Major Case Analysis

Topic: Increasing USN fleet readiness under the restrictions of budget, manning, and schedule.

The write-up should be 15 double-spaced pages, not including a title page and exhibits (include as appendices). The analysis and recommendations should be supported with high-quality evidence, including textbooks.

Rubric Takeaways:

  • Central theme clearly developed that shows depth and understanding of appropriate content.
  • Clearly identifies problem(s) in case.
  • Paper is well organized, information is logically sequenced, and key points are obvious.
  • Supports analysis with specific critical thinking examples and theories.
  • Applies critical thinking concepts in an accurate and insightful manner.
  • Supports decisions and recommendations with specific examples and multiple components of a business.
  • Paper is properly formatted with APA style.

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Additional information to assist with case analysis:

Ideal Situation:

Currently, the Navy’s force-level goal is to modernize and increase their fleet. According to a Navy long-range shipbuilding document released on June 17, 2021, the Navy aims to increase fleet numbers to include 66 to 72 nuclear power submarines (SSNs) under the ocean. Per the shipbuilding plan (FY2020-FY2049), to meet the force level goal, SSNs would need to be procured at a rate of two ships per year, possibly more.

Reality:

Building Virginia class submarines and Columbia class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) at the same time will present industrial challenges along with complex cost and schedule risks as it would likely interfere with mission ready ships in need of service repairs.

Consequences:

There is a possibility of budget overruns and potential shortages of qualified individuals in this program. Both instances could cause time delays.

Proposal:

The procured rate of two boats per year, has an estimated procurement cost of about $3.45 billion per boat. Those estimated unit procurement costs might decrease somewhat if more than two boats were procured per year due to increased economies of scale in production. In such a case, the additional shipbuilding funding for procuring three SSNs per year rather than two might be less than $3.45 billion. Moreover, to lessen USN shipyard backlogs, there is an option to contract with private shipyards for fast attack submarine depot maintenance availabilities. All of which would limit delays and improve economic growth.

Let’s break it down with the 5 W’s:

Who–Congress, United States Navy, Private Shipyards, and overall economy.

What- SSN Deployments Delayed Due to Maintenance Backlogs In recent years, a number of the Navy’s SSNs have had their deployments delayed due to maintenance backlogs at the Navy’s four government-operated naval shipyards (NSYs), which are the primary facilities for conducting depot-level maintenance work on Navy SSNs. Delays in deploying SSNs can put added operational pressure on other SSNs that are available for deployment. Furthermore, the funding and manning needed to achieve a two- ship per year exceeds available funding for other Navy or DOD programs. Meaning, additional funding will need to be approved by congress before work commences.

When- This is 30-year commitment, starting in FY2020, ending in FY2049.

Where- This issue is occurring across both privately owned and USN Shipyards. In particular, EB and HII located in Newport News, VA are privately owned shipyards and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard located in Bremerton, Washington.

Why- A submarine is capable of performing a number of tasks, not just shooting things in the water. As part of the navy, submarines perform tasks such as protecting aircraft carriers, performing reconnaissance, and rescuing people from submerged objects. They are also used for various other tasks such as marine research, undersea exploration, and salvage missions. As technology advances in all areas of military and ocean exploration, the need for modernization USN submarine fleet increases. That said, the need for manpower will benefit the economy, since it will create more jobs, and the more jobs created, the greater the need for education to develop marketable skills. All stakeholder involved would be financially invested in producing a reputable product (i.e., SSNs).

 

References:

O’Rourke, R. (2022, February 17). Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Services- Legislative Debate. Retrieved from https://sgp.fas.org/crs/weapons/RL32418.pdf

 

Below is a SWOT build to the specifications of my major case analysis of increasing submarines in the USN fleet:

Strength Weakness
  • Mission Readiness
  • Structured
  • Well trained
  • Trust
  • Undermanned
  • Lack qualified personnel
  • Indecisive Congress
Opportunities Threats
  • Emerging need for service
  • Few competitors
  • Economic Impact
  • Unapproved Budget
  • Schedule Delays interfering with mission readiness

 

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