Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress [ November 28, 2011]   [open pdf - 531KB]

"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. […] Options for reducing the cost of the SSBN(X) program or its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs (other than the Navy's current cost-reduction effort) include procuring fewer than 12 SSBN(X)s; reducing the number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) to be carried by each SSBN(X) from 16 to a lower number, such as 12; stretching out the schedule for procuring SSBN(X)s and making greater use of split funding (i.e., two-year incremental funding) in procuring them; and funding the procurement of SSBN(X)s in a part of the Department of Defense (DOD) budget that is outside the Navy's budget. On September 1, 2011, it was reported that the Navy, in response to anticipated reductions in planned levels of defense spending, is considering the option of reducing the planned number of SSBN(X)s from 12 to 10 and deferring the start of SSBN(X) procurement. This report focuses on the SSBN(X) as a Navy shipbuilding program. CRS [Congressional Research Service] 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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