Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress [July 26, 2012]   [open pdf - 493KB]

"The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests $564.9 million for continued research and development work on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohioclass SSBNs. The Ohio replacement program is also known as the SSBN(X) program. Under the Navy's FY2012 budget, the first Ohio replacement boat was scheduled to be procured in FY2019, and Ohio replacement boats were to enter service on a schedule that would maintain the Navy's SSBN force at 12 boats. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget defers the procurement of the first Ohio replacement boat by two years, to FY2021. As a result of this deferment, the Navy's SSBN force will drop to 11 or 10 boats for the period FY2029-FY2041. The Navy estimates the average procurement cost of boats 2 through 12 in the Ohio replacement program at $5.6 billion each in FY2010 dollars, and is working to reduce that figure to a target of $4.9 billion each in FY2010 dollars. Even with this cost-reduction effort, observers are concerned about the impact the Ohio replacement program will have on the Navy's ability to procure other types of ships at desired rates in the 2020s and early 2030s. […] This report focuses on the Ohio replacement program 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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