US Navy Defends Boomer Submarine Replacement Plans
A top U.S. Navy official is defending the service’s plans to replace its Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine fleet, saying the Navy has the right design and boat numbers to execute the mission for decades to come.
“We conducted a detailed analysis of many force structure options,” says Rear Adm. Barry Bruner, Navy undersea warfare director, in a recent blog. “A force of 12 Ohio Replacement nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) with 16 missile tubes satisfies national strategic deterrent requirements at the most affordable cost. Twelve Ohio Replacement SSBNs meet at-sea strategic patrol requirements and sustain this requirement while some of the SSBNs are unavailable due to planned maintenance.”
Bruner says, “Reduced-force options [that] we considered failed to meet the current at-sea and nuclear employment requirements, increased risk for force survivability, and limited the flexibility in response to an uncertain strategic future…
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