As debate swirls around the need for the DDG-1000 and CG(X) and the future size of the Fleet, we should not overlook a cheaper, more practical option: extending the service lives of our Aegis cruisers and destroyers.
Our nation's investment in sea power over the past 60 years has produced an American global maritime dominance, but has also created a dilemma that deepens with each budget cycle. Quality ships, and the effective exercise of American foreign and military policy they provide, have become indispensable and ever more expensive. The sea power we need comes with a bill we cannot always pay. It is a recurring phenomenon throughout American history, and one that is set to peak yet again by the end of the decade, at a time when American presence in the oceans and littorals of the world is demanded more than ever. Given the fiscal, strategic, and technological realities of sustaining American naval power, the next battle for the right mix of new and old ships is here. This battleground rests squarely within the Ship Construction Navy (SCN) budget, and what it intends to fund.
The Realities of Balance