully committed even though we have to face things like continuing resolutions, like sequestration, or worse. Strategic weapons and in our efforts, along with the PEO they must stay aligned. The ship propulsion plan and switch developments, we are synchronized to deliver a ship that’s ready for deployment on its first patrol in 2031.
We also have to be mindful that any delay also impacts our partners, the United Kingdom and their ability to support the Successor SSBN, especially important this year as the UK works to what they call Main Gate, equivalent to our lead ship authorization in 2016. The basic premise is unchanged. There really is no margin for delay. Ohio replacement is STRATCOM, Strategic Command’s, number one modernization priority. It is the most enduring leg of the triad, and is backed by national support. It will carry, without a doubt, about 70 percent of the operationally deployed nuclear warheads going forward. This is our country’s strategic deterrent capability.
FY15 is a crucial year in the design of the Ohio Replacement. The pace of design has picked up immensely, as Will
Lennon will tell you, and as will Jack, over the past two years and will continue to increase through 2018. In ’14, the design products alone doubled over the efforts completed in ’13. The Navy has worked closely with Electric Boat, the design yard, over the last year to get our collective teams on pace to meet the increased
design product demand signal. As Admiral Richardson noted acutely yesterday, no one should be sleeping comfortably at night.This is tough stuff. People shouldn’t be asking us, “Hey, do you really need all that money?” People should be asking us, “Hey, can you do it?” because this is tough work ahead, and I can see it in some of the faces out there. Guys like Roger Sexauer or Jeff Geiger and others, this is tough business. We have to achieve a better than 80 percent design complete because we have to build this thing in 84 months, two months shorter than we built Virginia, and we have to deliver this thing in the water by 2028. That leaves us three years, a mere three years to test, certify, do a postshakedown availability, get it to King’s Bay, load it out, and have it on patrol by 2031. Pretty daunting challenge, but very doable with this industry.
I want to tell you about some of the good things we have done in the last year since I talked to this forum. I’ll also give you some update on some critical ongoing efforts planned to be completed in the near term. So we set the requirements for the sail in September of 2013. We set the ship length, and those of you in the submarine design business know that’s pretty significant because now you’ve set basically the buoyant volume of the ship, now you’ve got to manage weight, and we certified 159 sections of the ship specifications in March. One of the last things that Captain Bill Brougham did during his tenure as the Ohio Replacement program manager was just truly outstanding work.
So the upcoming efforts; we’re about to award a missile tube contract for 17 tubes. It’ll happen next week, maybe on the 27th, and that will be for 12 United Kingdom tubes, four First Article quad pack. Those are basically the first tubes for our submarine, and then one to go down to the Port Canaveral life cycle test facility that is a joint effort between SP and PEO SUB. It’s a big deal. Over the past four years, we have competitively reconstituted the missile tube industrial base, which has been dormant since the 1990s. We’ll also complete missile compartment arrangements, and we’re in the business of doing missile compartment arrangement reviews all the way through this year and next to support not only the US but again the United Kingdom’s Successor first of class submarine, which is on patrol about three years before we are. We’ll complete this week, it’s happening right now as we speak, the ship control system concept of operations exercise, COOPEX, and it’s at EB using crews from USS WEST VIRGINIA and from the pre-commissioning unit ILLINOIS with evaluators from the Strategic Systems Program. This COOPEX is the start of a three-year three-phase effort, and Ohio Replacement will be the first SSBN with a fly by wire ship control system, and the first US Navy nuclear submarine with X planes. A steering configuration we haven’t seen on a submarine since ALBACORE. So a little bit of another new effort. So that gives you some idea of some of the progress we’ve done in the program efforts as we’re heading towards milestone B in 2016, and our requisite 83 percent design completion at construction start. Real progress on this national program. Now, the ship is a blend of re-use, like the Trident II and D5LE, life extended strategic weapons systems, and we also have innovation where we need to either adapt systems and components like the propulsor or design new like electric drive to meet our challenging requirements. And I’ll just show you a few here.
You have X Stern to achieve Ohio-like maneuvering capability, electric drive, our integrated tube and hull construction so that we can actually drive about 15 months out of the construction schedule, shaft life and change out, shaft going 12 years means one SSBN does not have to be bought. That’s $20 billion savings right there. Life of ship core, as Admiral Richardson noted, $40 billion savings over the life of the program. So significant R&D efforts for engineering integration so we can meet the challenging requirement that an SSBN has to have. 124 patrols in the same cycles that we do today with Ohio.
I’m going to finish with a look to the not too distant future, replacing the Virginia class, which we call SSN(X). The current long-range shipbuilding plan is for a new SSN authorized in 2034 in lieu of the eighth block of Virginia class. 2034 may seem far off, but the designer research community needs to take action now. The AOA will likely be in 10 years, like 2024, and it leaves only nine years to identify, develop, and demonstrate any significant long-lead technologies. So I’ve chartered a small team to propose a way ahead in the form of a five-year plan with an annual drum beat, which will involve many of you. Now while not final, the early projections are we need to estimate the environment the SSN(X) is going to live in out in the 2050 timeframe, and Karl Hasslinger has just completed a 2050 seminar. Regan Campbell did the same thing for a visioning conference. We’re in the business of trying to figure out what will we have to be facing in those timeframes and what technologies might be necessary to counter that threat. We’re going to start concept studies to explore capability cost and tech trade space, identify potential candidate technologies in the S&T community early enough to sufficiently mature. We had a time critical science and technology for Ohio replacement. I’d like to make it a little less time critical for SSN(X). Emphasize integration and interim operability, especially with off-board systems. That came out in the 2050 studies. And take full advantage of ongoing cyber awakening, and ensure we cultivate, not insignificantly, our people, our processes, and our tools. We have to be ready. We’re going to be working with many of you on this and welcome suggestions, and we look forward to briefing you as we go ahead.
I know I’m about seven minutes over, but in summary, there’s never been a better time to be in the undersea warfare business. I’ve given you some of the high points. Having not touched on many of the areas we made significant progress on such as common sonar with our surface surveillance systems, advanced surveillance builds, submarine rescue transfer under pressure, JIMMY CARTER, major modification. Payload control system RFP and modernizing our electronic surveillance systems and setting up the Submarine Force for future non-kinetic capabilities. Today we’re not in the same budgetary predicament we found ourselves in last year with the government shutdown, sequestration, and potential year-long continuing resolutions. We do face, however, uncertain times. Despite these challenges, I’m ever-impressed with what our Navy-Industry team can do. Take NORTH DAKOTA on sea trials for example. The first of a block ship, which might as well be as I said first of a class, with 20 percent design change from block two, and she still delivered early to the contract date. Absolutely eye-watering. We can never rest, though. If we are to remain the world’s premier undersea platform, we must keep improving. We’ll be facing tough potential opponents. One only has to look at the SEVERODVINSK, Russia’s version of an SSGN. I am so impressed with this ship that I had Carderock build a model from unclassified data that Huntington Ingalls, Newport News provided, and placed it right outside my office in the common area, a spot I walk by every time I enter my office, just so myself and my team never lose focus on what we’re facing. The model is right out there next to the registration table. And that one goes to Joe Tofalo. So Joe, there’s your present. But don’t forget the other guys. They get to vote. The rest of the world’s undersea capability never stands still. Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today, and I look forward to the work ahead. Thanks. Okay. All right, I’ll answer a few questions.
Speaker 4: My understanding is the turning radius of the
VIRGINIA is a little more than we would like.
Dave Johnson: Yep.
Speaker 4: On block five with the increased length, is that problemgoing to be exacerbated?
Dave Johnson: It will if we do nothing about it.
Speaker 4: Are there some plans to do something about it?
Dave Johnson: Yes. It could be as simple as increasing the rudder throw to 45 degrees. That creates some arrangement issues in the engine room because you don’t really have the length in the ram to extend that. We looked at potentially doing the X planes on that, which is a significant design change and will add costs, but yeah.
We recognize we have to do something. So a very good, astute
observation. Thank you. Hi, Lee.
Lee: Hi. How’s it going? My question is about the continuing resolution. Is that impacting the design of the Ohio Replacement right now?
Dave Johnson: No, it’s not.
Dave Johnson: And the reason it’s not is because the Navy has been very good at supporting the cash flow requirements for the Ohio Replacement. So we have the funding necessary to award the missile tubes that I talked about and keep up with the pace of design. And so I couldn’t be happier with Admiral Mulloy and his team to keep the Ohio Replacement on pace. We’ve told him the impact if in fact we have to live to I’ll say a traditional continuing resolution limitations, and again, Jack Evans is the master and
we’ve been able to convince the Pentagon that we need to keep funding this thing despite the continuing resolution.
Lee: Great. Thanks.
Dave Johnson: Yep.
David Larter: Admiral, I’m David Larter with Navy Times. I’m wondering how the design considerations are coming along for the attack boats and the Ohio Replacement for incorporating berthings for female sailors and officers.
Dave Johnson: Ah, that’s a great question. So Ohio Replacement is being designed to fully accommodate mixed gender crews, enlisted and officers. For the Virginia class, we actually have thecapability to do that for the officers, and we’re also right now doing the work to do the design changes necessary to do that for the in-service Virginias as well. Frankly, the tough part is to try and integrate the enlisted berthing and the chief’s quarters. The
officers are fairly easy to adapt to, but for the enlisted berthing and the chief’s quarters, you have to do a little bit of work on the ships, and we’re trying to do that as affordably and non-disruptively as possible. So we are looking forward to mixed gender integration, both officer, chief petty officer, and enlisted in our submarines going forward. It’s a must. It’s the right decision. And we’re moving ahead.
John Padgett: Anything else?
Dave Johnson: Any other questions? Yes sir.
Speaker 7: A lot of interest in the Arctic in the 1980s and not much lately, but can you comment on how NEW MEXICO did with Virginia class design for Arctic capabilities? I know she was up there. It was advertised as a success, but didn’t hear a whole lot of extra.
Dave Johnson: And so you expect me to say something different?
Speaker 7: Yes.
Dave Johnson: You can ask Admiral Sawyer that question, actually, as the operator how well that ship did. These ships are Arctic capable, and they do very well in the Arctic. Okay. Appreciate it. Thank you.