In “The Future Navy,” Admiral John Richardson synthesized two important conclusions from the fleet architecture studies: “First, the nation needs a more powerful Navy, on the order of 350 ships, that includes a combination of manned and unmanned systems. Second, more platforms are necessary but not sufficient. The Navy must also incorporate new technologies and new operational concepts.”1 He goes on to emphasize that “unmanned systems must also be an integral part of the future fleet” and that they must be “affordable enough to buy . . . in large numbers, and networked in order to expand our presence in key areas.”2
1. Admiral John Richardson, "The Future Navy," U.S. Navy, 17 May 2017, 1.
2. Richardson, 6.
3. Navy Project Team, Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study, (Washington: U.S. Navy, 2016), 9.
4. Bryan Clark et al, Restoring American Sea Power: A New Fleet Architecture Study for the United States Navy, (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2017), 89.
5. MITRE Corporation, Navy Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study, (McClean, CA: MITRE Corp., 2016), 53.
6. Thomas Finley, Amber Mason, and Joseph Leavitt, "Executive Summary: Medium Displacement Unmanned Surveillance Asset (MDUSA) Project," MIT Naval Construction and Marine Engineering, 24 May 2017.
7. NAVSEA, "Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (Large USV) Sources Sought/Request for Information," GovTribe, 23 May 2017.
8. Scott Savitz, Irv Blickstein, Peter Buryk, Robert W. Button, Paul DeLuca, James Dryden, Jason Mastbaum, Jan Osburg, Phillip Padilla, Amy Potter, Carter C. Price, Lloyd Thrall, Susan K. Woodward, Roland J. Yardley and John M. Yurchak, U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2013), 43-54.
9. Bryan McGrath, interview by Sally DeBoer, Sea Control 125: Bryan McGrath on Fleet Design, Distributed Lethality, and the 350-Ship Navy, 21 December 2016.
10. Captain Robert Rubel, “Think Outside the Hull,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 143/6/1,372 (June 2017), 46.
11. DARPA, “TALONS Tested on Commissioned U.S. Navy Vessel for First Time,” 15 August 2017.
12. The largest and most expensive PC of the class, PC-14, cost $29 million in FY97, or $52 million in FY18 dollars, per the Joint Inflation Calculator applied for Shipbuilding & Conversion, Navy (1611N). The two LCS included in the Navy’s FY18 budget request (as amended) average $568.1 million each, exclusive of modular mission packages. See fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33741.pdf.
13. The FY17 Department of Homeland Security budget allocated $325 million for six WPCs, or $54.2 million each. See also, USCG, “Acquisition Update: Coast Guard Exercises Contract Option For FRCs 39-44,” 16 June 2017, and Ronald O’Rourke, “Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, 7 December 2018, 11-12.
14. Lacking multi-year procurement authority, the USCG has procured FRCs under annual contracts, which has increased overall program cost. O’Rourke, 11-12.