Surface combatant planning since the end of the Cold War
Gillen, Daniel J.
Doyle, Richard B.
Mutty, John E..
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U.S. Navy surface combatant requirements progressively dropped from 238 in 1988 to 116 in 1998. This reduction was part of the U.S. military transformation in the post-Cold War period. This thesis examined the major factors that influenced the change in surface combatant planning since 1990, i. e.budget agreements, naval doctrine, OPNAV reorganization, and Defense reviews. Data sources included books, periodicals, major force structure reviews, naval strategy papers, budgetary reports, and interviews. The major conclusion is that constrained fiscal resources had the most dramatic effect on the surface combatant fleet. To adapt to the drop in O&M and procurement funding, the Navy has reduced costs by decommissioning older ships, slowing shipbuilding rates, shifting to multiyear contracts, and focusing on life cycle expenses. The next scheduled surface combatant program, DD-21, will compete against other shipbuilding programs due to projections of relatively flat Defense budgets. The shift to littoral warfare has also shaped the surface combatant force, changing doctrine and weapon system emphasis.
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