Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress [September 2, 2011]   [open pdf - 525KB]

"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. Even with this cost-reduction effort, some observers are concerned that procuring 12 SSBN(X)s during the 15-year period FY2019-FY2033, as called for in Navy plans, could lead to reductions in procurement rates for other types of Navy ships during those years. […] 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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