DD (x), SSN (x) or NGAD, the US Navy will not be able to finance all 3 simultaneously

Although it alone has a budget equal to that of Germany, France and the United Kingdom, the US Navy today faces a very complex situation in terms of planning. Indeed, after 30 years of budgetary errors and programs that are too ambitious and eminently expensive for reduced operational applications, such as LCS corvettes, the Zumwalt destroyers or the Sea nuclear attack submarineswolf, the American Navy finds itself having to face numerous imperative programs to finance to renew and modernize its equipment, and a federal budget already at the upper limit, offering only small margins for growth in the future. It is in this context that Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker wrote on June 4 a memo indicating that in the current state of the budget forecasts for the 2023 budget, the US Navy could not simultaneously finance the three major R&D programs in progress, namely the DD (x) program intended to replace the Arleigh Burke destroyers first generation and Ticonderoga cruisers, the SSN(x) program intended to strengthen the US offensive submarine fleet, and the Next Generation Air Dominance or NGAD program, which bears the same name as the US Air Force program without be attached to it, and who must design the replacement for the Super Hornet aboard US Navy aircraft carriers.

In reality, the choice facing Pentagon strategists, the Biden administration and Congress has already been partly clarified, since the Columbia SSBN(x) nuclear ballistic missile submarine program is protected, as it is now necessary to replace the Ohio class submarines dating from the 80s to maintain an effective deterrent posture. In addition, the US Navy will continue to ramp up the FFG(x) Constellation-class frigate program, which will strengthen the American surface battle force, while the Ford-class nuclear aircraft carriers carry them. -America-class helicopters, Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines and Arleigh Burke Flight III destroyers will continue to be produced, and that F35C stealth fighters, E-2D Hawkeye detection aircraft, aircraft maritime patrol aircraft P-8 Poseidon and MQ-25 Stingray air-to-air refueling drones will continue to be acquired. The US Navy will therefore be far from being helpless, since from many points of view, each of these pieces of equipment represents the pinnacle of current technology, and are among the best existing military equipment.

Stingray MQ 25 Super Hornet News Defense | Laser Weapons and Directed Energy | Railgun Railgun
On June 4, the first in-flight refueling of an F/A 18 F Super Hornet by an MQ-25 Stingray drone took place, marking a world first and paving the way for the upcoming arrival of the Boeing drone within the US Navy

However, like the US Army and its BIG 6 program, and the US Air Force with the NGAD, the US Navy is now spurred by the dazzling progress made by the Chinese and Russian defense industries, both having filled in many areas have fallen behind technologically compared to the West in just a few years, and have been structured to offer significant productivity. In fact, if the Arleigh Burke Flight III, Virginia and other Super Hornets and F35Cs will still be able to hold their own against Chinese and/or Russian forces in the years to come, it appears very likely that by 2030 or 2035 , these will be surpassed by the new generation equipment which will enter service in Beijing or Moscow. This is precisely where the Gordian knot lies for the American Navy, which actually needs these 3 programs by 2035, and which does not have fully satisfactory alternatives to date.


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