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Posted: 3/19/2006 8:03:40 AM EDT
from:www.norwichbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060319/NEWS01/603190307/1002

Electric Boat's troubles felt across nation as sub building dwindles
By NICOLE GAUDIANO
Norwich Bulletin



WASHINGTON -- As far away from Electric Boat in Groton as Sunnyvale, Calif., the decline in defense spending for nuclear warships is taking a toll.

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Marine Systems in Silicon Valley, which makes propulsion systems and electric power generators for the Navy's Virginia-class submarines, employs a quarter of the staff it did a decade ago.

David T. Perry, the company's vice president, said there's nothing left to cut.

"The only thing we can get rid of is people," he said. "I describe it as brittle. If any program changes, we have to lay everyone off. It cannot take any more tension or it's just going to snap."

For the first time in 50 years, there are no designs in place for the next generation of submarines, and the Defense Department has postponed until 2012 its plans to increase its submarine purchases from one per year to two.

"This is a countrywide issue," Perry said.


The industry that supports submarine production includes more than 4,000 companies in 47 states, according to the Submarine Industrial Base Council in Washington. The same market forces affecting Electric Boat have created a ripple effect across the country.

"When our volume goes down, every state in this country, with the exception of two, feel it," said John Holmander, Electric Boat's vice president and Virginia-class submarine program manager in Groton.


Electric Boat and its partner Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia build one submarine a year, down from three a year during the 1990s. As production dropped after the end of the Cold War, about 40 percent of suppliers contributing to nuclear submarine production left the industry, according to the council.

Suppliers and members of Connecticut's congressional delegation say 2012 is a long time to wait for two-submarine contracts.

Electric Boat expects to lay off about 2,400 workers by the end of this year and possibly 4,000 more workers during the next two years, if the Navy doesn't change its purchase schedule and come up with a new design contract.

Holmander said Electric Boat could meet the Navy's demand to drop the price of a Virginia-class submarine to $2 billion -- from $2.4 billion now -- but only with a contract to build two ships a year.

"Despite the submarine industrial base's ability to adapt, procuring one submarine a year creates enormous strains," James I. Jelinek and Terri L. Marts, who co-chair the council, wrote in March 16 letter to members of Congress. "Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."

Anthony Fabbo, vice president and general manager for valve systems at Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Corp., said his company traces its roots to the Wright brothers, but has trouble supporting that level of innovation today.

His division builds submarine valves, control systems and pumps in the Northeast. But shrinking defense funds have caused his company to reinvent itself, expanding its commercial sales in areas where the range of products isn't as broad as it would be for the Navy.

"You become a part maker instead of a design house, " he said.

Bulletin reporter Ray Hackett contributed to this report.

Contact Nicole Gaudiano at ngaudiano@gns .gannett.com


Originally published March 19, 2006


Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:05:32 AM EDT
from:www.norwichbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060317/NEWS01/603170310/1002
Industry pushes for more sub work
By NICOLE GAUDIANO
Norwich Bulletin


WASHINGTON -- Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation Thursday urged submarine suppliers from 23 states to lobby Congress for increased funding, hoping to make the industry's downsized production a national security issue.

Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District, pointing to China's expanding fleet, said the industry needs to help push for production of two submarines per year.


"They're coming at us, and anybody who doesn't see that doesn't know their Chinese history," he said at the Submarine Industrial Base Council's congressional breakfast. "If there is another world war, the sub will be the ship of choice."

The breakfast brought together more than 125 suppliers from 77 companies, including General Dynamics Electric Boat, where layoffs of about 2,400 workers are predicted by year's end.

The Navy has delayed increasing production to two per year until 2012. If the Navy sticks to that schedule and a new design contract isn't forthcoming, as many as 4,000 more workers could be laid off during the next two years.

Norwich Bulletin reporter Ray Hackett contributed to this story.

Contact Nicole Gaudiano at ngaudiano@gns. gannett.com


Originally published March 17, 2006


Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:06:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:15:02 AM EDT
from:www.seacoastonline.com/news/03192006/maine/93347.htm

Long-term shipyard concerns

By Elizabeth Kenny
news1@seacoastonline.com
Complete Maine News Index





Bill McDonough

Some people might call Capt. Bill McDonough a conspiracy theorist, but his predictions about the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard often come to pass.
McDonough, a former shipyard commander and spokesman for the Seacoast Shipyard Association, has accurately predicted serious threats to the yard twice in the past decade and correctly predicted a decrease in the yard’s workload in 2008 before the Navy admitted to it this week.

Despite the fact that the shipyard was removed from a Defense Department closure list in the summer, McDonough has remained committed to keeping the yard a staple on the Seacoast and investigating any threats that might arise.

This time, McDonough says, the threats may be more serious and more hidden than ever before.

"I’m predicting a reluctance on the Navy’s part to re-assign work to Portsmouth," McDonough said. "A significant decline, a dangerous decline in workload could force (the yard) to lay off people and the yard will lose that flow of young, trained, talented workers."

On Friday, a Navy spokesperson admitted at least part of McDonough’s hypothesis was correct, stating that the yard’s workload will decrease beginning in 2008 as the number of Los Angeles-class submarines shrinks.

"Maintenance on the Los Angeles class is at a peak, but this workload will begin to decline in 2008 as overall maintenance requirements for the Los Angeles-class submarines wane and engineering refueling overhauls for the submarine class come to an end," said Lt. Ohene Gyapong, a Navy spokesman. "As a result, it is likely that Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will see a reduction in workload."

The short-term concern for the Seacoast is obvious, said McDonough: Many of the more than 4,700 shipyard workers will be laid off.

But it’s the long-term cost of the Navy’s reluctance to give Portsmouth more work that really concerns McDonough.

"The work force goes down, but the overhead stays the same," he said. "My long-term concern is the yard’s efficiency and how that will look during the next (base closure process.)"

The yard barely survived a 2005 round of base closures, after the Navy and Defense Department said the shipyard was no longer needed. However an independent commission responsible for reviewing the Defense Department’s recommendations overturned the decision, continually citing the yard’s efficiency.

But McDonough and shipyard workers have repeatedly expressed concerns that the Navy has failed to rearrange its work load schedule to include the shipyard.

Today, four submarines are being worked on at the yard, which constitutes more labor than the yard has seen in many years, causing more concern over its efficiency.

With the yard at its "peak" workload, it’s been hard for the yard to remain efficient because the Navy is only allowing hiring for attrition, said Paul O’Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council, one of the largest shipyard unions. When the peak turns into a valley, efficiency will again be a concern.

Funding solutions

Last week, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, met with Navy Secretary Donald Winter and Chief of Naval Operations Michael Mullen to discuss the Navy’s shipbuilding budget and future workload at the shipyard.

Collins, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, urged the Navy to support a budget that includes $13.5 billion to expand the naval fleet, based on its consensus 313-ship plan. The Maine senator said the lack of predictability in funding and unequivocal rates of production drive cost growth.

She also pressed them about the need to ensure a more predictable and stable long-term strategy for shipyard workload, including repair work at the yard, according to information released from Collins office.

As the Defense Department struggles to fund the Iraq war, budgets are being cut across the board, McDonough said, specifically citing the Navy’s budget.

"The money taken out of ship building to help finance the war results in a decrease in the number of subs being built," he said.

A decrease in the number of submarines being built means a decrease in the workload for ship builders, who are also trained in overhauling and refueling submarines. When the private sector ship builders lack funds to build ships, they become competitive for the shipyard’s work, McDonough said.

But it shouldn’t be an "us versus them" situation, he said.

"The solution is to get more money into ship building," he said.

The future of submarines

During base closure commission hearings, then Navy Secretary Gordon England, said the remaining three government-run yards could handle the amount of work and eliminate "excess capacity."

Adm. Vern Clark, then chief of naval operations, said the declining number of submarines meant the yard was not needed.

But McDonough, O’Connor, and the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations have continued to argue that the declining submarine fleet is the outcome of a reduced budget and not based on need. If the Navy were to consider how many submarines were actually needed, the original proposal to build two a year would still be in place, they say.

Shipyard proponents point to China, which is working to increase its submarine fleet to exceed the United States’ within a few years.


Union president O’Connor said the yard is prepared to perform anyway the Navy needs it to.

"We can work on anything," O’Connor said. "We aren’t the best at what we do because we’re genetically inclined to work on (Los Angeles-class submarines). We’d be the best in the world on whatever they give us."
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:17:33 AM EDT
The U.S. government's fits and starts, is causing real heartaches in the manufacturing sector. At some point it will be real expensive to build nuke submarines in the USofA because you have to re-acquire the expertise, and that could take years if you loose it. Building nuke sub is not like building a HumVee. At the rate they are going to day, probably only the PRC will have expertise to build nuke subs in the future.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:36:28 AM EDT

"Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."



This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:39:28 AM EDT


Industry pushes for more sub work
By NICOLE GAUDIANO
Norwich Bulletin



"They're coming at us, and anybody who doesn't see that doesn't know their Chinese history," he said at the Submarine Industrial Base Council's congressional breakfast. "If there is another world war, the sub will be the ship of choice."







It sure as hell is going to be and again, the US gov't seems bent on making us weak while war looms on the horizon. I just don't get it at all.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:44:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drjarhead:


Industry pushes for more sub work
By NICOLE GAUDIANO
Norwich Bulletin

"They're coming at us, and anybody who doesn't see that doesn't know their Chinese history," he said at the Submarine Industrial Base Council's congressional breakfast. "If there is another world war, the sub will be the ship of choice."



It sure as hell is going to be and again, the US gov't seems bent on making us weak while war looms on the horizon. I just don't get it at all.



Must be counting on the Bush/Cheney/Haliburton weather machine....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:47:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 8:48:29 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By KA3B:

"Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."



This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....


I don't think it is that simple. I've heard that the old Soviet Union have stolen the plans etc to the stealth technology, but they were unable to build an stealth plane because of all exotic fabrication techniques and processes. I know that the defense industry is one that document and writes to the hilt, but there somethings that are not written down, and when a person leaves the company, that part of the knowledge is lost, sort of like Alzheimer's disease but on a corporate level.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:50:18 AM EDT
We need two virginia boats a year, now not in a decade. Also we should be thinking about a replacement for the Ohio class. I'm thinking 32 launch bays that are reconfigurable to launching SLBMs (conventional or nuclear), Cruise missiles, or UCAVs. Use the new generations three cycle self breeding reactors using either potasium vapor or molten magnesium as the primary coolant loop to provide power for an all electric drive system. (Molten magnesium would allow for use of MHD coupling in addition to allow for a second coolant loop throught a heat exchanger spining a turbo alternator, this would represent an order of magnitude increase in converstion efficency over the current pressurized water reactors)

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 8:52:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

"Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."



This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....



It is not Horseshit. It takes a lot more than a pile of schematics, specs Bill of Materials and other documents and machinery to make and maintain a platform like a submarine.

Such a platform requires a lot of unit as well as integration testing on its systems. It requires an industrial base infrastructure manned by highly skilled people to support such platforms.

It requires a lot of human expertise whose knowledge is frequently undocumented, from a machinist all the way up to a design engineer, logisticians, and skilled managers.
Acquiring a skilled set of people is not something that is done overnight, instead it takes literally generations with trillions of dollars spent on education, manufacturing, etc.

Once you lose that expertise it takes a very long time to get it back. And you end up with expensive substandard equipment in small quantities.

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:20:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 9:21:46 AM EDT by warlord]

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

Originally Posted By KA3B:

"Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."



This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....



It is not Horseshit. It takes a lot more than a pile of schematics, specs Bill of Materials and other documents and machinery to make and maintain a platform like a submarine.

Such a platform requires a lot of unit as well as integration testing on its systems. It requires an industrial base infrastructure manned by highly skilled people to support such platforms.

It requires a lot of human expertise whose knowledge is frequently undocumented, from a machinist all the way up to a design engineer, logisticians, and skilled managers.
Acquiring a skilled set of people is not something that is done overnight, instead it takes literally generations with trillions of dollars spent on education, manufacturing, etc.

Once you lose that expertise it takes a very long time to get it back. And you end up with expensive substandard equipment in small quantities.


I don't get too far off-topic, but that was the reason we had the space shuttle mishap a few years ago. NASA laid-off many of its engineers and the contractor did the same, and thus NASA was relying on the contractor to supply the engineering expertise, of course the contractor just hired some engineers out of college. The engineering people determined that the ice impact on the shuttle was inconsequential and shouldn't be a problem. Of course, the engineers were wrong, and the astronauts were killed on when the shuttle burned up in a fiery rentry. Most of the government and private industry is run on the principle of "full-time equivalent" (FTE), ie an engineer with 1 years experience is the same as an engineer with 10 years experience. The point being is that you can't turn expertise on and off like spigot.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:29:40 AM EDT
Anyone that thinks that the US industrial military complex is not on a downward curve is nuts. Most of the "new and improved" items were designed years or decades ago.

Bill sold the chinese many strategic military secrets and screwed up more then most people realize. Thanks ya fuukin letcher.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:43:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.
IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....



Sorry buddy, it isn't that simple.

You are correct that we used to not make nuc subs. And when we started and didn't have the experience, we had two nuc subs go down with loss of all hands because while we had the technology, we didn't have the experience.

Since gaining that experience, our track record has improved greatly. Our subs get better and better each generation as shared knowlege is passed down from each generation.

I can tell you from personal experience that while the pansie assed engineers can give me pieces of paper with their work requirements and work controls on it all day long until they are blue in the face, if I didn't have an experienced mechanic showing me the ropes, my work would not result in a quality product.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how good our people, the beaucracy WILL screw things up and not properly cataloge or learn from past mistakes. That is left to the mechanic on the deckplates who then passes that knowlege on to the next generation. SOPs, REC's,TWD's, TGI's, can progress a job only so far. Experience brings it all together and ensures that we have the proper capabilities on a weapons platform that will preform as necessary when its supposed to.

And no, I don't work for EB so I don't have a dog in the fight. Matter of fact, I have met very few EB employees that I actually liked. Most are dicks.

Chris(Have you slapped a contractor today?)
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:46:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

"Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."



This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....




nope probelem is more basic, lack of experienced welders, machinist shipfitters etc. It take year and decades for experience to build in manufacturing, before we went and told a bunch of guys who had good experience building ships or other subs, gave em new plans and told em to go at it.....

now we would need to train them all to be shipbuilders again
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:48:58 AM EDT
If we had put the NOLA crowd up in tents instead of the Ritz, we could have bought more boats.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:51:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:

Originally Posted By KA3B:

"Further, the unique design and production capabilities are not used elsewhere in the economy and cannot simply be shelved and brought back as needed. Once lost, domestic supplier capabilities for submarine technology and production become expensive and, in some cases, impossible to reconstitute."



This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....


nope probelem is more basic, lack of experienced welders, machinist shipfitters etc. It take year and decades for experience to build in manufacturing, before we went and told a bunch of guys who had good experience building ships or other subs, gave em new plans and told em to go at it.....

now we would need to train them all to be shipbuilders again


I think the problem, most people are not technically-oriented, and everything appears and disappears at a touch of a button, and don't realize the technology and expertise behind much of the stuff in our society.

Most of the laid-off skilled crafts and engineering people would either be pumping gas, retired, or dead.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 9:52:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
I don't get too far off-topic, but that was the reason we had the space shuttle mishap a few years ago. NASA laid-off many of its engineers and the contractor did the same, and thus NASA was relying on the contractor to supply the engineering expertise, of course the contractor just hired some engineers out of college. The engineering people determined that the ice impact on the shuttle was inconsequential and shouldn't be a problem. Of course, the engineers were wrong, and the astronauts were killed on when the shuttle burned up in a fiery rentry. Most of the government and private industry is run on the principle of "full-time equivalent" (FTE), ie an engineer with 1 years experience is the same as an engineer with 10 years experience. The point being is that you can't turn expertise on and off like spigot.



Nasa lost the Columbia due to managers at both Nasa and Boeing not listening to their own engineers.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:03:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By warlord:
I don't get too far off-topic, but that was the reason we had the space shuttle mishap a few years ago. NASA laid-off many of its engineers and the contractor did the same, and thus NASA was relying on the contractor to supply the engineering expertise, of course the contractor just hired some engineers out of college. The engineering people determined that the ice impact on the shuttle was inconsequential and shouldn't be a problem. Of course, the engineers were wrong, and the astronauts were killed on when the shuttle burned up in a fiery rentry. Most of the government and private industry is run on the principle of "full-time equivalent" (FTE), ie an engineer with 1 years experience is the same as an engineer with 10 years experience. The point being is that you can't turn expertise on and off like spigot.



Nasa lost the Columbia due to managers at both Nasa and Boeing not listening to their own engineers.


I guess I wasn't too far off. But I bet the managers didn't have all that much space shuttle experience. I have read that the the engineers at Boeing had this computer program that did critical analysis of the space shuttle for when things go wrong, that were found in the archieves, but the author of the computer program was long gone. The engineers run the computer without knowing exactly how the program worked, it indicated that the ice impact was inconsequential. I think the engineers did a SWAG, and the managers weren't convinced and just ran with it. I think if there were managers from the old days, they debacle wouldn't have happened.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:04:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 10:10:58 AM EDT by KA3B]

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:
nope probelem is more basic, lack of experienced welders, machinist shipfitters etc. It take year and decades for experience to build in manufacturing, before we went and told a bunch of guys who had good experience building ships or other subs, gave em new plans and told em to go at it.....
now we would need to train them all to be shipbuilders again



This I will agree with to a certain extent.
It would take at least 20-40 years before the "corporate knowledge" of the actual manufacturing techniques would be lost, but the manufacturing ability would still be there.

Think 16 inch gun barrel for the battleships.
The manufacturing techniques are long gone, but we still have the ability to manufacture them if need be.

What has been missed is that we don't need to re-invent the wheel.
We know what needs to be done.

Do any of you guys think that if we had to restart a US sub program we would make the same mistakes, IE welding pipes or making filters that clog under normal operating conditions (Thresher) or making torpedos that can explode by themselves due to faulty batteries (Scorpion).

Trust me, I know all about not being able to get parts for Naval junk, except along the lines of aircraft and not submarines.
There were (and still are) plenty of parts that can't be made anymore, but not due to any lack of engineering or mechanical know-how, it's a matter of cost.

Do I agree with the assesment that we are fucking ourselves by allowing the submarine program to waste away?
Of course I do.

I put more faith in the American WORKING MAN to get the job done than I do the American engineer or manager.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:08:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 10:10:21 AM EDT by fike]
During base closure commission hearings, then Navy Secretary Gordon England, said the remaining three government-run yards could handle the amount of work and eliminate "excess capacity."

Adm. Vern Clark, then chief of naval operations, said the declining number of submarines meant the yard was not needed.

But McDonough, O’Connor, and the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations have continued to argue that the declining submarine fleet is the outcome of a reduced budget and not based on need. If the Navy were to consider how many submarines were actually needed, the original proposal to build two a year would still be in place, they say.




Congress telling the Navy how many subs it needs.

It's about jobs, not future naval war planning of which the Navy would know a hell of alot more about than Congress.



Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:09:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
I guess I wasn't too far off. But I bet the managers didn't have all that much space shuttle experience. I have read that the the engineers at Boeing had this computer program that did critical analysis of the space shuttle for when things go wrong, that were found in the archieves, but the author of the computer program was long gone. The engineers run the computer without knowing exactly how the program worked, it indicated that the ice impact was inconsequential. I think the engineers did a SWAG, and the managers weren't convinced and just ran with it. I think if there were managers from the old days, they debacle wouldn't have happened.



I just read that, and the computer program DID predict that there would be signifigant damage to the leading edge of the wing.
Boeing's engineers and managers and Nasa's engineers both downplayed the result.


Boeing-developed damage prediction software was used to evaluate possible tile and reinforced carbon/carbon (RCC) damage.

The software predicted severe penetration of multiple tiles by the impact, but Boeing engineers downplayed this.

They (senior NASA managers) believed that results showing that the software overstated damage from small projectiles meant that the same would be true of larger foam (SOFI) impacts.

The program used to predict RCC damage was based on small ice impacts, not larger SOFI impacts.

Under 1 of 15 predicted SOFI impact paths, the software predicted an ice impact would completely penetrate the RCC panel.

Engineers downplayed this, too, believing that impacts of the less dense SOFI material would result in less damage than ice impacts.

In an e-mail exchange, NASA managers questioned whether the density of the SOFI could be used as justification for reducing predicted damage.

Despite engineering concerns about the energy imparted by the SOFI material, NASA managers ultimately accepted the rational to reduce predicted damage of the RCC panels from complete penetration to slight damage to the panel's thin coating.





Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:15:34 AM EDT
When the time comes we won't have the capacity, capability or the resources to supply and re-supply ourselves in a major conflict.
The sheeple are fat dumb and happy......sleep....all is well.......
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:18:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By warlord:
I guess I wasn't too far off. But I bet the managers didn't have all that much space shuttle experience. I have read that the the engineers at Boeing had this computer program that did critical analysis of the space shuttle for when things go wrong, that were found in the archieves, but the author of the computer program was long gone. The engineers run the computer without knowing exactly how the program worked, it indicated that the ice impact was inconsequential. I think the engineers did a SWAG, and the managers weren't convinced and just ran with it. I think if there were managers from the old days, they debacle wouldn't have happened.



I just read that, and the computer program DID predict that there would be signifigant damage to the leading edge of the wing.
Boeing's engineers and managers and Nasa's engineers both downplayed the result.


Boeing-developed damage prediction software was used to evaluate possible tile and reinforced carbon/carbon (RCC) damage.

The software predicted severe penetration of multiple tiles by the impact, but Boeing engineers downplayed this.

They (senior NASA managers) believed that results showing that the software overstated damage from small projectiles meant that the same would be true of larger foam (SOFI) impacts.

The program used to predict RCC damage was based on small ice impacts, not larger SOFI impacts.

Under 1 of 15 predicted SOFI impact paths, the software predicted an ice impact would completely penetrate the RCC panel.

Engineers downplayed this, too, believing that impacts of the less dense SOFI material would result in less damage than ice impacts.

In an e-mail exchange, NASA managers questioned whether the density of the SOFI could be used as justification for reducing predicted damage.

Despite engineering concerns about the energy imparted by the SOFI material, NASA managers ultimately accepted the rational to reduce predicted damage of the RCC panels from complete penetration to slight damage to the panel's thin coating.



I bet they didn't want to deal with the problem, and pretend the problem is not there and therefore it wasn't problem.. But I think if they had the expertised, they should've seen the problem. That is sad.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:19:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 10:20:26 AM EDT by warlord]
.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:24:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

This is complete horseshit.
At one time the USA did not produce nuclear subs.
Somehow someone figured out a way to make the parts to build nuclear submarines.

IF it comes to the point where there is no active manufacturing it will be easier the second time around.
Blueprints? Reverse engineering? Schematics?
Guess no one has ever heard of them....



Imagine if the entire military shut down for five years, then has to rebuild from scratch. Where would the new military be without its experienced NCOs and officers? Would we still have the same quality as we do today?
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:26:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fike:
During base closure commission hearings, then Navy Secretary Gordon England, said the remaining three government-run yards could handle the amount of work and eliminate "excess capacity."

Adm. Vern Clark, then chief of naval operations, said the declining number of submarines meant the yard was not needed.

But McDonough, O’Connor, and the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations have continued to argue that the declining submarine fleet is the outcome of a reduced budget and not based on need. If the Navy were to consider how many submarines were actually needed, the original proposal to build two a year would still be in place, they say.


Congress telling the Navy how many subs it needs.

It's about jobs, not future naval war planning of which the Navy would know a hell of alot more about than Congress.






There's lot of internal political crap that goes on in the Navy. Lots of turf battles between the commands. Lots of crap going on.

And a lot of people are only too willing to put their own careers ahead of the long term needs of our country.

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:27:20 AM EDT
They should build some subs for the Canadians and the Taiwanese. They dont have to be nukes for the duty they would pull. Nice diesel subs would be awesome for them and us. We should have a few.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:31:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
They should build some subs for the Canadians and the Taiwanese. They dont have to be nukes for the duty they would pull. Nice diesel subs would be awesome for them and us. We should have a few.



Yes they should..however, building Diesel Boats in the United States tend to make people in the Undersea Warfare community nervous about the possibility of a future Congress spending money on Diesel boats for the USN instead of Nukes.

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:38:18 AM EDT
What I don`t understand is why EB and Northrop Grumman aren`t pushing for the construction of SSKs for Taiwan. Certainly that should help preserve shipyard capability. And buying a cheaper SSk hull would allow the Navy to experiment with Air Independent Propulsion in a manner Congress would probably find the money for.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:40:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
What I don`t understand is why EB and Northrop Grumman aren`t pushing for the construction of SSKs for Taiwan. Certainly that should help preserve shipyard capability. And buying a cheaper SSk hull would allow the Navy to experiment with Air Independent Propulsion in a manner Congress would probably find the money for.



Politics...
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:41:52 AM EDT
EB has always had issues, from being behind schedule, $$$ overuns, to quality control problems. Two to three boats a year is adequate I would think to replace aging 688's, EB is just whining so they can milk the Govt tit.

BTW, the Portsmouth Yard in Kittery, ME is full of 688's for overhaul, they have not had all the drydocks full since the 80's. So the Navy isn't exactly thumbing it's nose at the Submariner's, looks to me like the 688's are all going to be upgraded.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:48:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Samstead:

Imagine if the entire military shut down for five years, then has to rebuild from scratch. Where would the new military be without its experienced NCOs and officers? Would we still have the same quality as we do today?



All of your experinced NCO's and Officers would be 5 years older.
Most would come back into the service.
The same quality?
No.
A total loss of quality, experince and training?
Hardly.

If you BOTHERED to read my posts you would see that I have address this.
Let me try again.

When the battle ships were brought out of retirement in the 80's there were still guys in the Navy who had served aboard them in the 50's (Korea) and 60's (Vietnam), not to mention that there were still some guys working in the shipyards who had helped to either build them or refit them.

If the Navy were to reactivate the battle ships today that "corporate knowledge base" is gone.
You would have a handful of guys who served in engineering rates and weapons rates that would know how to repair and operate the systems, but as far as guys who would be able to rework or manufacture parts that corporate knowledge is long gone.

Like I said, it would take 20-40 years before the submarine manufacturing community would lose its corporate knowledge base.

And, I still say that we are the US fucking A, and that we could do it if we had to.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:51:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By Samstead:

Imagine if the entire military shut down for five years, then has to rebuild from scratch. Where would the new military be without its experienced NCOs and officers? Would we still have the same quality as we do today?



All of your experinced NCO's and Officers would be 5 years older.
Most would come back into the service.
The same quality?
No.
A total loss of quality, experince and training?
Hardly.

If you BOTHERED to read my posts you would see that I have address this.
Let me try again.

When the battle ships were brought out of retirement in the 80's there were still guys in the Navy who had served aboard them in the 50's (Korea) and 60's (Vietnam), not to mention that there were still some guys working in the shipyards who had helped to either build them or refit them.

If the Navy were to reactivate the battle ships today that "corporate knowledge base" is gone.
You would have a handful of guys who served in engineering rates and weapons rates that would know how to repair and operate the systems, but as far as guys who would be able to rework or manufacture parts that corporate knowledge is long gone.

Like I said, it would take 20-40 years before the submarine manufacturing community would lose its corporate knowledge base.

And, I still say that we are the US fucking A, and that we could do it if we had to.



well we are 15 years into the period....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:52:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

Originally Posted By fike:
During base closure commission hearings, then Navy Secretary Gordon England, said the remaining three government-run yards could handle the amount of work and eliminate "excess capacity."

Adm. Vern Clark, then chief of naval operations, said the declining number of submarines meant the yard was not needed.

But McDonough, O’Connor, and the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations have continued to argue that the declining submarine fleet is the outcome of a reduced budget and not based on need. If the Navy were to consider how many submarines were actually needed, the original proposal to build two a year would still be in place, they say.


Congress telling the Navy how many subs it needs.

It's about jobs, not future naval war planning of which the Navy would know a hell of alot more about than Congress.






There's lot of internal political crap that goes on in the Navy. Lots of turf battles between the commands. Lots of crap going on.

And a lot of people are only too willing to put their own careers ahead of the long term needs of our country.



It's horseshit statements like that that makes you lose any credibility you might have. Guess what dumbass, when you're the CNO there is no more career to put ahead of the interests of the Navy.

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:59:02 AM EDT
Didnt we more or less severly cut the entire military down after WW2? What problems did this bring for the conflict in Korea?


On the part of the subs.... I dont know how many we need but the fact remains that The Gov is spending way more than its bringing in and cuts need to be made somewhere. Some of those cuts will be hard but must be done. The mentality around here seems to be that nothing should be retired or cut. Especially aircraft.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 10:59:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Orion_Shall_Rise:
well we are 15 years into the period....



Really?
The USA stopped building nuclear powered submarines 15 years ago?
The last class of submarine nuke students graduated 15 years ago?
The Navy dropped nuclear powered submarine based NEC's 15 years ago?
The US shipyards (both civilian and Navy) haven't had a nuclear powered submarine in for yard work, refit or rework in the past 15 years?

PLEASE people, stop the insanity.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:01:33 AM EDT
A couple of things.
#1 There is NO threat that can match our submarine capablity. China may have more diesel boats, but they come no where near the quality of our submarines.
#2 Right now, it's not a matter of the number of subs we have to match the threat. It's a matter of where they and the carriers are located. Congress hates it when the Navy wants to move ships between ocean's. Witness the VA congressional delegation's response to putting another carrier in the Pacific.
#3 Congress, is only interested in their district. If it happens to be a district where submarines are built, then they'll advocate building more submarines. The Navy will then have to either decom ships to keep a steady state, likely meeting with Congressional opposition, or increase manning. Then the Navy's in a pickle. Training and upkeep have to be cut into in order to maintain the manpower level to man all these wonderful ships. A $2 billion sub does you little good if your crew isn't well trained.
#5 EB and NGSS have promised a $2 billion dollar submarine if the Navy starts buying two a year in 2009, IIRC, instead of 2012, which is the Navy's plan. Notice the Navy's plan starts building two subs a year much sooner than a decade from now like some here suggest. That also coincides pretty well with the end of the 30 year service life of the improved LA class subs.

As far as diesel goes, if someone things diesel is a good idea for our Navy I highly suggest looking at the transit time of a diesel submarine across the Pacific compared to a nuke boat, both submerged.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:02:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OregonShooter:
The mentality around here seems to be that nothing should be retired or cut. Especially aircraft.


There you have it.

The Navy has an actual shipbuilding plan for the first time in a decade and that's not good enough, even though the people who are making these decisions have more access to threat data then we do.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:24:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

Originally Posted By fike:
During base closure commission hearings, then Navy Secretary Gordon England, said the remaining three government-run yards could handle the amount of work and eliminate "excess capacity."

Adm. Vern Clark, then chief of naval operations, said the declining number of submarines meant the yard was not needed.

But McDonough, O’Connor, and the New Hampshire and Maine congressional delegations have continued to argue that the declining submarine fleet is the outcome of a reduced budget and not based on need. If the Navy were to consider how many submarines were actually needed, the original proposal to build two a year would still be in place, they say.


Congress telling the Navy how many subs it needs.

It's about jobs, not future naval war planning of which the Navy would know a hell of alot more about than Congress.






There's lot of internal political crap that goes on in the Navy. Lots of turf battles between the commands. Lots of crap going on.

And a lot of people are only too willing to put their own careers ahead of the long term needs of our country.



It's horseshit statements like that that makes you lose any credibility you might have. Guess what dumbass, when you're the CNO there is no more career to put ahead of the interests of the Navy.




Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:25:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
\Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.




Show me proof where someone has put their own intrests ahead of the Navy? Otherwise, you're full of shit, as always.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:38:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
\Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.




Show me proof where someone has put their own intrests ahead of the Navy? Otherwise, you're full of shit, as always.



Resorting to personal Attacks Dport? I can play that game.

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:43:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
\Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.




Show me proof where someone has put their own intrests ahead of the Navy? Otherwise, you're full of shit, as always.



Resorting to personal Attacks Dport? I can play that game.



Substantiate your claim. Otherwise, I'm merely telling the truth.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:44:08 AM EDT
Once again, when faced with logic, facts and someone who works in the industry BT97 is lost....
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:48:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
Once again, when faced with logic, facts and someone who works in the industry BT97 is lost....


What's funny is BT is crying rice bowl at a time where cooperation within the DoN is very high. I haven't seen the competition that used to be evident in preceding years. I think it has to do with the way the Unified Commanders are now in the loop for procurement. They tell the services what capabilities they'll need and the services are obligated, now more than ever, to meet them.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:55:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
\Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.




Show me proof where someone has put their own intrests ahead of the Navy? Otherwise, you're full of shit, as always.




Code of Conduct:

(6.) Repeatedly attacking or insulting a person in an effort to elicit a negative response. You have a right to disagree, but please do so in a respectful manner.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:57:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 11:59:30 AM EDT by dport]

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
\Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.




Show me proof where someone has put their own intrests ahead of the Navy? Otherwise, you're full of shit, as always.




Code of Conduct:

(6.) Repeatedly attacking or insulting a person in an effort to elicit a negative response. You have a right to disagree, but please do so in a respectful manner.


Then go cry and tell. Geez. You outright accuse Navy leadership of putting their interests ahead of the nation's without proof and somehow, when I say prove it OTHERWISE, you're full of shit, you get all defensive. My guess is that's because you fingers made a statement your ass can't back up.

ETA: I see once again you had an opprotunity to back up your claims and failed to do so. Now because someone is calling you out you go hiding behind mom's skirt.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 12:03:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Armed_Scientist:
We need two virginia boats a year, now not in a decade. Also we should be thinking about a replacement for the Ohio class. I'm thinking 32 launch bays that are reconfigurable to launching SLBMs (conventional or nuclear), Cruise missiles, or UCAVs. Use the new generations three cycle self breeding reactors using either potasium vapor or molten magnesium as the primary coolant loop to provide power for an all electric drive system. (Molten magnesium would allow for use of MHD coupling in addition to allow for a second coolant loop throught a heat exchanger spining a turbo alternator, this would represent an order of magnitude increase in converstion efficency over the current pressurized water reactors)




What is this crap? Aside from the liquid sodium experiments, we have been using PWR's exclusively for 60 years. Our entire training pipeline and infrastructure is based on a series of PWR's with a high degree of commonality and incremental improvement. Thus, students trained on 40 year old S5W plants can go to the fleet and operate the latest generation plants. The fundamentals all remain the same. Suddenly throwing a couple unique new technology plants into the fleet would cripple the entire program. As it is, we are barely able to maintain and operate what we have.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 12:03:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
\Sure whatever you say, Dport, (sounds of "It's a Small World After All"), yeah we are just one big happy Family. Its Disneyworld.

There is a lot of crap going on between different commands, between different bases. F_cking Iron Rice Bowl.




Show me proof where someone has put their own intrests ahead of the Navy? Otherwise, you're full of shit, as always.




Code of Conduct:

(6.) Repeatedly attacking or insulting a person in an effort to elicit a negative response. You have a right to disagree, but please do so in a respectful manner.


Then go cry and tell. Geez. You outright accuse Navy leadership of putting their interests ahead of the nation's without proof and somehow, when I say prove it OTHERWISE, you're full of shit, you get all defensive. My guess is that's because you fingers made a statement your ass can't back up.




Code of Conduct: Rule #6

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 12:05:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
snip




Are you going to back up your claim?

Didn't think so.

Hear that flushing sound? That's your credibility.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 12:53:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 12:57:59 PM EDT by Bostonterrier97]

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:
snip




Are you going to back up your claim?

Didn't think so.

Hear that flushing sound? That's your credibility.




I am going to use an Historical Example.



Reference in regards to what happened to Captain Joseph John Rochefort courtesy of Rear Admiral Joeseph Redman in the after the Battle of Midway.


The entire article can be found here

Specifically see: www.worldwar2history.info/Midway/intelligence.html

from: militaryhistory.about.com/cs/worldwar2/a/codebreakerhk_4.htm

There are different accounts of what happened. The first states that the Washington planners would neither forgive nor forget Rochefort for proving them wrong about Midway. Cryptologic researcher and writer Philip H. Jacobsen stated that the achievements of Rochefort…”cannot be over-emphasized” but what Rochefort had done for America did not matter to some navy planners. Jacobsen bluntly blames the [then] “newly installed cabal of the Redman brothers.”7 When Admiral Joseph R. Redman became Director of Naval Communications, Captain Laurence Safford, head of the Communications Security Unit and responsible for the decoding of all Japanese messages intercepted through ‘Magic’ was ousted and replaced by the admiral’s younger brother, John R. Redman, an officer completely untrained in intelligence and code-breaking. After the battle of Midway, the Redman brothers began efforts to remove Rochefort and finally succeeded in October 1942. Nimitz’s request for the Distinguished Service Medal for Rochefort was twice denied, but given to Redman supporters in Washington.

Continueing on to the next page:

A second account bluntly states that:

Joseph Rochefort [was] caught in the infighting between the director of naval intelligence and the director of naval communications over which directorate should control the production and dissemination of communications intelligence." Rochefort's [career] did not survive the struggle.8


In either case, the bottom line in this disgusting affair was that one of America’s finest and most dedicated intelligence officers was banished from intelligence work with his career being destroyed in the process. After the Battle of Midway, the man who had given the US Navy the intelligence that changed the course of the war in the Pacific was transferred from the Pacific and spent the rest of the war in meaningless and unimportant posts.


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