Of equal importance, two letters issued by the Chief of Naval Operations establishing basic performance parameters for the Centurion and the Navy Report on the New Attack Submarine have been delivered to Congress.
As these documents make clear, Centurion will be the first submarine designed with affordability considerations paramount. To save money, it will borrow heavily from the Seawolf program, particularly quieting techniques, while also adopting less costly Los Angeles- or Trident-class technology where appropriate. Ultimately, Centurion must be inexpensive enough to allow production of two ships per year to maintain fleet size and the industrial base in the next century.
My one concern, having reviewed Navy plans, is with the inordinate emphasis placed on power projection ashore. Missile launch rates established by the CNO for Centurion will require inclusion of a nonreloadable missile launch system, pushing the weight of the design into the vicinity of 7,000 tons displaced. We can ill-afford the cost of a nonreloadable missile launch system and its overall impact on the unit cost of Centurion.
Sea control is the forte of attack submarines. Will sinking enemy submarines or ships require large numbers of Tomahawks fired in a barrage? And why, as a submariner, spend precious dollars on the admission fee into the power projection ashore arena when the surface Navy, carrier and Marine air wings, and the Air Force already play there? Is influencing the land battle that important to the future of the submarine community?
With future submarine construction funds certain to be limited, and with it essential to keep the unit cost of Centurion as low as possible to allow procurement of at least two hulls per year, are there enough scenarios with enough targets to justify the costs of building into Centurion a nonreloadable missile launch system? I think not. Centurion should retain a modest Tomahawk capability, but no more than that dedicated to Harpoon or mines. A vertical launch system akin to that found in I688-class attack submarines is neither desirable nor appropriate.
But this is a quibble among friends. I applaud the Navy for bringing Congress into the design process early. Seawolf was a political orphan; Centurion must be different. The Navy has taken an important step in sharing with Congress the logic and tradeoffs behind its newest attack submarine. We, in turn, must play an active part in shaping Centurion. This time, Congress must be a responsible parent, because our industrial base cannot weather another disaster like the Seawolf.
Mr. President, I ask that the Navy Report on the New Attack Submarine be printed in the Record at the end of my remarks.
The report follows:
This report describes the ongoing Navy advanced submarine conceptual design process and summarizes preliminary trends based upon twelve pre-CENTURION concept studies, approximately forty CENTURION concept studies, and more than two hundred identified technologies with potential application to any future submarine design.
The conceptual design work conducted to date has been structured to accommodate wide flexibility given the uncertainty in future military requirements and budget. The Navy concept exploration process provides a wide range of design study options. Premature focusing on a concept with a narrowly defined size, level of technology and cost will be avoided.
This report is forwarded in classified and unclassified versions. This is the unclassified version.
Section 1--Description of the Senate Appropriations Committee Tasking
The SAC directed the Navy to submit to the Subcommittees on Defense of the Congressional Appropriations Committees a report on the full range of SSN design concepts in unclassified and classified form.
This is submitted in response to tasking from the 1992 Senate Department of Defense Appropriation Bill, Report 102-154, page 275:
`This report should describe and compare the various SSN design concepts in terms of: (1) size; (2) level of technology; (3) capabilities; (4) estimated RDT&E and shipbuilding costs; (5) technical risks; (6) year of lead boat full funding; (7) relationship to a range of realistic and likely Soviet and non-Soviet military threats of the late 1990's and beyond; and (8) potential impact on the nuclear-powered submarine industrial base.'
2.1 Pre-CENTURION Studies
During the period 1988 through early 1991 the Navy conducted a variety of generic submarine advanced concept studies. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) spearheaded an effort to assess innovative technologies in a variety of disciplines which had the potential for cost effectively satisfying future submarine operational requirements.
The goal was to conduct a flexible, exploratory evaluation of the impact of integrating a wide spectrum of advanced technological enhancements aboard generic submarines. By not assuming any specific military capabilities or submarine mission scenarios, this team was obligated to maintain a broad scope of candidate platform options. As a result, the integration of many advanced technologies was successfully assessed in a variety of single hull and double hull concepts.
Affordability, ship impact, and technical risk conclusions drawn from these assessments were not dependent on platform size or military capability and therefore provided the fundamental engineering data necessary to steer the projected military capability characteristics of any future submarine.
As a result of these studies, Navy was able to capitalize on the efforts of a dedicated team of Navy and shipbuilder engineers from the SEAWOLF program and provide early focus for the current CENTURION studies.
2.2 Initiation of CENTURION Studies
Recognizing the need for a less costly attack submarine alternative to SEAWOLF which incorporates its advanced technologies, Secretary of the Navy directed the initiation of the CENTURION Study in February 1991. Considerations driving this effort were:
The trend in defense spending mandated developing less costly options to SEAWOLF,
A need to accommodate the beginning of SSN 688 Class retirement,
Research and development for SEAWOLF had effectively climaxed and thereby provided an excellent point of departure for the study and,
Experienced and dedicated submarine design teams were in place within the Navy and in industry.
Although it is the best submarine in the world today, SSN-I688 class submarines are not a suitable alternative to the CENTURION project. SSN-I688 has a significant performance shortfall in quieting being only at acoustic parity with recent Soviet designs. Today only training, tactics, and sonar sensor capability permit our superior performance against the most modern adversary. Today's stealth technology can not be cost effectively backfit into the 25 year old SSN-I688 design.
In response to Secretary of the Navy direction to start concept exploration of a new SSN design, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) organized eight flag officer directed committees to formulate preliminary CENTURION military capability and mission scenario guidance for conceptual design use. Areas and parameters evaluated included: submarine roles and missions, weapons and launchers, speed and maneuverability, stealth, connectivity and special features, endurance, depth, and combat system and sensors. Each committee, as part of its recommendation to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) on desirable ranges of military capability parameters, focused on identifying key cost drivers and their relationship to military capability.
In response to the Secretary of the Navy's direction, NAVSEA began to focus its ongoing generic design effort on a next generation submarine. Working in close cooperation with the OPNAV committees, the Navy and shipbuilders developed a large number of attack submarine concepts spanning a wide range of military capabilities and sizes. These general attack submarine concepts provided a basis for assessing the sensitivity of ship size and cost to the military capability ranges recommended by the OPNAV CENTURION committees. In addition, they included a wise range of innovative and feasible technology enhancements and incorporated general conclusions and lessons learned from pre-CENTURION studies.
In October 1991, the Mission Need Statement (MNS) for Attack Submarine Capability was approved by CNO, emphasizing affordability while meeting the following military capability areas: covert strike (power projection ashore), ASW, covert surveillance/intelligence collection, ASUW, special warfare, mine warfare, and battle group support. After the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) validated the threat assessment, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validated the Mission Need Statement (MNS) and expressed the need to begin concept exploration for a less costly attack submarine alternative to the SSN 21.
JROC validated that the mission need was the multi-mission capability provided by a nuclear attack submarine. This is an important distinction. JROC stated the Joint Commander's need for the capability of a multi-mission stealth platform, a capability that has for the last 30 years been performed by the nuclear attack submarine. Although several non-submarine alternatives were presented, the JROC's clear conclusion was that `the mission need could best be filled by a nuclear attack submarine'.
The JROC further noted that design concepts executed for reasons of affordability may not necessarily have to go through a full `new program start.' Accordingly, the JROC encouraged attempts to streamline the process when fiscal reasons are driving the design. The CENTURION studies are clearly such a program vis-a-vis SEAWOLF.
2.3 Required Military Capability
In January 1992, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) promulgated a range of performance attributes to be used in the concept design of the new attack submarine. These set the outer bounds for the concept design effort and form the basis of alternatives to be studied in the cost of operational effectiveness analysis.
These attributes were the result of the operator's input in the original CENTURION study committees followed by a comprehensive mission effectiveness analysis to confirm the operator's evaluation of the utility of each attribute. The resulting performance ranges represent limits of effectiveness and military utility that leave sufficient latitude for the designers to optimize the ship.
After further review of these requirements following cancellation of SEAWOLF, Navy recognized and need to focus the design effort at the minimum requirements in some areas to ensure the new attack submarine will meet the requirement for an effective, affordable ship. In a February 1992 memo, the CNO directed focus in the following areas:
Retain SEAWOLF quieting. It is the cornerstone of all missions that submarines will perform in the future and will ensure the necessary tactical advantage.
Reduce maximum flank speed. Reduce to a speed to provide sufficient mobility and target closure and allow the submarine to operate with other naval units providing rapid response to regional crisis.
Maintain elementary combat systems requirements. Basic capabilities are all that are required. Use of various proven computer technologies in an open architecture design will be examined as a cost effective way to
Reduce weapons payload and weapons delivery rate. Use of non-reloadable launchers such as the vertical launch system and simplified internal weapons handling systems will be investigated to optimize payload and launch rate in an affordable manner.
Reduce maximum depth. Although deeper operating depths enhance performance, the design will concentrate on depths sufficient to meet the current projected threat.
Minimize crew size.
2.4 Ongoing Navy Efforts
Currently, Navy and shipbuilder efforts are directed toward engineering tradeoff studies concentrating on affordability that will lead to the Navy's choice of submarine designs. These studies also support the Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) planning for Milestone O. These efforts can be summarized as follows:
1. Ship impact and cost assessments of more than sixty shipbuilder developed design and construction ideas which have a strong potential to reduce shipbuilder costs are underway. These creative and innovative ideas originated from thorough shipbuilder reviews of their submarine system design and construction practices. These include such areas of study as:
a. Alternate foundation and isolation approaches.
b. Pressure hull and non-pressure hull design and fabrication for cost reduction.
Relaxation of construction tolerances.
Trade-off of HY steels for cost reduction.
c. Increased modularization to permit off-hull qualification testing.
2. Studies to further refine and characterize potential methods to reduce ship size and acquisition cost are in progress. The most promising of these ideas are:
a. Combat System cost and complexity reduction studies,
b. Propulsor cost reduction and simplification,
c. System simplification and cost reduction:
Life Support Systems,
Weapon Handling and Launch Systems.
3. Numerous specific system simplification, system characterization, technology integration and affordability studies are underway.
4. Efforts to develop more refined cost modeling relationships to assess the cost of specific military capability requirements are in progress.
5. Procedures are being developed to continually assess cost impacts during CENTURION development in order to incorporate affordability considerations in all aspects of the program decision-making process. Current efforts include reviews of shipbuilding and vendor procurement specifications for cost reduction and business strategy considerations for shipbuilders and suppliers.
2.5 Planned COEA Efforts
Following a Milestone O Defense Acquisition Board review of the Navy's Mission Need Statement and the current threat assessment a Cost and Operational Effectiveness Analysis (COEA) will be performed by an independent study team in compliance with DoD Directive 5000.1 and DoD Instruction 5000.2. The COEA will provide:
A comprehensive examination of costs and benefits for the submarine alternatives specified at Milestone O.
A list of key assumptions and study variables to support Milestone I decisions.
The analytical rationale for the concept selected at Milestone I.
Single mission and multi-mission cost effectiveness studies.
Life cycle cost estimating will also be performed in conjunction with initial logistics planning. The results will be incorporated in the COEA.
Section 3--Current Assessment
3.1 Platform Size/Capability
The most important result of preliminary CENTURION work has been to identify the major cost drivers in submarine design. Initial studies indicate the drivers are: Speed; Combat Weapons System performance (including sensors, combat control and firepower); Stealth (acoustic quieting). These are the key military capability drivers and are vital to analyzing the preliminary study results and in determining the focus of CENTURION efforts. These results are the output of definitive engineering studies.
Preliminary platform concept study results have clearly shown that a nuclear powered attack submarine's acquisition cost and size are driven primarily by its required military capability. Studies completed to date strongly suggest that the primary method of reducing the acquisition cost is to carefully match military capabilities to operational and mission needs.
Based on the preliminary results obtained to date, some important trends in the relationship between size and military capability have become apparent. These trends are summarized below, concentrating on the three military capabilities that most influence the size and acquisition cost of a submarine: speed, combat weapons system and stealth.
Study results are presented below in three major displacement ranges as follows: 1. 6000 tons or less, 2. 6000 to 8500 tons, 3. 8500 tons or greater.
3.1.1 6000 Tons or Less
Initial efforts show that ships smaller than 6000 tons displacement do not provide the required military capability and also do not provide significant acquisition cost savings. The major performance shortfalls in ships of this size with SEAWOLF quieting are in speed and firepower.
Two major concept studies, one by a private shipbuilder and one by Navy designers, in this size range have both shown similar significant reductions in firepower and unacceptably slow speeds. Because Navy considers quieting the primary consideration in any concept, quieting was held constant while the designs were allowed to evolve, resulting in unacceptable performance in other areas. Speeds achieved were significantly less than required. As for firepower, designs in this lower displacement range could not accommodate the Vertical Launch System which is required for submarines of this size to provide the required missile launch rate.
The shipbuilder was tasked to design a 5000 ton submarine with the same constraint on quieting at SEAWOLF performance to determine a lower bound of displacement. The result was a 5007 ton platform, but the proposed ship didn't meet basic modern submarine design criteria in the areas of shock, fire fighting, equipment redundancy, and bulkhead design to collapse depth.
Additionally, from a military utility perspective, this 5000 ton ship was unacceptable in that both maximum speed and missile launch rate were below the CNO's desired ranges.
The second study was conducted by Navy designers. The tasking was to design a minimum displacement ship with SEAWOLF quieting using modern design criteria. The result was a ship with a displacement of 5800 tons. This Navy effort at a minimum displacement ship added the tonnage required to meet modern design criteria (shock, fire fighting, redundancy, and bulkhead design) but it still lacked adequate speed and adequate missile launch rate. Speed and missile launch rate were similar to the 5007 ton ship and were likewise unacceptable.
In an attempt to quantify the impact of incorporating the modern design criteria into an existing small submarine package, including quieting and shock, a study was conducted to estimate displacement impacts on the SSN 637 Long Hull design. The resulting `modern' design resulted in a ship of 5768 tons displacement, almost identical to the Navy 5800 ton concept. This validated the conclusion that modern ships with SEAWOLF quieting less than 6000 tons can not be designed with adequate speed and firepower.
The primary explanation for these results is that modern acoustic quieting and shock hardening with existing technology require the use of volume to provide equipment isolation from their bedplate, adjacent components, and hull structures. For example, current technology extensively utilizes double sound isolation. This requires additional structure and mounts which add volume throughout the ship. Additionally, shock clearances in these mounting systems are larger to incorporate modern shock design criteria. Machinery quieting sometimes requires lower rpm which requires even larger size components for the same power.
Since stealth is the essence of a submarine's military value, most of the nuclear attack submarine concepts studied in this displacement range were constrained to the acoustics and non-acoustic silencing features that provide stealth capability equal to that of SEAWOLF.
The sonar detection sensor suites used in these concepts were typically comparable to SEAWOLF in overall military capability. These sensor suites were used to determine what capability could fit on the various displacement ships and do not preclude simplification in the final Navy concept.
The conclusion of the studies conducted to date is that no design with SEAWOLF quieting and less than 6000 tons displacement could meet the CNO's minimum speed and firepower requirements. As for firepower, designs in this lower displacement range could not accommodate the Vertical Launch System which is needed for submarines of this size to provide the required missile launch rate. As displacement was forced to the 5000 ton range, additional reductions were necessary in stealth features, ship speed, and combat system capabilities.
3.1.2 6000 tons to 8500 tons
Submarine concepts in the range of somewhat greater than 6000 tons to 8500 tons allow the incorporation of a diverse range of military capabilities. Given the emphasis on affordability and the Navy's need to meet projected minimum military capability requirements, the Navy will extensively investigate this displacement range.
Most nuclear attack submarine concepts in this range can accommodate stealth features equal to SEAWOLF and adequate sonar sensor suites.
The concepts at the lower end of this range have firepower roughly half of SEAWOLF. At the lower end, only four 21' torpedo tubes can be incorporated and Vertical Launch to improve the missile launch rate can not be included. Torpedo stows are limited to 22 small diameter (21') weapons as compared to SEAWOLF's 42 stows.
The middle of this displacement range offers augmented strike capability with vertical launch cruise missile systems, more torpedo stow capability, and increased versatility for producibility improvements.
The upper end of this range offers many possibilities including increased firepower with six to eight torpedo tubes, sixteen or more vertical launch tubes, special warfare features, Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) integration, and enhanced combat systems.
The greater than 6000 to 8500 ton displacement range is a natural fit with the optimum (most cost effective) propulsion plant size available with today's technology. For a given propulsion plant size, ship speed only marginally changes for increased displacement of a submarine hull. Speed is proportional to displacement raised to the 2/9 power for a given shaft horsepower. Use of the optimum propulsion plant size in the greater than 6000 to 8500 ton regime results in ship speeds that meet the operational requirements and leaves room for design tradeoffs in the rest of the ship's systems that allow meeting the ship's affordability goal.
For the other cost driver, the combat system, this displacement offers more than adequate range to accommodate effective alternatives that maintain performance while saving cost. In sonar and fire control, this size allows use of most of the same sensors and arrays as SEAWOLF while reducing capacity of trackers, launchers, and other redundancies to save cost. In some areas such as communications and electronic surveillance, this displacement range offers the capability to use new technology to improve performance that would be more difficult on the smaller displacement ships. This includes the use of towed buoys and incorporation of a new technology ESM suite.
3.1.3 8500 Tons or Greater
Submarine concepts greater than 8500 tons have received little detailed conceptual design attention to date because the assessment was that concepts in this size range would offer comparable military capabilities to SEAWOLF in all major areas and would cost nearly the same as SEAWOLF.
3.2 Quieting Impact on CENTURION Design
Quieting has been a major driver of ship size, weight, and cost over the past 25 years. CENTURION will be the first nuclear submarine to simply `hold the line' on quieting.
Starting with noise reduction in the SSN 593, each successive class has incorporated new improvements. As requirements have become more stringent, it has become harder to gain ground as quieting technology has sequentially eliminated the easier noise offenders.
The challenge in the CENTURION design is to maintain the advantage provided by SEAWOLF stealth technology by engineering into a smaller, less costly platform. A prime example is the
propulsor, which must be re-engineered to meet the unique horsepower, RPM, weight constraints, and operating range of the selected ship concept.
An initial assessment has been conducted to determine if Centurion could be made significantly less costly through relaxation of noise quieting requirements in machinery isolation. While some minor savings would accrue from simplification of existing structure designs, these gains would be limited due to other design considerations. To achieve significant cost savings, an entire level of sound isolation (SEAWOLF has two levels of isolation) would have to be removed. While more efficient double isolation designs are now possible with advanced structural analysis methods the equivalent of two levels of sound isolation are still required to meet performance goals.
The second potential savings is relaxation of noise specifications for machinery and piping system components. However, machinery vendors have already incorporated the stringent requirements of SEAWOLF stealth in their manufacturing equipment. Only an unacceptable reduction in the noise goal would result in real cost savings.
A third area for potential savings is the propulsor which controls the high speed noise signature on the ship. Even a minor reduction in quieting goals would at least double the counterdetection range against today's threat. Concept design studies are concentrating on cost savings on the propulsor, but it is essential we maintain the goal at SEAWOLF quieting in this area.
3.3 Maximum Speed impact on CENTURION Design
Maximum speed varies only slightly over the range of displacements being explored for Centurion with the optimum size propulsion plant. As previously discussed, the CNO has established a maximum speed for CENTURION based on the minimum acceptable for military utility. Because we are focusing on the minimum end of the range, speed will not be a significant factor in the CENTURION design.
Maximum quiet speed is generally thought of from two perspectives. The first is the maximum speed a submarine can travel with an acceptably low probability of counterdetection, typically 10 percent. The second is the maximum speed which can be achieved before the sensor suite is saturated with flow noise.
The sensor saturation speed is principally a function of the sonar arrays themselves. With the latest sensor suite technology, this speed limitation is relatively insensitive to ship design. Design efforts will utilize developments from the DARPA Hydroacoustics Center to engineer the hydroacoustic signature of the submarine to minimize flow-induced degradation of the sonar sensors.
3.4 Producibility Findings
Within any of the size ranges outlined above, preliminary findings show that manufacturing costs can be reduced by incorporating producibility features aimed at reducing construction manhours.
Preliminary findings indicate the Navy can realize cost savings in total construction costs. These will be in addition to cost savings from requirements reduction, system simplification, and propulsion plant cost reduction that will make CENTURION more affordable than SEAWOLF. Within any of the size ranges discussed above, incorporation of all the producibility features may require a modest increase in submerged displacement, which is expected to have an insignificant effect on ship military capability.
Some of the producibility concepts also have the potential for reducing Operating and Support (O&S) costs. Collectively these producibility concepts are expected to produce a new submarine that would be available for more operating time during its life cycle and would be less costly to operate and support than current attack submarines.
3.5 Technology Assessment
3.5.1 Technology Assessment Objectives
The general thrust will be to develop an affordable attack submarine using technologies with acceptable risk levels including existing systems or components from SSN-I688, TRIDENT, and SEAWOLF. This approach to technology innovation will carefully balance military capability, development and acquisition cost, impact on ship weight and volume, and technical risk.
To date over two hundred technologies have been identified for consideration. These technologies are being reviewed by teams of experts comprised by Navy design team members, DARPA R&D managers, Warfare Center personnel, shipbuilder engineers, and vendor engineers. Tradeoff analyses are being performed to provide the engineering and cost data required to assess the technology options.
3.5.2 Technology Categories of Maturity
Technologies examined for the various ship concept studies fall into four categories of maturity. An additional consideration in each category is the availability of the industrial base to support continued procurement. Varying degrees of re-engineering of the systems may be required to adapt them to the new submarine's requirements.
SSN 688/TRIDENT Technology--These technologies are being examined where their performance could offer a reduction in cost over comparable SEAWOLF technology costs. Examples of these technologies include selected AN/BSY-1 combat system components, HY 80 pressure hull steel and Type 18 periscopes. Few, if any, SSN, or TRIDENT components which are sources of radiated noise can meet acoustic signature requirements.
SEAWOLF Technology--These technologies represent a logical performance baseline to use in various concepts because they will have been demonstrated upon delivery of SEAWOLF. Examples are main propulsion unit technology repackaged to the correct shaft horsepower, pumps, weapons launchers, and hull coatings which achieve acoustic signature and survivability performance significantly greater than any prior submarine class. Combat system components such as advanced towed arrays and wide aperture hull sonars provide offensive and defensive warfighting capabilities not previously available in prior classes. Some re-engineering of specific components may be required to adapt them to the new submarine requirements.
Post-SEAWOLF/Near Term Technology--This group represents those low risk technologies from various sources that have been successfully demonstrated at or near full scale within the last few years or will do so in time to meet the ship's design schedule. Development of these technologies is the result of on going submarine related RDT&E by Navy, DARPA, and industry IR&D. Examples that could be considered for CENTURION include mechanical life support improvements, weight reductions through use of composite materials, use of fiber optics, and incorporation of DARPA innovative hydrodynamic features.
Developmental Technology--This group consists of the high risk technologies that would require significant concurrent development with the ship design. These technologies have not been tested in a full scale demonstration and the engineering feasibility of many of these has not been established. To meet any ship delivery schedule, significant development cost would be required. These technologies offer potential for payoffs in performance or affordability, but carry with them a significant risk to the ship design and construction schedule. Examples of these technologies include composite non-pressure hull stern structure, and DARPA structural acoustic initiatives.
3.5.3 Technology Assessment Findings
A summary of preliminary findings is as follows:
1. The Navy will conduct cost effectiveness studies of the various technology options. In those areas where SEAWOLF performance is not mandatory for mission accomplishment, the Navy will evaluate SSN 688 or TRIDENT technology for cost effectiveness.
2. SEAWOLF technologies offer the least cost approach to the concept design in areas where military capability is important. These include stealth, shock, and survivability which are among those areas where SEAWOLF represents a major improvement over prior classes.
3. Current/near term technologies show potential for reducing either system size (volume and/or weight) or acquisition costs without sacrificing military capability. Particular areas of interest are the auxiliary systems, electric distribution system, lightweight wide aperture sonar arrays, and composite materials. Efforts are focusing on the development cost and schedule for these technologies in order to properly weigh their potential benefits against SEAWOLF or SSN 688/TRIDENT technologies.
Other significant areas of interest include:
Combat system capability might be retained at less size and cost through the application of more densely packaged systems, use of deck (instead of cabinet) shock and sound isolation, and functional consolidation to reduce the number of cabinets and operators.
Weapon launcher and handling systems have multiple technology alternatives which can potentially reduce the system production costs and permit greater weapons stowage density.
4. For the majority of the developmental technologies examined to date for system and ship integration, the resulting potential system performance was greater than SEAWOLF, but the technology entailed a significant development cost and in many cases had significant schedule uncertainty. The Phase 0 concept development effort will examine all available cost effective technologies.
Efforts are being directed to determine how some of these technologies might be developed as pre-planned product improvements to later ships of the class. Developmental technologies may also provide opportunities for advanced
submarine designs of the future well past the current CENTURION efforts and therefore continued support of these efforts is appropriate. Many of the DARPA Submarine Technology programs are in this category that will be reviewed for future incorporation.
6. The Navy must start development of many technologies for the CENTURION submarine in concert with the ship design schedule. Where systems have a long lead time, development must start now to assure hardware is available to the shipbuilder when required. Where technology demonstration is required, initial R&D funding is needed in FY 93 or FY 94.
3.6 Estimated RDT&E and Shipbuilding Costs
CENTURION's RDT&E and Shipbuilding Cost objectives will be approved at Milestone I (planned for 1993). Cost estimation is a major objective of acquisition Phase 0, Concept Exploration and Definition.
RDT&E costs are projected to be consistent with previous submarine developments in constant year dollars. For expected military capabilities, a rough order of magnitude cost estimate is between $3.4B and $4.4B (constant FY 92 dollars) assuming a lead ship award in FY 1998 with subsequent delivery in 2003. These estimated costs include HGM&E and Combat Systems. Estimates of propulsion plant development costs are better defined for the plant which best satisfies the projected optimum balance between ship size and speed. Propulsion plant development costs will be $725M to $750M (constant FY92 dollars). These estimates assume a viable vendor base.
Shipbuilding (SCN) costs are also very capability dependent. Industrial base uncertainty resulting from termination of SEAWOLF program will have a major impact on the cost of CENTURION and its development. Until ship configuration is better defined and industrial base impacts are understood, a total ship cost would be speculative.
3.7 Technical Risk
Efforts are already underway which will pay dividends in risk reduction:
Demonstration of technologies on operational submarines. Experience with new technologies will continue to reduce the risks and costs of using new technologies in a lead ship design.
Improvement in Design and Simulation Tools. Efforts by DARPA and the Navy to translate better knowledge of the
`physics' of submarine performance are already being applied to CENTURION efforts. An example is the use of the DARPA developed Submarine Hydrodynamic/Hydroacoustic Technology Center to predict performance of various concepts. Similar efforts in survivability models, structural strength models, and naval architectural models are planned to reduce future detailed design, construction, and testing costs.
Demonstration of concepts on SEAWOLF program developed large scale test facilities. The Large Scale Vehicle (LSV) for propulsor and hydroacoustic testing and a submarine shock test vehicle are two major examples where cost effective testing of systems will be utilized.
Technical risks of the various concepts studied are principally related to the degree of developmental technology used in the concept's systems. The concepts which retain or increase performance over SEAWOLF while significantly reducing ship size would heavily rely on developmental technologies. Consideration of developmental technologies in the ship designs includes assessment of the fall back system redesign costs required if the technology development proves unsuccessful. In cases where the fall back redesign is very expensive, the benefits of the development technology must clearly outweigh the risk.
3.8 Year of Lead Ship Full Funding
Lead ship full funding is currently planned for FY 1998, with advance procurement of propulsion plant equipment starting in FY 1996. Ship construction earlier than planned would not allow sufficient time for development of new technologies and equipments with acceptable levels of risk. Component designs to support initiation of some long lead components would lack maturity, definition, or necessary prior testing for an earlier than planned procurement.
Selection of a construction start date will be a careful balance of new technology possibilities, such as the DARPA Submarine Technology programs, with the realities of maintaining both force levels and the industrial base. All technologies are being considered for incorporation. Low risk (with regard to cost/schedule/technical complexity) technologies will be incorporated if gains are commensurate with associated cost. Medium risk programs requiring further demonstration of proof of principle will have space/weight reserved if justified by cost benefit analysis. Technologies of high risk with indefinite development schedules and expected completion far in the future will not be provided for in CENTURION.
3.9 Potential Impact on the Nuclear Submarine Industrial Base
The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Donald J. Atwood, directed the Navy to prepare a plan for preservation of appropriate, affordable, and unique capabilities to maintain nuclear-powered submarine systems and design and produce such systems in the event of a need to reconstitute. A Navy conducted study prepared in response to this direction will address the potential impact on the nuclear submarine industrial base.