"The administration can be pushed back on with some of these priorities that are important to congressional representatives," said Katherine Blakely of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, has released its new Fleet Architecture Study, which includes recommendations for what kinds of ships should make up the future U.S. Navy fleet, and how it should be organized. CSBA’s report is one of three separate Fleet Architecture studies that were ordered to inform decisions, design, and procurement for the future fleet. Part I looked at the new fleet organization and operating concepts CSBA proposed. Here, I examine their recommended fleet composition, the numbers and types of ships that should make up the future fleet.
Mark Gunzinger of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) has no qualms about walking away. China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia possess various types of ballistic missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 km; some also have ground-launched cruise missiles. War-game exercises supported by the CSBA show the precarious situation of NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. These countries are bracketed by compliant, offensive Russian weaponry based in Kalingrad, Belarus and along Moscow’s border, says Gunzinger. He says future ground-based strike systems could help the U.S. suppress Russia’s advanced integrated air defense systems and freedom of action in the event of a conflict. Those same weapons could also help the Pentagon overcome some of the military roadblocks put up by China and North Korea in the Western Pacific. China has fielded many types of conventional and nuclear medium-range missiles to restrict U.S. forces, and it appears that some of those missiles have recently been emplaced in silos in the South China Sea.
What madman would propose adding diesel submarines to the U.S. Navy’s all-nuclear silent service? There are a few. The topic came up at an early March hearing before the U.S. House Seapower and Force Projection Subcommittee. Representatives from three teams that have compiled competing “Future Fleet Architecture” studies convened to debate their visions with the committee. Published by the Navy Staff itself, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and the MITRE Corporation, the studies explore everything from overall ship numbers to the types of hulls comprising the future fleet to the mix between manned and unmanned platforms.
Because companies won't hire excess workers in advance, they will have a huge challenge in expanding their workforces rapidly if a shipbuilding boom materializes, said Bryan Clark, who led strategic planning for the Navy as special assistant to the chief of Naval Operations until 2013.
“The key to survival on the battlefield is not being seen,” said David Johnson, a leading scholar and former top advisor to the Chief of Army Staff. “If you saw the BAE autonomous tank… it is radically smaller than anything we have now, and smaller for a vehicle on the battlefield is a good thing.”