Navy's shipyard recap and optimization plan will require bigger topline budget

By Justin Katz / September 13, 2018 at 10:34 AM

The Navy's future topline budget will need to increase in order to support a $21 billion, 20-year shipyard recapitalization and optimization plan put together by Naval Sea Systems Command, according to the plan's executive summary obtained by Inside Defense.

"This investment of approximately $21 billion represents a requirement that is well beyond [the] Navy's historical facilities investment funding and will require topline budgetary relief and its own program of record in order to avoid unacceptable impacts to other Navy programs that are equally as critical to the Navy's mission," a redacted version of the summary stated.

The three-pronged investment plan will improve the Navy's nuclear-capable shipyards by upgrading dry docks to accommodate future attack submarines and aircraft carriers, and optimize shipyard layouts to improve productivity, Inside the Navy reported in April. The full plan has not been released to the public.

The summary breaks down how the Navy will spend the $21 billion: $4 billion improving dry docks, $3 billion for capital equipment and $14 billion for construction costs to "provide the optimal layout of facilities within the shipyards," according to the summary.

Changing the shipyards' layouts is expected to reduce personnel and material travel movement for each future availability by an average of 65 percent, which equates to 328,000 man days per year, the summary states.

Meanwhile, the $4 billion spent on dry dock improvements is expected to recover 67 of 68 future maintenance availabilities that would otherwise have to be moved, deferred or rescheduled, the summary stated. The one availability not recovered is a submarine inactivation.

The Congressional Budget Office yesterday published a report stating that, contrary to the Navy's claims, it is less expensive to perform the most common type of attack submarine overhaul at private shipyards rather than public ones.

The executive summary was first reported by USNI News.