A debate over the direction and future of surface combatant shipbuilding is in progress within the Department of Defense and Congress. The collapse of the Soviet Union has changed dramatically the national security environment that guided our defense decision making for nearly five decades. A declining defense budget, the resultant downsizing of our Navy, and a perceived decline of the global threat have combined to force a reevaluation of the Navy’s surface combatant requirements for the remainder of the 1990s and early 21st century. A related and no less important issue is the impact of reduced warship acquisition and construction on our domestic shipbuilding industrial base, which includes not only the shipyards but also more than 1,000 prime contractors and hundreds of subcontractors.
At the heart of the debate is the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)–class guided missile destroyer—the only major surface combatant under construction in our shipyards today:
1. Industrial base impacts are drawn from the “Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)-Class Industrial Base Study,” PMS-400, July 1993.
2. Naval Sea Systems Command, Research and Technology Directorate, DDGX Alternatives Analysis, AAW Requirements Study, 1 January 1976.
3. Chief of Naval Operations. DDX Study Report, Volume I, Department of the Navy, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Surface Warfare, 1 June 1979.
4. Chief of Naval Operations, Destroyer Variant (DDV) Study Report, Volume 1-IV, Department of the Navy, Officer of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Surface Warfare), 3 March 1992.
5. Sean O'Keefe, Secretary of the Navy, “...From the Sea: Preparing the Naval Service for the 21st Century," Department of the Navy, September 1992.
6. Chief of Naval Operations, Twenty-First Century Surface Combatant Study Report, Volume 1, Department of the Navy, Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Surface Warfare), 15 June 1993, pp. 2–6.
7. Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense. The Bottom-Up Review: Forces For A New Era, Department of Defense, 1 September. 1993.
8. Quasi interview, p. 13.
9. Congressional Budget Office. Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options, The Congress of the United States, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., February 1993, p. 45.
10. Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)–Class Industrial Base Study,” p. vii.