Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Replacing Virginia Class Subs ... High Speed Train or Transmission Lines?

3/5/2009 UPDATE: Congressional delegation thinks subs are safe in budget - Virginia class has been free of delays, overruns as defense cuts loom (TheDay.com)
The preceeding update certainly had to be expected; what happens next, may not be:
3/4/2009 UPDATE: - U.S. professor recommends Gotland-class submarine (Defpro.news)
In the February issue of the respected Armed Forces Journal, Professor Mikan Vego of the US Naval War College proposes that the US Navy complement its force of nuclear submarines with a number of conventional submarines. ... Compared with other conventional submarines of similar capabilities, the Gotland class comes with an attractive price tag, notes Professor Vego. According to him, a Gotland-class submarine costs almost 30 percent less than other comparable submarines.

From The Boston Globe 3 March 2009 -

Penny-pincher at the Pentagon - excerpts [highlights added]:

THE BEST measure of President Obama's commitment to reducing the deficit by cutting defense spending is his appointment of Harvard's Ashton Carter as the Pentagon official in charge of buying weapons.
When it comes to stimulating the economy, however, a costly ship or plane that will rarely if ever fire a shot cannot hold a candle to a high-speed train or a new high-voltage transmission line for renewable energy.
Obama would not have picked Carter without the approval of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has already informed Congress that he plans to take a hard look at weapons systems that are a throwback to the Cold War era and ill-suited to the security threats of this century. The Gates rogues' gallery includes ... the Navy's Virginia-class attack submarine that General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman are building.
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Obama will get a fight on submarine cutbacks, not only from industry, but from members of Congress fearing further job losses in their districts. Congressional objections could be easily bought off by routing high speed train tracks or high-voltage transmission lines for renewable energy into those districts.
Does anyone recall what the Japanese taught the U.S. at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941?
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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