Second is the growing mismatch between the Navy's strategic vision and its acquisition plan. The new maritime strategy, now just more than a year old, stated that the Navy would be an engagement force just as suited to preventing wars as winning them. The new strategy suggests a larger future force in terms of hulls in the water, and that this force would be more agile and better suited to support missions in the economy-of-force Phase 0-1 range of the engagement scale. Instead, the current long-term Navy shipbuilding plan continues to emphasize the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) construct.
Buy Fords, Not Ferraris
If the Navy rethinks the role of Carrier Strike Groups (Ferrari) and deploys new, scaled-down Influence Squadrons (Ford), the result will be 320 hulls in the water for three-quarters the price.One of the strengths of the U.S. Navy is its traditions and adherence to form and structure. It is also one of its weaknesses, because in its dedication to what is known, it tends to overlook the possibility of other options, other futures. Whether it wishes to acknowledge the fact or not, today's Navy finds itself at a strategic inflexion point and must come to grips with the idea that every assumption it has depended on to get it where it is may not take the service to where it needs to go.The problems that will have the most impact on the Navy's future force structure are large and can be categorized in two groups. The first is the growing expense of building new ships. The costs involved in research, development, and production of destroyers, cruisers, and carriers, each of which fields new, leading-edge techn
By Commander Henry J. Hendrix, U.S. Navy