SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10827]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005H.R. 4200
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
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TITLE IIRESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
MARCH 11, 2004
PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
ROSCOE BARTLETT, Maryland, Chairman
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
EDWARD SCHROCK, Virginia
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
JOHN HOSTETTLER, Indiana
KEN CALVERT, California
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
JOHN KLINE, Minnesota
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GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
JIM MARSHALL, Georgia
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
Robert Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
Jean D. Reed, Professional Staff Member
John Sullivan, Professional Staff Member
Claire E. Dunne, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, March 11, 2004, Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization ActNavy Research and Development, Transformation and Future Navy Capabilities
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Thursday, March 11, 2004
THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2004
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTNAVY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, TRANSFORMATION AND FUTURE NAVY CAPABILITIES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Bartlett, Hon. Roscoe, a Representative from Maryland, Chairman, Projection Forces Subcommittee
Taylor, Hon. Gene, a Representative from Mississippi, Ranking Member, Projection Forces Subcommittee
Young, Hon. John J. Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition); Vice Adm. John B. Nathman, United States Navy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (N7) (Warfare Requirements and Programs) Department of the Navy; Vice Adm. Cutler J. Dawson, Jr., Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (N8) (Resources, Requirements, and Assessments) Department of the Navy; Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon, Jr., United States Marine Corps, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command; Rear Adm. Jay M. Cohen, United States Navy, Chief of Naval Research, Director, Test and Evaluation and Technology Requirements, Department of the Navy
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Bartlett, Hon. Roscoe
Young, Hon. John J. Jr., Vice Adm. John B. Nathman, Vice Adm. James C. Dawson, Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon Jr., and Rear Adm. Jay M. Cohen
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTNAVY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, TRANSFORMATION AND FUTURE NAVY CAPABILITIES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Projection Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 11, 2004.
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:15 a.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Roscoe Bartlett (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROSCOE BARTLETT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MARYLAND, CHAIRMAN, PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. BARTLETT. The subcommittee will come to order. This morning, the Projection Forces Subcommittee meets to receive testimony from Department of the Navy witnesses on the President's fiscal year 2005 budget request for the Navy's projection forces.
Our witnesses include the Honorable John J. Young, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, Vice Admiral John B. Nathman, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs; Vice Admiral James C. Dawson, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements and Assessments; Lieutenant General Edward Hanlon, Jr., Deputy Commandant for Combat Development, and Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command; and Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen, Chief of Naval Research.
Gentlemen, welcome to the subcommittee. The subcommittee just completed a classified briefing on the threat to our naval forces operating throughout the world in support of the global war on terrorism and in defense of U.S. national interests that establishes a context for our unclassified hearing today.
In this hearing, we will examine the Department of the Navy's research and development programs and support for naval transformation and future naval capabilities. We will hear from our witnesses on Navy and Marine Corps transformation and about those critical research and development programs that support today's Navy and Marine Corps that will provide new capabilities for tomorrow's sea services. We will hear about the role of the Navy science and technology program and how it provides advanced technologies for insertion in naval systems and for future capabilities for the Navy and Marine Corps.
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We will discuss the Navy's program for development of a new family of surface combatants, including the DD(X), advanced multi-mission destroyer, and the LCS, the Littoral Combat Ship, and for development of other critical and transformational capabilities. We will hear from our witnesses about the Navy's critical core competencies that are necessary for successful operations in the littoral regions of the world, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures and ship self-defense.
Today, units of the United States Marine Corps are preparing to deploy and replace some Army units in Iraq. I hope that our witnesses will, at an unclassified level, be able to address some of the measures being taken to prepare our Marines and supporting naval forces for operations in Iraq, the littoral, the Arabian Gulf and adjacent waters and any place else in the world that our naval forces may be deployed.
Our purpose today is to ensure that for fiscal year 2005 and beyond the nation continues to provide the Navy and Marine Corps the resources they need to achieve the right balance of force structure capabilities to meet today's challenges and the new challenges that surely lay ahead. We owe it to our sailors and Marines who defend freedom around the world to ensure that they have the ships, planes, combat vehicles, weapons, equipment, training systems and technologies that will ensure success on any battlefield on which they may fight, at sea, in the air, or on the land.
Secretary Young and Admiral Nathman, Admiral Dawson, Lieutenant General Hanlon, and Rear Admiral Cohen, I am very pleased to welcome you to today's hearing. I look forward to your testimony and to the discussion which will follow.
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Before we begin, let me call on my friend, the gentleman from Mississippi, the Ranking Member of the subcommittee, Gene Taylor, for any remarks he would care to make.
STATEMENT OF HON. GENE TAYLOR, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM MISSISSIPPI, RANKING MEMBER, PROJECTION FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank our distinguished panel for being with us today. While I have you here, I would hope that someone would touch on the subject of the transition from the DDG51s to the DD(X). Those of us who get a paycheck every month sometimes forget that those guys who work in the yard are paid by the hour, and if there happens to be a slip in that program, it not only has national defense implications, but it is also pretty tough on those guys who are cutting steel and welding things back together.
I would hope that someone is monitoring it, so that we have a seamless transition from one program to the other. I do not think we need the peaks and valleys that we went through in the early 1990s. I hope that we can have a steady state in our yards and I hope you will address that.
Second, I remain concerned that the fleet is too small. I do not see how we solve that problem by retiring the first of the Aegis cruisers, the first of which will be retired after deployment this summer. With a fleet that is now less than close to 300 ships, I just do not see how it makes sense to retire a ship that is barely 20 years old, but I would welcome your thoughts on that.
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Again, I want to thank all of you for what you do for our nation, and thank you for being here today.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Secretary, I understand that a joint statement has been submitted by the panel. I invite you to proceed as you wish in presenting the panel's testimony. The joint statement will, without objection, be entered into the hearing record.
STATEMENTS OF HON. JOHN J. YOUNG, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ACQUISITION); VICE ADM. JOHN B. NATHMAN, UNITED STATES NAVY, DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS (N7) (WARFARE REQUIREMENTS AND PROGRAMS) DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY; VICE ADM. CUTLER J. DAWSON, JR., DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS (N8) (RESOURCES, REQUIREMENTS, AND ASSESSMENTS) DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY; LT. GEN. EDWARD HANLON, JR., UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND; REAR ADM. JAY M. COHEN, UNITED STATES NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL RESEARCH, DIRECTOR, TEST AND EVALUATION AND TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Secretary YOUNG. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Taylor, Members of the committee, it is a privilege to appear before the Projection Forces Subcommittee to discuss Navy and Marine Corps transformation, research and development programs, and the fiscal year 2005 budget request. Thank you for your personal and the committee's great support for Navy and Marine Corps programs.
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The Navy and Marine Corps teams's outstanding performance in the global war on terrorism and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom last year underscored the high return on your investment in our combat readiness, our people and our unique maritime war fighting capabilities. The core to emerging naval concepts are the new systems under development, such as DD(X), LCS, the CVN 21, and the LHA(R) amphibious ship. Forcible entry through the littorals into denied access areas relies on all these systems operating together to provide sustained striking capability, all without permission slips, as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) likes to say.
As you know, the fiscal year 2005 request includes funds for 9 ships and 108 aircraft, reflecting the continuous and successful efforts by the Department of the Navy to increase the numbers of ships and aircraft we are purchasing in order to modernize our force. Within these efforts, it is important to improve how we buy weapons systems. I would like to emphasize a few points in this area.
Under current procurement programs, the Virginia Class submarine program recently signed a multi-year. As you know, through the support of Congress, we were authorized to negotiate that multi-year with incentives that reward and measure performance, a realistic cost target, and terms that strongly incentivize on or below target cost performance. The Virginia multi-year is essential to stabilizing this program at the low procurement rates.
CVN 69, the refueling of the USS Eisenhower, in a remarkable action, the Department reached agreement with our industry partners to renegotiate the CVN 69 carrier refueling overhaul. This contract was also converted from some fixed profit to incentive fee, linking the fee to discrete milestones and adjusted the share lines to again incentivize delivery on target. CVN 70, a refueling that is planned, was delayed 1 year to take advantage of the fuel remaining in the reactor. This decision led to a comprehensive evaluation of the carrier program, resulting in decisions to enhance maintenance actions on the JFK, dock the George Washington, and slip CVN 70.
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These efforts all helped stabilize the workload at Newport News and assured the fleet that we would have the carrier program ready for the surge operations. All these decisions reflected an unprecedented collaboration between the acquisition team, the fleet, the requirements community and industry, efforts which sought to balance capability, cost, industry workload and other factors.
As we look to future procurement, the budget this year includes a request to R&D fund the lead ships in the DD(X) and LCS class. This request mirrors the approach used in every other weapons development program. Indeed, tactical aircraft programs are developed by using R&D funds to establish the production process which is critical and build multiple pre-production aircraft. These steps are equally important in shipbuilding to build a production process that can be efficient for the ship class, just as it is for aircraft.
LHA(R) is benefiting from the lessons we have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, which suggests we should maximize the air capability of this ship, while leveraging the design changes already invested in for LHD 8. These lessons are consistent with efforts also over the past year, analytical efforts on joint forcible entry operations, and will ensure this ship is a lead member of the future joint sea basing efforts. The resulting designs provide transformational capability and leverages our investment in the Joint Strike Fighter and the MV22.
In regards to current operations, as noted, the Marines are in the process for a deployment to Iraq. In support of the 1 MEF's (Marine Expeditionary Force's) return to Iraq, and in support of the Marines in Afghanistan, the Secretary of the Navy directed the establishment of a formalized process and action team, Operation Response, to rapidly respond to technological and material requirements generated from our deployed Marines.
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A senior Navy-Marine Corps team co-chaired by myself and Lieutenant General Hanlon, will review and coordinate technical and engineering expertise throughout the Department of the Navy and throughout the Department of Defense (DOD) and industry, to expedite the best solutions available to counter rapidly evolving threats.
I am grateful for the chance to offer these few examples of the many activities that are going on in the Department of the Navy, and I welcome the chance to answer the committee's questions. Thank you for the chance to appear today.
Admiral Nathman I believe has a short statement.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Young can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Admiral NATHMAN. A short statement, sir, if you do not mind.
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes, proceed.
Admiral NATHMAN. Chairman, thank you very much. Congressman Taylor, distinguished Members of the panel, I am honored to be here this morning. I am pleased with the opportunity to thank you for your past support and to talk to you about our naval capabilities, particularly in regards to transformation.
Secretary Young has already highlighted some of the important contributions of the Navy and Marine Corps team made in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the continuing global war on terrorism. Let me focus instead on the conceptual level of naval transformational plans.
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Today's naval team is transforming to exploit the emerging joint war fighting trends of increased speed, precision, shared battle space awareness, persistence and employability. This transformation greatly expands the sovereign options available worldwide to the president by exploiting one of the key asymmetric advantages that we control, and that is control of the sea. To this end, the sea basing concept and capability is the centerpiece of our naval transformation, an operating concept that will equip the nation with the ability to assure joint access and project joint combatant power on the sea.
It forms the cornerstone to our vision of future joint war fighting, which leverages the operational maneuver of our sovereign maritime battle space. It reduces the joint force operational dependence upon fixed and therefore vulnerable land bases. It offers the Joint Force Commander increased freedom of action to deploy, close, employ and sustain forces.
I would like to conclude with a short comment on our analytic work. Our work on defining the direction of our transformation has been supported by a broad-scale and rigorous naval analytic effort and process. Our analysis of campaign scenarios, concept of ops, and tactical situations have begun to pay dividends and provides us good insights on the war fighting return on investments that we are asking you to make in the programs that deliver the concept that we believe we will be discussing today.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As is my practice, I will defer the questions of the chair until after all of the members of the subcommittee have had a chance to ask their questions. I would like, however, to begin today with just one question before I turn to my Ranking Member.
Admiral Nathman, section 216 of the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Secretary of Defense to provide for the performance of two independent studies that would recommend future fleet architectures for the Navy. One study is to be performed by the Office of Force Transformation and the other by a federally funded research and development, FFRDC, such as the Institute for Defense Analysis. The studies are to be reported to the congressional defense committees not later than January 15, 2005.
The Office of Force Transformation has briefed me on the status of an approach to their study. I understand that the Secretary of Defense has delegated the other study that is to be conducted to the Navy for selection of the FFRDC. What is the status of the Navy study and when can I receive a briefing on the approach that is to be taken?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. As you understand, sir, our timelines to deliver that to the Secretary, I would have to come back to you and commit on the time. We will have to work that with your staff, sir, when we can come back and back-brief you. Where we are right now is we have actually three actions, the over-arching studies that will be done through the Office of Force Transformation. Admiral Cebrowski leads that. We are thankful for his leadership on that. We have engaged already with that office. We in fact are providing support, both on our analytic insights and our work that we are doing right now to make sure that they understand where we are in our force structure needs and our commitments and our capabilities. So there is a strong integrated level of effort with Admiral Cebrowski's work.
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We also have committed to a significant force transformation and force capability study around force structure. We kicked off that work as an independent effort inside of our analytic process. So we are now looking at what is the right support that we need to finalize that particular study and deliver to the request from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. So we are working that right now, sir. We think we have a clear view about how to outline our needs to our study partner on this one, and that we are integrated with the other effort in the office of force transformation.
Mr. BARTLETT. It was our anticipation that these two studies would be quite independent. I understand your need to supply basic information to the other team. Is it your understanding that these will be two totally independent studies, that there will not be dialogue between the two teams during the development?
Admiral NATHMAN. No, sir. I do not see any dialogue. We will provide supporting data in the case of office force transformation. We will also provide, probably we will take the lead in providing the construct for the other study. So I do not see a conflict in terms of the fact that the two studies will be independent. We will just provide supporting data as Admiral Cebrowski sees the need for it. So it will be the manned signal from Admiral Cebrowski that will we will respond to to ensure the interdependence of the two studies.
Mr. BARTLETT. When might we expect a briefing on the approach that is to be taken by the second team, the FFRDC team?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I think we can deliver that in the near term. I will work with your staff as far as how fast we can deliver the concept and construct of that particular study for you. Is that okay, sir?
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Taylor?
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would ask specifically to Secretary Young if you have given much thought or a lot of thought to the transition from the DDG 51 to the DD(X). I am very much concerned. I think the folks who are at the yard are starting to express some concerns.
Second, I would like to hear your thoughts on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), how far along we are on that program and whether or not the technology is causing a delay in the delivery of the first ships as you envision them, and when do you expect the first of the Littoral Combat Ships to be commissioned; when do you expect the first of the DD(X)'s to be commissioned?
And of course finally, as ships are being retired, I understand the first flock of the cruisers are going to be retired within the next year or two, how many ships are you bringing on line to take their place? I realize that the buzz word is ''capability,'' but the world is still a fairly large place and you do need a fairly large number of ships to have any presence in all those places where we are expected to have a place. I would like to hear your thoughts on that.
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Secretary YOUNG. Let me see if I can walk through it, Congressman. I have personally spent a great deal of time on the transition from DDG to DD(X). As you rightly highlighted, that is an important, a critical issue. Back in the September time frame, I took several detailed briefings. We can certainly make some of that material available to you. Some of that material shows up in the recently completed shipbuilding industrial base study requested by Congress.
The short conclusion out of that is I believe at the General Dynamics facility we have a reasonably stable transition from DDG to DD(X) as long as we hold the DD(X) schedule. That is critical.
Mr. TAYLOR. Do you see any evidence that the schedule is not being held?
Secretary YOUNG. Not at this time, sir. I think with regards to Northrop Grumman facilities, the transition from DDG to DD(X) is potentially manageable, but that yard has an issue, a dip in workload that I think they were probably aware of, that the DDGDD(X) program will not solve. It is really related to the pace of amphibious ship construction. We can make those workload curves available to you.
So I still have concerns about the transition of that yard which builds both amphibious ships and destroyers. I think that is the conclusion that came out of the analysis work that continues, but it was aggressively undertaken in the September time frame to evaluate that transition.
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As far as key discourse goes, though, I believe we can make that transition very well from DDG to DD(X) in Northrop Grumman's facilities. I am happy to come back and talk to that in more detail.
Mr. BARTLETT. If the gentleman would yield for just a moment. Mr. Young, we have a draft here of the GAO defense acquisitions assessment of major weapons programs. Their comment relative to the DD(X) is that the DD(X) is scheduled to enter system development with none of its 12 critical technologies fully mature. Do you concur with that? If so, what is that going to do to your schedule?
Secretary YOUNG. I guess I would not concur. Having not seen all the details of that, I would like to review it. But as you know, we have engineering development models on what we believe are the critical path items, the electric power motor, the radar, the total ship computing environment, and in any of those areas, I can tell you we have made good progress. The first software release of the total ship computing environment is in test and integration right now in the Dahlgren facilities. Motor construction is underway. Guns evaluations are underway. Advanced gun system is another of the Engineering Development & Manufacturing (EDM) items.
So what we have identified as a critical path item to be able to develop and build this ship, we have concentrated efforts that are keeping schedule and producing results. So we feel like we have a very good chance of holding to schedule on this.
Mr. BARTLETT. When you have had a chance to review the GAO report, could you contact Mr. Taylor's office and our office and arrange to meet with us. I think that we both would like to know what this assessment has on your projected schedule.
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Secretary YOUNG. Yes, sir. I would be very happy to, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. The comments relative to the Littoral Combat Ship are that 10 of 22 of the critical technologies are fully mature. If you could also review their observations on the LCS and have that same discussion with our two offices.
Secretary YOUNG. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Certainly.
Secretary YOUNG. With regard to the Littoral Combat Ship, we feel like we have had great success in working with industry. We have the three proposals in right now and our discussion with industry to make sure we understand the proposal in each area. It is important to understand that in LCS we are seeking to buy a sea frame, and I will look very carefully at the GAO report. It may be with regards to the mission modules. In both cases, though, I would highlight, I will take them separately.
The sea frame, as you know, we have vessels now that are this class of ship. We know exactly what they cost and the demand for the operators to use those vessels. They have been used to transport Marines in the Pacific. They have been used to some degree in the Persian Gulf. The demand and the utility of those ships is very high, and the operators are calling for them. There is clear industry-demonstrated ability to build these ships for cost, build them with the requisite speed of 40 to 50 knots, and all those factors.
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So I would say we have good confidence. We are pleased with the proposal we got from industry and we are in the process of reviewing those and making a decision as to whether we should select one or two candidates. I know you have heard the CNO's comments that he needs that ship tomorrow, if not today. We are working very hard to deliver that and feel that ship is well within reach. To talk to the other part that makes that ship a fighting ship, the mission modules, in many cases the fight zero mission modules are systems we had in development for applications from AQS20 to detect mines, the laser mine detection systems, across the board. Many of those systems we find will be much more effective, more flexibly employed from a Littoral Combat Ship. So I believe those risk factors we feel we have in hand, so I am anxious to review that.
In the area of the building rates, especially with the three DDGs in 2004 and three DDGs in 2005, are tailored to begin to bottom the reduction in the fleet's numbers and begin to grow those numbers again. LCS and DD(X) are important pieces of stabilizing and beginning to grow those numbers. I probably should make sure Admiral Nathman has a chance to comment on fleet numbers, but I did not want to miss your question about cruisers.
As you know, we have a cruiser modernization program that will seek to keep the cruisers we feel we need for the appropriate force structure in process, and are beginning to execute through the support of Congress last year for the initial cruiser conversions. Maybe that is a good point. Your last wrap-up question seemed to be about numbers, and I can come back to any of those, but I will offer Admiral Nathman a chance to comment on the fleet numbers.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I think our analogy here would be that we made a decision several years ago in our tactical air programs that we would walk away from high-cost tactical air programs as rapidly as we could to bring about the ability to make the investment in our new programs. We made a very good decision about our F14, a very capable airplane, but a decision to early retire the aircraft and move on to Super Hornet.
It is the same analogy in our shipbuilding. We have a force in being with ships that are reaching obsolescence age. You can invest there, invest in the old, or you can make a decision to give yourself more room, more liquidity in your investment structure by buying new. So we made some hard decisions about near-term force structure to move on to the future.
Part of that future is to make the investment in DD(X); to make the investment in our follow-on shipbuilding plans; and in terms of capability, to look at ships that cost less and are less to support, like Littoral Combat Ships, that goes after a very dear gap in littoral in terms of war fighting, for buying warfare for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and for surface dominance.
To make that investment, that is our opportunity we see to change the size of our force as a way of also changing the capability that we need in our force. So it is a balance of affordability, while looking to try and buy the best capability we can and having the liquidity in our investment accounts to do that.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman, if I may. I happen to have been here in the early 1990s when a World War I-vintage mine almost sank a $1 billion warship. I think the name of the ship was the USS Princeton. For a while there, Congress allocated a lot of resources to the mine hunting mission. We really have not heard much talk of the mine hunting mission in the past five years or so. I was curious what your thoughts are as a panelist as to what kind of a threat that continues to pose to the Navy? Or do you think we have allocated the proper resources to be where we need to be now and for the next five or ten years?
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Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I will try and answer that question. Vice Admiral Dawson may want to comment, or Secretary Young. But I would say that we have done a lot of intellectual capital work around our mine warfare gap. Part of this is our analysis has clearly made the mine clearance and the mine detection and cueing a clear war-fighting gap for us. That is why I think you see a very strong investment and push by the CNO to move the Littoral Combat Ship, because one of its premier modules on that ship is the mine warfare module.
That is a way of getting a distributed force, because one of the opportunities we have with the Littoral Combat Ship is in the numbers because you can have a distributed capability in terms of cueing and detection and localization and killing in mine warfare. So this is one of the compelling war-fighting trends that we have, and that is speed. One of the issues that we have as to speed, is we are being driven on the effect side to what kind of speed can we bring to shape the joint battle space. That implies the Navy has to be there. It implies the Navy has to have maritime dominance and superiority in the littorals.
One of the ways of doing that in the mine warfare stuff is to make our mine warfare capabilities more organic to our expeditionary strike groups and our carrier striking groups, and we are going to do that primarily through the capabilities that we bring with LCS and with the tremendous investment and way ahead that we see on our MH60 helicopters. Those modules will be part of the mine warfare modules on LCS.
So this I believe is a great amount of organized conceptual analytic work around this is the gap; how do you close it; how do you bring speed; and what is your investment strategy to change the way you are going to see the mine battle space; change the mine battle space; and provide the effect that you want.
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I will give you an example of that. A very good example is this long, long-term mine reconnaissance system developed by the submarine community. The opportunity of that particular system is that we may know the mine battle space that we will be facing before we close the littoral with our expeditionary strike groups. So the concept of that, the war-fighting concept of the long-term mine reconnaissance system is something that we need to make sure we have the right level of investment and do we get the persistence in that module. In other words, can we take that capability and potentially change the persistence of that capability by going to something larger that maybe you embed in SSGN.
But what is so valuable about it is what we have learned in building to the long-term mine reconnaissance system. Then you can choose, this is where the mine problem is; if I have to go there, how do I rapidly clear it. I think you see a strong investment there in Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) on mine neutralization systems in current organic capabilities that we have right now.
And then how do we change the speed? We change it by the MH60 and the Littoral Combat Ship investment.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, thank you for what you are doing for our country. These are tough times and you are all out there every day working for the American people. As their representatives, we want you to know that we appreciate it.
I was reminded not long ago what our defense structure looked like during the Cold War. As we deal with our daily tasks now, the world is so different than it was back in those days, particularly in the world of national security. I picked up a book not long ago that outlined the success that we had in Desert Storm and the weapons systems that we used. Now when I turn on the television every day and look at what we are doing in the war on terror, things are even different yet again.
So a very simple question, but one that is very difficult to answer, is this: What is the Navy's vision of what warfare will be like in the future? And what is the Navy doing today to prepare for that? I know that is a tough question.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thirty seconds or less. [Laughter.]
Admiral NATHMAN. One thing I could offer on this, sir, is we are briefing on the Senate side a lot of where our analytic work has taken us. I would offer that brief to you here. It is a substantial brief and we can give it to you in the Pentagon with some very compartmented briefings. Besides that, we can come over here and brief you, sir, but I will coordinate that. I think you would enjoy that. It will give you some insights.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Part of our work in our analytic work around war-fighting is that we have gaps in our current capability where potentially our enemies may go. We have current operational challenges that deal with either funding levels or different systems. Then you have a pacing-the-threat issue out there. One of the pacing-the-threat issues that we have is the potential challenge in missile defense.
The Navy has been working very aggressively with the joint staff and aggressively with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Missile Defense Agency in reestablishing Navy sea-based terminals and Navy missile defense requirement needs. The way you do that is you build a compelling case about the war-fighting gap that may exist, and I think you saw some of that today, sir, Mr. Chairman, in your intelligence briefing.
The other thing it identifies is the current gaps that you have, and you will carry these gaps until you go towards an investment strategy. Those are some of the needs in terms of ASW and mine warfare, some compelling needs in self-defense for particular ships.
So it reinforces our intuition about some of the challenges that we have, but now it is strongly analytic-based. But it also makes us look in the joint concept. It is not just the Navy answer or the Marine Corps answer to this war-fighting future. It is, what are we supposed to contribute in terms of the total joint war-fighting effect that this nation wants? Because it ought to be able to distribute its share of money that is dear to the nation over the Department of Defense, and not have every service replicate a particular capability. That probably ought to be distributed based on what key core competencies those services bring.
So part of this is we bring this campaign analysis inside of the joint capabilities development process, inside the joint staff and OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense), to make the case about the Navy provides this capability best, this is how we could do it, and then the decision is made as to how you distribute those capabilities. That is the process that we are in. We see our war-fighting division as a total part of the integrated joint war-fighting force. It is where the joint war-fighting force needs to go.
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I believe a lot of that has to do with these themes about taking the fight to the enemy and not doing it on our own shores in the global war on terrorism, and the ability to make sure that key issues for our nation in terms of what we hold dear and where we want to go are protected.
Mr. SAXTON. The Army, as an example, is changing the structure and the way it does business, the new brigade fighting teams, the command structure and so on. Is the Navy preparing to dovetail with this new command structure that the Army is developing?
Admiral NATHMAN. If you don't mind, sir, I will let Admiral Dawson take a shot at that.
Admiral DAWSON. Sir, let me comment. You mentioned the future, and we have been looking at the future very hard. Operations from joint sea basing is what we have been focusing our attention on. We know that it is going to be a matter of access, time line and footprint ashore as we look to the future.
As we roll these into the models that we use to project what we need to support this, we have five elements that we look at. We look at how a future enemy will most likely fight. Second, we look at what types of rules of engagement might we be under when we conduct that fight. We look at bases and accesses that are available throughout the world. We are recently greatly influenced by the failure to get access in Turkey when we conducted operations this past year. So we know that joint sea basing is the way that we must go.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The fourth thing we look at is systems performance of those capabilities that we are going to project that we are going to have and need in the future. And then we round that out by looking across the naval team of what other joint and coalition share might come into how we conduct that fight. That is how we look at what we need for the future.
Mr. SAXTON. Some of the things that are in development or being changed today in terms of ways of doing business, the way the Navy does business, the use of technology, the use of for example, the SSGN submarines in a different way, these are all changes, are they not, that were made in anticipation of a different kind of a fight in the future?
Admiral DAWSON. Yes, sir. We had to be rapid and we had to be decisive when we conduct our initial operations.
Mr. SAXTON. Admiral Cohen, the Navy SEAL team delivery system, the new sub. How is it coming?
Admiral COHEN. That is not an area that I have been specifically involved in, but I have some familiarity with that.
Mr. SAXTON. Maybe I asked the wrong guy the question. I am sorry.
Admiral COHEN. Perhaps Secretary Young, as the acquisition executive, although he is not the acquisition executive for the Special Operations Command.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Secretary YOUNG. Actually, I am happy to let Admiral Cohen answer. [Laughter.]
The Navy is managing Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS). The system went through I believe initial operational evaluation here recently in the Pacific. There were some issues that arose on that. There are issues that have been discussed that we need to work on in terms of the battery life. I think it meets the requirements, but the Special Operations Command would like the system to be more robust in that area and other areas. Work has been done on some technical issues, some of which I might have to talk to you about in a different forum.
So I am not prepared to say we have the system in hand, but I am prepared to tell you that the operator was very pleased with the capability. So we have to sit down and work through reliability, maintainability and some technical issues, and reach agreement with them that the system is ready, then move forward with further procurement.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Secretary, could you just describe for us, tell us first whether or not you have some radar roadmap or radar master plan? Could you talk about it for a minute? I am sure you do have one. Could you describe it for us please?
Secretary YOUNG. If I could, sir, with some seriousness, I think the President's budget tends to be the roadmap for me. I believe the budget lays a viable roadmap and it does several things, some of which have been addressed in previous studies or roadmaps. There are legacy systems that we have identified that will be core to the Navy for many years and require support and possibly upgrade and investment on either capability or maintainability.
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The fundamental I would say core to the radar roadmap are some decisions that were made this year and reflect what I spoke about in my opening statement, the remarkable collaboration we have had between industry and the requirements community. Those steps were changing DD(X) radar band to S from L. We had not seen the low cost that was hoped for on the L-band, and frankly we were going to have a frequency that would be only in one place. In S, there is a significant amount of work on, in fact as soon as we made the shift to S band, we found we could leverage some work that had been done for the Army in fire-finding technology, and apply it directly to DD(X).
Mr. SAXTON. You should have just listened to me years ago and you would have saved yourself all that time. [Laughter.]
Secretary YOUNG. So that S band, fortunately we have seen the light of your advice. It is now core to DD(X). The other path, the Navy is responsible for acquiring a Cobra Judy replacement and a second company will build the S band for that platform. Those two investments in S band I think create a robustness in the radar technology transmit/receive (T/R) modules, software, algorithms, processing, transmitter, exciter, the whole spectrum, and set the stage for a ship that is very important to the CNO and the operational Navy, and that is CGX. We foresee the ability to either have hopefully a robust competition for the best capability for CGX and have sources that are prepared to continue to modernize the Navy fleet as we look to a potential Aegis midlife upgrade and other factors.
So in my mind, the budget lays out a roadmap that is fairly robust and is funded for S-band radar development, setting the stage for CGX, continued sustainment of existing Navy radars and modernization steps we will take for the existing fleet. There are some outstanding issues that are being worked with the Missile Defense Agency about how far they want to take some work in terms of its ability to perform missile defense. They are taking those initial steps, as you are very familiar with, to deliver the capability the president has laid in for what people call ''Block 04'' where Aegis will be supporting national missile defense as the Block 04 capability stands up. And then what steps do we take beyond that to continue to grow that capability.
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Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I have one more question. This is one that I would like to direct to General Hanlon. When I wear my Terrorism Subcommittee hat, we oftentimes talk about force protection. Of course, the Marine Corps gives us the opportunity to study one of the most potent fighting forces in the world, and we are very proud of that. But the Marines now face a different kind of a threat than perhaps we would normally think of when we think about Marines, improvised explosive devices (IED) et cetera.
What are we doing in terms of force protection? Are we making progress, particularly with regard to IEDs? What can we expect to see going down the road. I don't mean literally, I mean what can we see in the future technologically and otherwise to deal with these kinds of unconventional threats?
General HANLON. Yes, sir. As Secretary Young mentioned in his opening statement, he and I do co-chair a panel which we refer to as Operation Respond, which is designed to look at the very issues that you just touched on, sir. One of the advantages we had after Operation Iraqi Freedom, as you know, all the Marines by late summer had come back to Continental United States (CONUS). The decision was then made for us to put 25,000 Marines back into theater, of which your son is one and which of course that is ongoing as we speak right now.
Mr. SAXTON. Actually, it is my nephew.
General HANLON. Nephew, excuse me, sir. The advantage that we had with that was we were able to observe what was happening with the Army, the experiences they were having over there in-theater. We were able to send teams into theater to work with the Army, to actually capture their lessons learned as they were ongoing.
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Let me start first with just the individual protection of the Marines. There are field gear, there are small arms protection inserts (SAPI) plates, things of that sort. We made sure that every single one of the Marines were equipped with what they needed to give them the individual protection that we felt was necessary. We have succeeded in doing that. In terms of the equipment that the battalions and the Marines are taking with them, their individual combat gear, it is standard-issue combat gear so they are well-equipped and they are ready to go.
Vehicles, that has been a challenge for us because of the large influx of explosive devices that have been in-theater, and they come in many different flavors, as you all know. Some are just nothing more than an explosive device that is buried in the side of the ground, that is triggered by putting a couple of wires together. Others are far more sophisticated than that, with remote devices. They have in fact been getting more sophisticated over the course of the last year, which is one of the things we have been watching very carefully.
Because of that, we have been looking at how do we harden the vehicles that the Marines will be in. So we have a number of ways we are doing that, both with our High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWVs) and with our trucks. We have a series of steps that we are taking to harden the vehicles all the way up to what we call a really hardened vehicle, all the way down to what we would call medium hardening. We are on track doing that.
We have been able to tie into some of the programs the Army had, plus we were able to get assistance from our own logistics facility down at Albany, Georgia, to be able to literally, if you can imagine this, sir, literally making steel bolt-on kits that you would actually bolt onto the side of the HMMWVs with blast blankets to protect the Marines. We are doing that and all the vehicles will be properly hardened by the middle of April.
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As far as the IEDs are concerned, sir, again the Army and OSD had put together panels and groups to deal specifically with that issue. We have had our Marines fully embedded in that effort, both with the Army and at the OSD level. Anything that we are finding out, lessons learned, we are trying to adapt to. Any technologies out there that we can use, we are going to adapt to. Admiral Cohen right here to my left, who runs the Office of Naval Research (ONR) across the river, has been very helpful in assisting us in that regard.
It is serious business, though. I do not mind telling you that. At Quantico, I am responsible for the lessons learned for the Commandant. We did that in Afghanistan. We did it in Iraq, and I now have a 60-man team that is embedded with General Conway in 1 MEF as they go in-theater. One of the main responsibilities that team has, sir, will be to report back to me directly, I mean literally daily or hourly, however you want to do it, any lessons learned that we get, both in terms of the IEDs or material issues, all the way up to how we might adapt better tactics, techniques and procedures to train the Marines.
I would like to say one thing about the last one, too, that we were talking about just before we came in here. And that is that we have established that March Air Force Base out in California, which is an old air force base, and an old housing area, we have actually established under our war-fighting lab a facility out there where each and every battalion that goes through the rotation, that was going into Iraq, will go through a rotation at March Air Force Base where they are put through a special training package to prepare them for what they will see in Iraq. Role-players, vignettes, the whole nine yards, right down to the individual squad leaders, they are run through vignettes. At the end, they are critiqued to make sure that they handle that situation properly. The whole purpose of that, sir, being to make sure that we deal with the individual training.
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So in fact as soon as this hearing is over, sir, I am jumping on an airplane to go out and see General Conway this afternoon before he jumps on an airplane Saturday to go over to Iraq, to run through the complete list of things that we have been able to deliver for his force before they go over. And to make sure he and I have a mechanism in place so we can continue this dialogue while he is deployed.
Did that answer your question, sir?
Mr. SAXTON. Yes, sir, pretty much. The only piece of it that I thought you might refer to is the jammers for IEDs. I think there is also an even newer technology, if I am not mistaken, that causes them to explode before the target arrives on the scene.
General HANLON. Sir, I can tell you in this session right now, sir, that we are doing as much as possibly can. Yes, sir, we are. We have all the right people looking at that, sir. I think that if we wanted to go into more detail on that, sir, I might have to
Secretary YOUNG. Could I add, Congressman, a comment on that? A few months ago, Secretary England spent several hours at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) with Admiral Cohen's team and the warfare center teams, and every technology he could put on the table, from hardening to IEDs up to a classified level. He has continued to meet about monthly on that.
This has the Secretary's highest priority. The Secretary is adamant that we want the Marines to go in safely and effectively in Iraq and do everything possible for them. He views frankly everything in the budget is tradable in an effort to make sure the Marines have everything they need.
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We visited Camp Pendleton recently. General Conway has shown a remarkable and great interest, he and General Amos and General Mattis, in taking technologies either that have been tested at Yuma or are so promising they are willing to take them into theater if they solve a problem for them. So Secretary England personally is trying to make sure we have everything we need in this area.
Admiral COHEN. Congressman, if I may just follow up, because Secretary Young and General Hanlon are I think too modest on this. The Secretary is very much personally involved, and the net that he asked Secretary Young and I to spread was not just for what we call a naval research enterprise. He asked us to look throughout the department of defense. I know you have been briefed on the Counterterrorism Technology Task Force which was stood up after 911.
He asked us to look at industry. He asked us to look at academia. He asked us to look at other departments in the government. He asked us to look nationally and internationally. We are drawing on all of those technologies. It is much to the Marines's credit, and they have a long history of this, of being willing to experiment and bring promising technologies to bear in the field. We are very much involved with the Army in this, as General Hanlon has indicated.
Also, it is a true blue-green effort. Admiral Dawson is helping with the dollars on the blue side in support of green, and General Hanlon has been very kind to give me a gunny sergeant, along with my master chief, at ONR where under Secretary Young's guidance, we have Web-based input so the Marines in the field can tell us real-time on what we call tech solutions, what they are experiencing, what their needs are. And we then can provide the funding and the solutions pushed directly to them.
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Mr. SAXTON. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, I should not do this, but this is important. I know you know it is. Once you have identified a technology, are we generally capable of producing the items that you need to put into effect the technology that you have identified?
Admiral COHEN. The answer is absolutely yes. Working at Aberdeen with the Army's Armaments, Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), you heard General Hanlon talk about the use of Albany and the Marine Corps systems command to provide these kits. But we have offered up, Secretary Young has offered up naval shipyards, where we have plenty of capacity, to cut these things. We are working with what is called explosive resistant coding, which came from the Air Force following the Khobar Tower tragedy. We briefed you previously on that, how we would provide that to a Cole scenario.
So we are not being shy and the CNO and the commandant and the secretary really are joined arm in arm in this. They make the funds available. It is a great credit to Navy leadership, the dedication they have to these young fighting men and women.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Gentlemen, I want to thank you for being here today and for your service to our country, as always.
I want to focus if I could on three areas: R&D with respect to submarines, the upcoming Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) as it relates to R&D facilities, and also the present and future roles of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs). Let me start with Secretary Young and Admiral Nathman, if I could, I would like to hear your thoughts about the status of our submarine R&D programs. Over the last several years, we have seen a significant reduction in submarine-related R&D in your budgets. For example, the Virginia Class technology insertion program was completely eliminated last year and is not funded again this year. Congress, of course, has tried to improve our submarine platforms by increasing funding for such programs as the submarine and SSGN payloads and sensor programs and the multi-mission module for Virginia Class submarines to increase the submarines's contributions to future fleet missions and requirements.
We would like to see the Navy's commitment to support technology development by keeping a consistent level of submarine R&D funding over the years to add to the capabilities that we all agree that we so much need. So could you start by commenting on this?
Secretary YOUNG. I will offer an initial couple of comments, Congressman. As you know, I think the first priority for the Navy had to be stabilizing the Virginia Class program at these low rates of production with a two-year build strategy. In funding that program and finding the resources for the economic order quantity funds that are required to go into a multi-year and fully funding the Virginia multi-year, it put significant pressure on resources. So we did have some reductions in advance submarine development.
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Congress put some funds in there which were helpful. We had a strategy, though, that I was anxious about that said we would change every single submarine. I must tell you, we need to think about that very carefully. That is an enormous burden on the manufacturing enterprise. It is an enormous burden on the training enterprise.
I think you are seeing us gradually try to move to a more block-like approach, where two or four submarines will have a stable configuration, and then we will in a smart way insert upgrades into the next block of submarines so it can be planned with less disruption to the manufacturing process and more ability to train people and maintain those systems.
So you see that I think in this year's budget, where the funds are coming up from last year's budget and then in 2006 and out we get back to that level that Congress anticipated at the $115 million to $120 million a year level of investment for the submarine. With that, we will bring you a strategy that I hope will let us efficiently build in those technologies into those submarines, because of the time when a lot of the debate about the multi-year was, can we stabilize the cost on Virginia? Multi-year lets us do that and a more careful strategy for inserting technology in those submarines lets us do that.
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I would comment to Secretary Young's point, the key thing is get stability in Virginia Class. So we made some affordability decisions, and you know, there is a key technology out there in terms of volume increases for Virginia Class in terms of their advance sale. We have slowed that down as part of the affordability challenge, but we are still committed to it.
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I think our focus in submarine research and development has been all around our opportunity of look at the payloads, to change that payload; to look at our volume and delivery capability that we get, because of the covertness of the submarine platform; to look at better propulsion, better controls; and of course improve where it is important to protect the stealth and maneuverability of that platform, particularly in its denied access, anti-access role.
So we are staying true to the school in terms of our over-arching intent, in terms of submarine research and development. We have made some affordability decisions that has slowed some of these things down, but that is where we are in terms of the budget that we recommended on this.
Mr. LANGEVIN. If I could just follow up, it is my understanding that it takes as much as 15 years from start to finish in terms of developing and fielding new technology. It is my understanding that right now is the first time in a quite a few years that we do not even have a next generation submarine on the boards right now for R&D. Is that correct?
Admiral NATHMAN. That is correct, sir. Given the fact that we are committing right now, I think what we are saying here, it is kind of the same analogy we have with our aircraft. We have a tremendously capable platform in Sea Wolf and Virginia. Part of this would be understanding, to Secretary Young's point, is what could you do in terms of the spiral improvement around those classes of submarines to really make a trade between building a new class of submarines or dramatically improving the needs based on where the war fights may go with those particular submarines?
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I believe that is our view. Part of our view is that some of these payload capabilities and the ability like in the multi-task underwater vehicles is an example, that is a payload opportunity for us that we see. Could we leverage that in SSGN? Can we leverage that in other places? This is what is going to bring about an effects-based difference, I believe, from our submarine capabilities, instead of focusing in a very expensive way on a new class of submarine.
So I think this is just really a phasing that makes sense when you are right at the start of a new submarine class, right after a new class of submarine called the Sea Wolf. This, to me, is a logical part of it here. We need to have a certain amount of re-set time in that area. The next part would be, does your research imply that you ought to make more volume improvements in the current class that you are building, or do you want to go on to a new class? I think this is where the research and analysis will take us.
Secretary YOUNG. I think we are looking at a significant run for the Virginia Class submarine program, as you know. Within the submarine technology programs, the sheet of paper is open in terms of what is considered. Consideration is given to whether that would be something that could go on Virginia or something that would require a different submarine design to do it. You may be familiar with the Submarine Technology Center they have down at the Navy Yard where there are conceptual work or designs for different submarines, different hull forms.
So at a modest level, we are laying the groundwork for a new submarine design, but I think it would be premature at time to be launching a new submarine design when we have several years of Virginia, where we are looking for the first delivery this summer, ahead of us.
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Mr. LANGEVIN. Maybe now would be a good time to go into the next area that I wanted to talk about, the UUVs. I do not know if Admiral Nathman or Admiral Cohen would be better to answer this, but could you just provide us with an update on the Navy's research into UUVs? What would be the main capabilities and mission functions of the UUVs? How would they be integrated into the larger force structure?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. I would like Admiral Cohen to comment because he leads kind of a funneling effort in science and technology, and the opportunities we have in terms of discovery that we can then be more pragmatic about in our R&D and in our procurement investments.
I think if you look at the range of where we are in our views of the underwater vehicles, I would look right at the long-term mine reconnaissance system as a good example. It is a very capable system in terms of its CONOPS. It would clearly be serviced better if we could get more persistence out of the same CONOPS. So you have a capable system in terms of mine reconnaissance. You have a sensor, you have the CONOPS right, you are able to deploy in a current submarine force, and you need to buy the right numbers of those.
But one of the opportunities we have is, and we are seeing that in some of our discovery in terms of these long-range underwater vehicles, you are seeing this multi-reconfigurable underwater vehicle kind of experimentation and demonstration work, that if you can change the volume of that and put these same CONOPS into a larger volume, you change the whole persistence of those vehicles. Therefore, you change the opportunity to the Chairman's point that he made last year, about seeing the battle space, the intelligent preparation of the battle space.
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This is kind of the organizational construct that we have. This is where our analysis is saying that this is where we have an opportunity to go. So you have the CONOPS being developed. You have basically the physical part being resolved. Now, what can we do? We see the same kind of effort in our remote mine hunting system right now, which is a semi-submergible. You see it in our mine neutralization system. These are now, we are delivering the capability in CONOPS. Now, what can we do to rapidly change that in terms of either more persistence time or better sensors?
So we are very much into a spiral along our current systems to improve them around volume and payload, and we are very much connected with the work done by ONR, and Admiral Cohen will comment on this, about how you funnel those opportunities down into our procurement accounts.
Admiral COHEN. Congressman, if I may follow up. Thanks to the leadership of Congress, we are going in all areas, in air, surface and submarine, into the unmanned arena, which is so complementary to everything else that we are doing.
I am a submariner and I am also an ocean engineer. When I came to the Office of Naval Research four years ago, I must tell you I was very critical of our unmanned underwater vehicle efforts. I got the group together and I said, you know, these are toys. These are academic toys, and until some fleet commander comes to me and says, I need that capability to do this mission, they will remain toys.
Now, some of them are very sophisticated, like Manta and we have others which are wonderful technology demonstration platforms. I am so pleased to tell you, I do not take any credit for this. This is our industrial base and our laboratories and industry et cetera, that during Iraqi Freedom at Um Qasr, where we brought forward our Dolphins to try to find the mines and clear Um Qasr so that the Brits first and then the rest of our logistics forces could go in there and provide humanitarian relief, we were called on to provide the REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring Unit System). REMUS comes from Woods Hole. Industry was involved, et cetera. And while the Dolphins were out cavorting in the Persian Gulf, the REMUS were working around the clock, only stopping to recharge their batteries to find the mines and help us clear that important port.
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But there are many, many challenges for UUVs that we do not have either on the surface or in the air because those are air breathers. We must figure out the fuel cells and other power capabilities. We must get the sensors right. Underwater, we fight at the speed of sound. Everywhere else, we fight at the speed of light. And Admiral Nathman has addressed the desire to have a common picture complemented by a common underwater picture. We have to get those sonic signals very quickly translated into electronic signals above the water so that the battle group commander and higher authority see the entire picture that is critical in the littoral.
Finally, it does not have to be a high-end. Right now, as we are bringing SSGN on line and we have those 7-foot diameter D5 tubes that are 30 feet long, we are looking very hard at a large UUV as a truck. So with persistence, with power, with load-carrying capability, operating off either an SSGN or off a Littoral Combat Ship, you now open up a trade space that we can use for mine hunting, personnel insertion, surveys, anti-submarine warfare, et cetera, but we have to get the vehicle right. The simplest one, if I may, we have a wonderful torpedo. The Mark-48 torpedo helped us win the Cold War, but it did not work very well in the littoral.
So we went to the Underwater Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, our torpedo experts, and 3 years ago we asked them to cut a Mark-48 torpedo in half, cut it in half and put a new nosecone on it. Now, everyone wanted me to put an electric tail on it and this or that. We paid for all of that. We knew how to do that. We went ahead and we did this and the goal was to find in the littoral a 1-meter tethered mine, because if you could find a 1-meter tethered mine, you could find a 7-meter submarine, but the opposite is not necessarily true.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am pleased to tell you that a year ago we tested it at Lake Seneca, and this spring we fired it at Artech. It has met and exceeded all of its expectations. Why is it a half-torp? Because now we have the ability to put double the number of torpedoes in a 688, 52 instead of 26, and because it can find that mine, any submarine or any other platform that might use this, including a helicopter, can shoot its way in or out of that kind of environment. So that is also a UUV. It is just a real deadly UUV.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, Admiral. They said you have the best job in the Navy.
Just to wind up on BRAC, Admiral Nathman, if you could answer this. Like several of my colleagues, I have expressed concern about how the 2005 BRAC round will proceed with regard to R&D facilities. Can you tell me your view? How would you characterize the military value of facilities such as the Naval Undersea and Surface Warfare Centers, and to what extent will you be involved in the work of the technical joint cross-service group in establishing criteria for R&D assessment?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I would just make a general comment that our Centers are excellent, whether in mine warfare or air-to-air systems. They are important to our services. I am also satisfied that the BRAC process that OSD is establishing in terms of how do you look at the capabilities that we want, is a process internal to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and we are very much integrated, the Navy is very much a participant in. That, I think is really where I have to leave the BRAC answer right now, because we provide support inside of that staffing effort.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Perhaps Admiral Dawson would want to comment on that, and Secretary Young. I was looking for help. [Laughter.]
Admiral DAWSON. I can only add that we in the Navy are satisfied with the process and the way it is being undertaken. We feel that we have the opportunity to input those things that are of core value and of great significance to us.
Mr. LANGEVIN. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I thank my colleague, Mr. Langevin, for asking all of my questions. [Laughter.]
Very good questions. Now he has put me in a position of having to make up a whole bunch of new ones. But anyway, that is all right.
First of all, transformation. I really commend the Navy on its transformation efforts. I have been on the Armed Services Committee for three years. I have been in the military, active and Reserve, for over 35 years. I am proud to say with the U.S. Army, but unfortunately I have to say objectively, the Navy has done the best job of transformation that I have seen in my experience. I think it is very impressive.
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I think it is impressive that under the leadership of the Chairman, we have multi-year procurement for the Virginia Class sub, because that is going to save the taxpayer almost $400 million and it is going to stabilize the workforce and the 1,200 subcontractors all know that they have an opportunity to keep people employed, and also to upgrade their equipment and increase their productivity.
So I think those are revolutionary events. I think the Virginia Class submarine and the Trident conversion are extraordinary programs and it is very exciting to be involved with them.
I do have two questions, and I will not repeat what Jim asked because he laid out my other concerns. One goes to ASDS. For the life of me, I am not sure why that program went to a great company, but a company that has not the same sort of track record that perhaps Electric Boat has in submersibles. I remind the panel that when General George Washington wanted a submarine, he went to Connecticut for it. He got the Turtle for the Revolutionary War. When the Navy wanted its first submarine delivered, they went to Electric Boat in Groton. I think the problems with the ASDS are really the fact that a very good contractor did not have substantial experience and a substantial track record in submersibles. I would be interested in your comments on that.
Second, the issue is raised about a new generation of submarines. I concur with the panel's response that the Virginia Class fits the bill, and with the module concept, we can continue to transform that in many different ways into the near future. But I recently had the opportunity to kick the tires on the NR 1. When I say ''kick the tires,'' in fact the NR 1 has tires. Has any of the panel been around the NR 1 recently, in the last year or so, or two years, or three years?
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You know, it was state-of-the-art, I think, 30 years ago. But I was frankly amazed at the condition of it. Granted, I saw it after it had been lifted out of the water, so there was a lot of junk on it. But unless we conceive that the multi-mission modules in the Virginia Class are somehow going to replicate the types of research that the NR 1 does, I really think we should be looking at something that would be an upgrade. I would be interested in your comments on that as well.
Do you understand what I mean when I said I kicked the tires?
Admiral COHEN. Oh, yes sir. [Laughter.]
I had the opportunity in 1967 to crawl on NR 1 before they joined the hull and before the reactor went critical. The reactor is about the size of a small garbage can. It has view ports and so on and so forth.
I have served on Electric Boat submarines. They are absolutely premier submarines. But to follow up on the unmanned underwater vehicle comment, and I know you are familiar with Dr. Bob Ballard.
Mr. SIMMONS. Yes.
Admiral COHEN. One of the great arguments that rages
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SIMMONS. As a state representative, I was involved in the process of sneaking him away from Woods Hole and bringing him to Mystic, Connecticut, which is my home town.
Admiral COHEN. He has made a slight adjustment, as you know, back to the University of Rhode Island (URI), but his heart is in the right place.
Mr. SIMMONS. Just for lectures.
Admiral COHEN. Yes, sir. [Laughter.]
But the great debate that rages is manned versus unmanned in terms of exploration. I had the honor of being with Bob Ballard when he went to the Solomon Islands and we found PT109. I also had just before Christmas the pleasure of diving 1,500 feet off of Hawaii on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and University of Hawaii small submersible and being 3 feet away from the Japanese midget submarine that was the very first casualty from the USS Ward at 0700 on the morning of 7 December as it tried to penetrate our defenses.
At the end of the day, it is a balance between putting the eyeball at depth and putting the sensor at depth. I think we have that balance about right. Without getting classified, Electric Boat is building currently an incredible platform that will give us an ability to do research potentially without putting a man at risk and great expense, because of the manned systems.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So NR 1 recently refueled. As you know, we maintain very high standards. She will be around for a long time. I am not aware of any plans for an NR 2, but there are plans for an Alvin replacement. Then of course, the big argument is, should that be a 20,000-foot vessel that gets you about 90 percent of the ocean's bottom? But Bob Ballard tells a great story, after he found the vents, he said he took down the appropriate scientists and he was on the bottom of the ocean and he was looking through the view port, and of course they had very high-resolution cameras, and they had monitors inside this very small sphere. He was looking for the geologist that he had brought down with him, and the geologist is looking at the camera image.
And Ballard says, he tells this story publicly, he says, no, no, through the view port. And he looks and he says, no, the image is better here. And the light came on for Bob, and this is why the JASON project, and he said, wait a second. If we can do this remotely, then we can transmit. It is a little bit like what we were trying to do at FORCEnet and the common picture, get the sensors out there, but then integrate them and fuse them. He said, I do not have to fly that geologist to Kuala Lumpur and then put him on a boat and have him go out. He said, I can transmit the image real-time. And that scientist at Woods Hole, University of Connecticut or California or wherever, can then direct via space the deepest ocean, the actions of that remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or submersible.
So I think your concerns are valid. I think NR 1 will be around for a while. I know it is a long answer. It is not a military answer, but it is a very important to know.
Mr. SIMMONS. I think it is an excellent answer because essentially what you are saying is, transformation technologies in the Virginia Class provide us with a platform to use UUVs or other sensors to accomplish the task better than what we did with our eyeballs underwater years ago. So I think that does answer my question.
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Now, ASDS, I do not want to embarrass anybody. I think the contractor is a great contractor, but I think this program has problems. I wonder if any consideration has been given to transferring the program to another vendor who has more substantial experience in underwater systems.
Secretary YOUNG. Sir, there is no question there have been growing pains and a steep learning curve, but the program was competitively won by the contractor that is performing the ASDS work. At this point in time, they delivered, as you know, a system. As with many systems, we are finding things we need to adjust. The battery life issue is a challenge for anyone here. This is a small vehicle and you want substantial life out of it, and it is pushing the limits of technology. In fact, to address that new technology, new battery technologies are being brought to bear as the likely upgrade to that.
So it is less about the manufacturer than where we asked that vehicle to go with technology and other places. I think industry would not deny that the learning curve was steep and the pains were serious. But recently, we made a decision that we will build the follow-on vehicles with that company at this point in time. As you can appreciate, as with Virginia and others, it is very difficult once you have gone through those growing pains and that learning curve, and the company owns the designs and the manufacturing process, to decide to just disrupt it.
I am certainly open to them having discussions with other companies that could help them do this better, because I think we are moving forward with the program and Congress has brought serious pressure to bear. Congress has asked for an independent cost estimate, and the cost of that vehicle needs to come down. I would welcome industry working with other industry partners to see if there are options there.
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Mr. SIMMONS. Let me just conclude, Mr. Chairman, if I could, with a brief comment. It all goes to teaming. You know, my view is that in the submarine manufacturing business, teaming has eliminated unproductive competition. The teaming arrangements between Newport News and Electric Boat have worked marvelously well, and yet when I first was introduced to both of those companies in the early 1980s, the competition was tearing them both apart, tearing the workforces apart, resulting in underbidding on contracts and shoddy work.
As a staff person for Senator Chafee, who was the former Secretary of the Navy, we went through that mess. The current system that we use for submarine design and production, which is a teaming effort, is not unlike what we do with aircraft carriers, where we have not had competition for 40 years, 45 years, and yet we produce the best aircraft carriers in the world.
So it seems to me that this is another program, a smaller program, albeit, where teaming would have saved us a lot of time and energy and maybe their learning curve would not have been as steep because part of the team would have been in this business for 100 years. Admiral Rickover in testimony a number of years ago made the statement that the key to submarine warfare is the submarine designers. Building is critically important, but design is even more important. We know where the premier designers are.
So it may well be, Mr. Chairman, that at some point that this subcommittee might recommend a teaming arrangement to try to get its arms around this program, which albeit is a small program, but nonetheless you can always underbid on a program and then have cost overruns. So I would say it is an example where competition has not really served us that well.
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Secretary YOUNG. If I could, Congressman, it was an initial competition some time ago, and I think I would agree with many of your lessons and comments. At some point down the road, your option has been to get to close and you become a partner, appropriately so, with an industry provider. The model that is like what you said, I think we are trying hard to implement in DD(X). We have a national team leveraging the designers of destroyers in the country to work together.
At some appropriate future point, we will, I think like DDGs, have some form of competition between the yards to get the best cost. But that point is, as we have recently announced, not near-term and appropriate because we cannot afford the detrimental effects vis-a-vis the positive benefits of having the best designers working cooperatively to make the best design that is producible, and both yards getting in the business of producing, and then we can work forward from there.
So I would agree with you, and we are applying those strategies when we have them looking forward. Looking backwards is a challenge, but we are open to that discussion.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you very much, and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
In fairness, isn't what is now being built very different than what was proposed and bid on, which was in effect a torpedo with hand-holds, and now they are encapsulated inside? Isn't this very, very different? This migration was not primarily the fault of the contractor, is that not true?
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Secretary YOUNG. I would like to get some details for the record, but a substantial amount of that is exactly as you have said. That is another challenge we have in programs is making sure once we have a competition and award a contract, that we have stability in the requirements. The requirements in this system have moved substantially.
Mr. BARTLETT. General Hanlon, I note that you are outnumbered at the witness table by your Navy colleagues. I thought you might get some comfort from a statement that one of my constituents made at a recent town hall meeting. They noted that the responsibility of the Navy was to get the Marines to the theater. [Laughter.]
General HANLON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. That was the responsibility of the Navy, from their perspective, to get the Marines to the theater and to bring them home.
General HANLON. And they are doing a good job of it.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Just a couple of last questions. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Colombia meeting with the country team, and the subject of intelligence came up. I asked them what sort of benefit were they getting from the P3s flying out of Manta? And Mr. Natter will be my witness on this, so as not to, well, I am trying to be polite about this, but they trash-talked it, quite frankly. They said that we could shut down Manta and the P3s and it would not make any difference at all. I was taken a bit back by it.
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My question for the panel is, is that a capability problem? Is it because the planes are getting old? Is it because the electronics are old? Is there a plan for something to replace the P3s, or has that mission gone away? Is it something we just do not need anymore?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I will try to take it on. I will have to get back to you for the record for why they made that particular tactical comment about intelligence, but the reason why the P3 is down there are for operational levels of intelligence, which then are fused in. You deliver a tactical level. So it could be the way the fusing of the intelligence is done. I think we have to go investigate that a little bit to find out why it looks that way.
[The information referred to can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Our P3 force was a maritime patrol and reconnaissance force. That was the context of the force. In many cases it was kind of equally weighted between anti-submarine warfare and surface surveillance, as it were. We have watched our P3 force because they have a great capability in terms of sensors, in a sense being pulled off a little bit in terms of their focus, from the maritime surveillance and anti-submarine part, to more near-land capability.
In fact, we had P3s over Afghanistan and over certain parts of Iraq. This is interesting to me as an individual who has spent a great amount of his time in air warfare, that we would put a very large, poorly maneuvering, relatively poor, not compared to an airliner, but certainly compared to a fighter, with not a whole lot of electronic protect, over certain battle spaces. We would not have done that a long time ago, but that is because our commanders knew an awful lot about the battle space they were flying in.
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That is clearly not the role, or why we bought that particular airplane and purchased it. We have re-centered our requirements around anti-submarine warfare and maritime surveillance. We made that decision when we moved on to multi-mission maritime aircraft, which is really around the primacy of ASW, which is a clear war-fighting gap for our Navy. It does have second-order maritime surface surveillance capability which comes with those sensors, but we moved that capability to our broader maritime surveillance unmanned air vehicle that will provide the maritime surveillance picture.
So we have been caught in this demand signal by the Combatant Commands (COCOMs) for more and more surveillance and the P3 provides that capability, but in a way that is not what the airplane was tailored for. Now it is doing overland surveillance, when it really was tailored for maritime surveillance. That is a decision that I think the joint force is coming to grips with about what does your distributed sensor strategy want? Well, that is why you are seeing lots of focus on unmanned vehicles, lots of focus by the Army, Marine Corps and the Navy on vertical as well as unmanned air reconnaissance vehicles, that you are seeing in terms of Predator or Predator B, Global Hawk and Eagle Eye and Fire Scout.
So that is to go after this overland surveillance capability. Since those do not exist in broad numbers, we frankly have a pertobation of the mission of our P3 force. So what that has led to is a very high demand, high usage rate, that has now put us in kind of this constraint if we have to limit the way we fly these airplanes to ensure that that force can transition to its follow-on capability. But we have re-centered the mission of our force.
We are trying to bring back the current force to a more maritime focus, but recognizing that the joint force has compelling needs that we resource. We have been resourcing COCOMs for land surveillance for some time now. I think the joint force will come to grip with this as we buy these unmanned vehicles and we bring back our primacy issues back onto our multi-mission maritime aircraft.
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General HANLON. Mr. Taylor, if I might just make one comment. I do not have a clue why that comment would have been made down in Colombia.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, I want to make this clear. I was somewhat offended on behalf of the Navy. These guys were not polite.
General HANLON. Here is a thought for you. Admiral Nathman is right. They were used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan because the Marine commanders asked for them, because they knew what the platforms would do and John is right, they are a rather vulnerable aircraft, yet we put them as far forward as we could because in that fight, our commanders wanted that platform. It might very well be that because of the terrain that we had in Afghanistan and in Iraq, it really optimized that particular platform. Whereas in a place like Colombia, it might make it a lot more difficult. I am pulling it out of my hip pocket, sir, but I know the commanders with 1 MEF certainly liked it.
Mr. TAYLOR. I guess, Admiral and General, my question is, the P3 is an old platform. We do have a lot of other alternatives that were not available when that platform first came on line. Is it going to be phased out and nothing takes its place, because we now have these satellites, we have the remote-sensing vehicles? Or is there something coming on line similar to, but more modern than the P3?
Admiral NATHMAN. In the near term for us, as an example, some of the overland surveillance, the streaming video needs will be our view of this, of our B2 AV, our Fire Scout, to go after that is the littoral mine surveillance. We also have littoral surveillance capability in the follow-on multi-mission aircraft (MMA). So those core missions are going to be replaced. There is a transition strategy with those core missions.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Okay. Next question.
Secretary YOUNG. Congressman, could I add to that?
Mr. TAYLOR. Sir?
Secretary YOUNG. Any of us could answer this, but the answer to your question is, because of what people have seen in the P3, Admiral Nathman and Admiral Dawson went in and there is a discrete set of modifications and support investments that are being made for the P3 fleet to keep it alive out to just beyond the 2010 time frame. We have in hand right now the proposals for the multi-mission aircraft that Admiral Nathman mentioned, called MMA.
We will be making a source selection in a couple of months, hopefully in the May time frame, and proceeding. There are two candidates. That is the replacement for MMA. It gets a more modernized air frame, more supportable air frame out there doing the mission. It will work in conjunction with the broad area maritime surveillance system, which is likely to be a large, long-endurance air vehicle. So we have a modernization strategy to address that, on I think all of the issues you are raising, and those are in the progress of competition right now.
Mr. TAYLOR. On a trip to the hospital at Land Stuhl in Germany in December, I met a young lieutenant who had a piece of steel by her bedside, and it was roughly about the size of a human eye, that had been part of an improvised explosive device that thank goodness had been exploded a bit prematurely. It had gone through the engine compartment of her HMMWV, lodged in her calf. They were able to save her leg.
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The point is, for a nation that is spending over $10 billion a year on anti-missile defense, it just struck me as an incredibly primitive way of looking for IEDs is to send someone out in a HMMWV, and literally their job was to drive down the road, and Congressman Bartlett was with on this trip, and look for IEDs, in an unarmored HMMWV. She says we saw it and it went off.
I would contrast this with the National Center for Remote Sensing that happens to be in my congressional district. I have learned a few things from them. One is that they can spot gravel deposits from space because of the heat generated by the gravel. They can actually tell us which trees in a forest have pine beetles, and then using GPS tell the foresters which one acre out of a half-million acre forest to go level.
I have to believe that using remote sensing and thermal imaging must be a better way to identify IEDs. If we are going to spend $10 billion on something that is going to be a threat down the road, again I have been following this and I noticed again with some dismay that today's casualty was another victim of an IED. Every kid from Mississippi that has been killed over there has been a victim of an IED. Most of the kids who have been wounded over there from Mississippi have been victims of IEDs.
I would ask you gentleman, in addition to what you are looking at, to look into that. And last, I would ask you to weigh in on the decision to bring on line the cell phone system in Iraq. I am told that Lieutenant General Brown of the Special Operations Command has expressed his concerns that when this goes on line, you will potentially put another nine million detonators in the hands of the Iraqi people.
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I know we are trying to get some normalcy over there and I know that we are trying to teach them capitalism over there, but maybe capitalism ought to take a back seat to the safety of young Americans that are stationed over there. Maybe they can wait a little while on the cell phones. I would ask you gentleman to at least think this thing through.
I am told that, yes, there are other ways to set off an improvised explosive, but what you get with a cell phone is a greater range. It gets you a little bit further away from that convoy, and then for a good more deniability as for who actually detonates it. I would like to hear your thoughts on that.
Last, since you have been so generous with your time, I am impressed with the military's willingness to try to make the most of the dollars that citizens give them. I understand that lowering crew size is a part of that and I understand that smaller platforms are a part of that. But I will tell you what I do not hear much of. My buddy here has raised some great concerns about our vulnerability to electromagnetic pulses.
I am concerned about our vulnerability. We are an incredibly fuel-dependent force. I do not hear the talk of fuel efficiency much, as something, and a potential foe has got to realize how dependent we are on fuel and that therefore that becomes a vulnerability. What are we doing to minimize our fuel dependency and therefore minimize that vulnerability? I just do not hear much of it, and I don't think you would be the guys who would be looking into that.
Secretary YOUNG. Can I respond?
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Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, sir.
Secretary YOUNG. I am not sure I am the right person on the cell phone issue, but on what I refer to as change detection or the ability to sense a disturbance of the ground and where potential IEDs or other things are, that is high on our list. General Hanlon and I have been trading emails the last few days. When we visited Camp Pendleton with Secretary England, General Conway expressed an interest in that capability. My experience thus far is that satellite-type systems may have a tough time.
Mr. TAYLOR. But if you can do that from a satellite, what could you do from an unmanned helicopter? What could you do from a helicopter, et cetera?
Secretary YOUNG. An answer is we can, and we are looking to grab both infrared and hyperspectral systems and run them through this operation response process, make sure they are mature enough and the algorithms have been set up to detect in Iraq. We have some that have been set up to detect from submarines, some of them have been set up to detect mines in water, and some that have done some overland work. We are making sure we have that right and we are looking to push that capability into the theater as fast as we can. There is an interest in it in the Marine Corps. I know the Army, I cannot speak to the details, it was using that to some degree. So I would agree wholeheartedly. We are on that path.
Changing subjects dramatically to your fuel issue, I would just comment that in the DD(X) design, the industry team has looked very carefully at setting up that power plant with the combination of the diesels and turbines, such that that ship has the potential to be very fuel efficient and only use turbines when speed is of the essence. At some point maybe we could bring you some details about that. I think you would find we are considering that in many cases. You have to walk that careful line of not compromising speed, which can be, as Admiral Nathman has talked about, effectiveness in combat.
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But we are looking very hard at Operations and Support (ONS) costs and how we design our propulsion plants, both in LCS, DD(X) and other ships, to be conscious of those fuel dependencies you are talking about.
Mr. TAYLOR. Secretary Young, there was something I saw on a ship we bought from the former Soviet Union. It was a roll on/roll off. We added a mid-body section to it. The name of the ship is the Wheat. When I visited the engine room, I have to tell you it looked like something straight out of the 1950s, with one exception. They had done something I thought was pretty interesting in taking the exhaust gases of the turbine and using them to generate steam to boost the horsepower by, I want to say, 5,000 horsepower.
At the time, it was not on line because the Coast Guard had some safety concerns about the system itself. I do not see a lot of that on our part. Again, I do consider, if I was trying to sit out there and say, how do I hurt Americans, certainly one of the ways I would try to hurt Americans is to go after their fuel sources, since we are so fuel dependent. I do not see a lot of the effort on our part, and I did read your testimony. I don't think the words ''fuel efficiency'' were in there.
Yes, sir, Admiral Cohen?
Admiral COHEN. Congressman, your points are very well taken. Fuel efficiency is a national issue.
Mr. TAYLOR. Unfortunately, Admiral Cohen, our nation does not seem real focused on it. It is not just the military. The entire society is not focused.
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Admiral COHEN. But we are focused on it in the Navy. Admiral Nathman, when he is flying that F18, is thinking a lot about fuel efficiency. He is thinking about his cycle. He wants to know he can get back on board that carrier deck before he has to tank, and when Admiral Dawson has command of the USS Princeton and he is out there all alone on operations, he is very much worried about his tether to the tanker, and so on and so forth.
So we have done an awful lot over the years. As you know, we have put a step on the stern now of the DDG51s, which not only gives us significant fuel economies, but give us an extra knot in speed because of the hydrodynamic advantage. Several of us at this table are old steam engineers, as well as gas turbine engineers, and we know about regeneration and use of recycling and so on and so forth, and what the Russians did. We have done that. You always have to balance the capital investment, the simplicity of the plant, and the maintainability. Those exhaust gases are corrosive and all of a sudden you can end up with a major steam leak.
We use waste steam on our carriers today from our nuclear reactors to provide steam heat throughout, and service the carrier. But as we go to CVN21, we have determined that you look at the capital cost, you look at the maintenance, you look at the total of the ship cost over the life of the ship, we are going to take CVN21 and make it all electric. The beauty of all-electrics is that, and we are going to that, that is DD(X) and there will be CVN21, and I believe follow-on flights of LCS.
When you can operate the prime mover, whether it is a gas turbine or a diesel or whatever it might be, at constant optimum speed, just like GM does with overdrive on their cars, they get 35 miles per gallon at 65 miles an hour, but not in the city. If you can operate at constant speed, with electric generation and electric drive, decoupling what the mechanical connection does for you, we will enjoy a very significant improvement in our fuel efficiency. Not only that, emissions go down. So it is really a two-fer.
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So I think your point is very well taken. We are very actively involved in this, and in large measure fuel cells are a very important aspect because for our Marine brethren, one gallon of water, one gallon of fuel at the pointy end of the spear takes an enormous pyramid to get it there. If we have a HMMWV that operates with a fuel cell, it is its own generator. It gives those kids warmth at night. And you know what the waste product is? Water. Fuel cells are a religious experience. Put in diesel, get out power and water. Wow.
So we are going in these directions. We have made big investments, but it is a design engineering total on-ship cost, a balance.
General HANLON. Sir, we have at our war-fighting lab at Quantico the last couple of years been looking at the so-called hybrid vehicles that you see running up and down I95 now, the electric with the gas engine. Because as Admiral Cohen was alluding to, one of the biggest logistics issues we have to deal with on the battlefield is always going to be ammo and fuel and water, certainly, but particularly any kind of fluid products and petroleum being one of the significant ones. In fact, as I look through my lessons learned and see the amount of fuel that we had to push through 1 MEF as they went to Baghdad, it is just awesome when you think about it. So anything that we can do to reduce the fuel consumption on the battlefield is very important.
So I have asked the lab not only to look at how we could use the hybrid vehicle, but fuel cells as well, but to actually look at the contractors that are building our current truck. They are looking at how they may come out with a prototype of a diesel electric kind of engine that will help us reduce that consumption on the battlefield.
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I have to tell you one other thing, Congressman, that is also an issue besides fuel. It is power in general, you know, batteries. We go through an incredible amount of batteries on the battlefield. Unfortunately right now, we use too many different kinds of batteries on the battlefield. So we are coming up with a way, how can you come up with a single family of batteries, how can you re-charge those batteries from vehicles that you actually have in the field with you, so when your battery goes low, you just plug it in like you do at home with your cell phone; plug it in and recharge the battery.
These are things we have to do because logistically, sir, it just makes you so much more efficient. But these are great questions, sir, and I will tell you that the labs are looking at all of those.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, sir. Thank you all for sticking around so long.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Relative to Mr. Taylor's question about fuel dependency, we do have vessels, of course, that you only have to fuel once every 33 years now, is that the frequency of refueling them? My question is, why aren't more of our vessels nuclear? I am not sure when you look at the total life cycle cost, that nuclear is that much more expensive than diesel. I am not sure we have taken an adequate look at that.
As Mr. Taylor mentioned, it isn't just a matter of cost and efficiency. Extended supply lines and our vulnerability because we use a fourth of all of the oil in the world, and we have only one-fiftieth, only two percent of the oil in the world. It makes us, as a country and as a military, very vulnerable.
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Gentlemen, in another life, I was a basic researcher and then got involved in R&D. I ended up being awarded 19 military patents. I had a non-military patent before that. I have a growing concern that we are systematically starving basic research and R&D. I know that you have a responsibility to defend the Administration's budget, but the Administration's budgets now for a number of years have really shortchanged basic research and R&D because we did not give you enough money and you needed to modernize and fix leaky roofs and do quality of life things for our military.
What we have been doing is exactly the equivalent of the farmer eating his seed corn. Now, there are not very many farmers dumb enough to eat their seed corn, but that is pretty much what we have been doing for the last number of years. How do we change this? We have got to change it. We are fine now, but what we are doing is assuring that we will not be at the cutting edge for tomorrow's weapons systems because we are not making the adequate investments today in basic research and R&D. You can compare us with any of the industrialized nations of the world, and we fall pretty short, both in the private sector and in our military, from making adequate investments in basic research and R&D.
What are we going to do?
Admiral COHEN. Mr. Chairman, I will take that on. As you know, there is only one Office of Naval Research. The Congress had that vision in 1946. There are not similar organizations in either the Army or the Air Force, and we thank you so much for that vision and that investment. Five years after that, based on the ONR model, Congress established the National Science Foundation. In fact, the first Director of the National Science Foundation came from the Office of Naval Research. The processes between the two and the relationship that we have enjoyed over these many years remains very much the same.
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The Navy has a long history of investing and investing wisely in basic research, discovery and invention, the areas which were helpful to your being able to get those important patents. We have maintained that investment at about $400 million a year. That is about double what either the Army or the Air Force invests of their monies, not the OSD monies that they have sent down to the services to execute for them. We have gotten some of those OSD monies also.
Navy leadership, and you have expressed this very well, has many demands. Recapitalization, we have been fighting several hot wars in the ongoing global war on terrorism. When you look at the product or the plan after 911, it was naval technologies, both Navy and Marine Corps, that were funded at about the 30 percent level by this Administration, even though there were nearly a dozen services and defense agencies that competed to provide some of our bombs and various other technology enhancements to our troops.
So we are doing something right. This year with the fiscal year 2005 budget, as you are aware, the decrease in the investment on the top line of Navy S&T has been arrested. We are now steady and that is shown over by the Future Years Defense Plan. I think in part that is because of the leadership of our Secretary of the Navy, our Commandant and our CNO who have appreciated the output of the S&T as it feeds the R&D.
I can tell you that Secretary Young spends, in my opinion, an inordinate amount of time in this area ensuring that the output side of the S&T greatly enhances a much larger R&D budget. But we are committed, have been and remain committed. It is an ethos just like with the Corps, just like each of the unions within the Navy, we all have our ethos. The ethos of the Office of Naval Research and the Navy in general is a widespread and wise investment in basic research, in academia, in industry, and throughout the country.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. I have known a name from ONR for about half a century, and I don't know if his name is still known there, but Orv Reynolds?
Admiral COHEN. Sure.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you know the name? I worked with Orv at the National Institutes of Health and at ONR about exactly a half a century ago.
I noted in our classified briefing this morning that ships and submarines were equally susceptible to a few of the threats. The submarines were immune to a great many of the threats. Recognizing that that is true, why aren't we moving more to an underwater Navy than to an above-water Navy? A lot of the threats just go away when they cannot see you. I know that it costs more to go underwater than above, but you need to trade that off against vulnerability, and clearly we are far less vulnerable underwater than we are above. Why aren't we moving more of our assets underwater?
Admiral COHEN. I am sure the war fighters will have thoughts on this, but I would just say technologically if they cannot see you, you cannot see them.
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I will give you a pragmatic example. It is just balance. What is the war-fighting balance that you want? We just finished two significant campaigns of supporting Marines, Rangers and Army Special Forces in Afghanistan at ranges of about 900 miles. One of their demand signals was a persistent distributed tactical force over their head. That is a demand signal. The Navy's answer to that was to put its tactical air force over those troops and their demands.
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Mr. BARTLETT. That is the one part of the Navy you cannot go underwater with.
Admiral NATHMAN. That was my point. There is a balance issue here.
Mr. BARTLETT. We need to accept that.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. There is a demand signal in Iraq, not only about distributed tactical force. You know, who cares what it was. You want to distribute force because you want the effect now. So, the Navy did it again with Tomahawks and with Navy and Marine Corps aviation over the top of that battle space. That is not to sell aviation, and it is not because they have wings on, but that is an example of the demand signal you are satisfying.
One of the biggest demand signals in Iraq was logistics. Part of the logistical issues that you have is, can you provide the space to close, outfit and move out, the closure to the assault phase to the sustainment phase. That is a clear trend that we have in terms of the persistence of our force. That demand signal is not likely to be solved by the submarine force.
So we believe that one of the things that we see in our campaign analysis is, what are the key gaps and what are areas that submarines are particularly effective in. We think they are particularly effective in the denied access role where their stealthiness and their ability to potentially strongly develop the intelligence preparation of the maritime battles phase before we get there is a key lane for a submarine force. You are seeing us, I believe, both in our intellectual capital and our investment capital, make key decisions to go about and leverage our submarine force in that area. It is going to be complemented with Littoral Combat Ship, definitely.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCThe other side is you have key joint force enabling trends from speed positions sustainment that require a balance in our particular force. That is why you see, I think we are established very clearly, how we see that balance in our budget. You also see it in our intellectual capital about how we want to move down there. So I think we have established the right balance. I also think we, inside that balance, sir, we make clear some affordability decisions about where we want to go. So I believe our investment in the submarine force is about right.
Mr. BARTLETT. I would not argue that we have the right balance for our current potential enemies, but, sir, we have not fought a peer since World War II. One day, we will, and I think that we need to be shaping our Navy in anticipation of a fight with a peer, and then it becomes a very different world.
Mr. Saxton had a question.
Mr. SAXTON. While we are on this topic, could you characterize for us the degree of threat posed by diesel submarines to our national security? Do many nations have diesel submarines? And how do we train against them?
Admiral NATHMAN. I would like to do some broad shaping of that, sir, and then maybe one of my colleagues may add on.
In our war-fighting analysis, the antisubmarine capability is a clear identified gap in terms of what the U.S. Navy sees as ability to close to its battle space and sustain maritime supremacy. So there is asymmetry of a nation building a submarine force, and you see it in certain countries today. They have that capability.
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Oh, by the way, to maintain a well trained, well equipped submarine force is quite expensive for any country that chooses to do it, but that is an example of an asymmetric investment and we watch that very carefully. In our intelligence assessment, I think you saw some of that today.
So one of the areas that we organize, that our CNO made us organize around, was our ASW gap. We did it through a brute force task force called Task Force ASW. It came to some conclusions, in some cases validated known areas, but also enlightened us that we could do better. One was that we have a cueing issue about how do you find the submarine force that is out there, and therefore how do you kill it.
So it has really made us focus on cueing. It has made us focus on what is the ability to rapidly kill that submarine force when you see it. Now, to Congressman Bartlett's point, a lot of this will be dependent upon our submarine force being forward to do that, but there are other killers out there, helicopters, Littoral Combat Ships, MMA, that also have the opportunity to rapidly close what I call the OODA loop, the observe, orient, decide and act cycle, that you have to have because we want to treat killing submarines as a prime critical problem. We want to do it rapidly because we do not want to deal with that problem over and over again over a sustained period of time.
It is also pointed to gaps in the self-defense of individual units out there that may be in the same battle space or water mass with threat submarines. We have a self-defense gap there, but we think we are answering that in our anti-torpedo torpedo and ship's self defense systems, things like detection systems which start cueing the individual platform, which is a very important platform to us, either from the people that are on it or the capability of that platform brings, whether it is an aircraft carrier or an amphibious ship or a new destroyer. We need to be very clear and focused on that kind of investment.
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So I think we see a very robust response. A lot of that response has been in the intellectual work about how we see it, because otherwise you would be hearing the same old answer out of us. The CNO wants to move a lot faster, and part of that is, let's go back and challenge those assumptions. We look at the rigor, look at the CONOPs.
So inside of that work, now, we have a very rigorous, I believe, approach with the fleet and the current CONOPs, the ability to move to the future CONOPs, which is about closing this kill cycle. How can we do that more rapidly? How do we train to it to make sure the current forces are really good at fleet and theater ASW?
Now, the atrophy of that is somewhat maybe expected. We had that problem in the 1970s and 1980s with the Soviets. That part went away, and our problem became force protection and power project in Iraq, in many different countries, and we tend to focus there. So we recognize that we have atrophied there. We have stood up and established the fleet ASW command in San Diego. And that replicates what we did with the Strike University that we stood up in Fallon in 1984 after our debacle in Lebanon.
The aviation side recognized that we had not done well in terms of our ability to carry out strike projection. This was after the fact that we stood up a center of excellence around tactical and operational excellence for strike warfare, now called the Naval Strike Warfare Center. We recognized we do not want to replicate this in ASW. Part of that response was to establish a fleet ASW center of excellence that would go challenge our group commanders, our theater commanders, our fleet commanders and then get right down to the tactical training level of different operations. So I think you have seen a very strong institutional response by the United States Navy in that area.
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I would add one last comment. We feel that one of the things that is important to us is to align our science and technology around this clear gap. So we have two efforts there. The first one is in our future Navy capabilities. We have targeted future Navy capabilities, enabling capabilities around ASW. What are those enabling capabilities? A lot of it is to the sensors. Do you want to go acoustic, multi-statics? How do you connect the undersea battle space so that you can see it, the commander at the operational level?
And then finally, going back to Admiral Cohen's line, he is the guy that operates to the nation in terms of scientific opportunity that we don't even know is out there, and connect our needs in sort of a broadcast mode to that community, to come back and say, what can we do more quickly. We have been on this cycle now very aggressively for a couple of years. I think we are seeing clear results in that area.
Admiral DAWSON. Sir, if I could just add one thing as an example. You asked about training against diesel submarines. Before I came to this current assignment, I was down at Second Fleet in Norfolk as the Second Fleet Commander. That was a question that was on our minds down there. In fact, over the last several years, we have made arrangements with South American countries to bring their submarines up to the Virginia capes operating areas, their diesel submarines, to train so that our people could train against them. We have also had discussion with the Canadians about bringing their submarines down.
Further, as we look to the future, on to the fleet response plan, we will do more and more training actually forward, and we are making arrangements in the UK to do significant training there against diesel submarines.
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Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
You have been very patient, panel. Thank you very much. I would like to ask you one verbal question for the record. Because this is an oversight hearing, we have a number of questions we really need to get answers to. With your promise that you will get those answers to us expeditiously, we will give you those questions in writing for the record. Is that okay? All right.
The verbal question I have is, there are some obvious advantages to being surface. There are some really obvious advantages to being submerged. But there is kind of a compromise with the semi-submersible, where you have most of the advantages of being submerged and most of the advantages of being surface.
My question for the record is, why aren't we doing more of that? Obviously, you avoid a lot of the surface effects for drag; you now have a much smaller silhouette, so you are going to be more stealthy. So why aren't we doing more of the semi-submersible where we put the biggest part of our vessel underwater, and only that part above water which needs to be there to capitalize on the benefits of being above water?
If you would answer that for the record, I would appreciate it. We will give you a series of questions that because we are an oversight subcommittee, we need answers to. We will give you that for the record.
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I want to thank you very much for your patience. Thank you for your testimony. Do you have any additional comments? Okay. Thank you all very much and we stand in adjournment.
[Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]