Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress [July 1, 2011]   [open pdf - 432KB]

"The Navy's ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) form one leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent force, or 'triad,' which also includes land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and land-based long-range bombers. The Navy currently operates 14 Ohio (SSBN-726) class SSBNs, also known as Trident SSBNs, the first of which is projected to reach the end of its service life in 2027. The Navy is conducting development and design work on a planned class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, which the service wants to procure as replacements for the 14 Ohio-class boats. The SSBN(X) program is also known as the Ohio replacement program (ORP). The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests $1,067 million in research and development funding for the program. Navy plans call for procuring the first SSBN(X) in FY2019, with advance procurement funding for the boat beginning in FY2015. The Navy estimates the average procurement cost of boats 2 through 12 in the program at $5.6 billion each in FY2010 dollars, and is now working to reduce that figure to a target of $4.9 billion each in FY2010 dollars. […] This report focuses on the SSBN(X) as a Navy shipbuilding program. CRS Report RL33640, U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, by Amy F. Woolf, discusses the SSBN(X) as an element of future U.S. strategic nuclear forces in the context of strategic nuclear arms control agreements."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41129
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