(FF), the latter an upgrade of the LCS with more lethal
armament and better survivability.
Mabus explained to the subcommittee that the decision to build two LCSs in the fiscal 2017 budget, and
one each year thereafter until 2019 when production
would shift to the FF, would smooth the way for a
down-select to one hull type.
The decision, Mabus said, “keeps both shipyards
healthy and both shipyards open and preserves the
decision space going forward” to the next presidential
In the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), SSN
construction remains at two until 2021, when it drops to
one as construction of the Ohio Replacement begins.
“That helps to contribute to the shortfall in sub-
marines, frankly,” Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of
the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition,
said in Feb. 25 testimony before the House Armed
Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee.
“We will be at one [SSN] a year for a good while. That’s
not good for the nation. It is as much about affordabil-
ity as anything else because of the significant invest-
ment that Ohio Replacement is going to require. …
We’re going to have to do something different.”
Stackley said the Navy has worked with Congress to
obtain some authorities to drive affordability into the
Ohio Replacement program and balance the submarine
“We’re trying to identify savings [that can be generat-
ed] in the way we build the Ohio Replacement to fund
and finance that additional [SSN] in 2021,” he said. “It’s
not part of the program of record, but if we don’t work
hard today, we’ll miss the opportunity entirely and the
most important boat, in terms of trying to mitigate the
impact associated with that shortfall, is the 2021 boat,
that second Virginia in that year. If we miss the opportu-
nity, we will not be able regain that later.”
The Navy now has decided to install the Virginia
Payload Module on one of the two Virginia-class SSNs
in 2018 and in all subsequent submarines of the class.
Procurement of the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (along with advance
procurement for the third), the T-AO(X) fleet replenish-ment oiler, the T-ATS salvage tug and the LCU 1700 utility landing craft is scheduled to begin in 2018, with the
LX(R) amphibious warfare ship in 2020. The LX(R),
which will use the same hull as the San Antonio-class
amphibious platform dock ship (LPD), will begin four
years after the last LPD is begun.
As a cost-saving measure, service-life extensions of
the LCAC were zeroed in 2017 and beyond.
The service also intends to press ahead with its modernization of its Ticonderoga-class cruiser (CG) force.
“The Navy’s  cruiser modernization plan is a
decision made necessary due to fiscal constraints,” said
Rear Adm. William K. Lescher, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Budget and director, Fiscal
Management Division, in the Office of the Chief of
Naval Operations. “The [fiscal] ’ 17 plan places the
newest 11 cruisers in a period of inactive reserve, saving operating and manning costs in the FYDP. When a
legacy cruiser is decommissioned, it will be replaced
19 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / APRIL 2016
The littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Freedom transits alongside the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage off
the coast of Southern California on Feb. 19. The next fiscal year will be the last in which two LCSs will be procured,
which will set the stage for a down-select to one variant of the vessel.