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Subject: Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN
gf0012-aust    10/17/2005 8:47:13 PM
US Naval Sea Systems Command Mon, 17 Oct 2005, 08:47 The Navy today has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) a cost reimbursement modification, valued at $162,359,000 for the conversion of the USS Georgia from an Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN 729) to Ohio Class guided missile submarine (SSGN 729). “This contract modification represents the final contractual step in transforming the first four Ohio Class SSBNs into the most capable strike and Special Forces platform in the Navy," said Capt. David Norris, who is the Program Executive Officer, Submarine’s SSGN Program Manager (PMS 398). “USS Georgia is the last of four ships to enter the conversion phase,” Norris continued, “and it comes almost one month to the day before Ohio returns to the Fleet as an SSGN.” The USS Georgia's conversion will be conducted concurrently with its Engineered Refueling Overhaul (ERO) work already being performed at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY). Seventy-seven percent of the ship's conversion work will also be performed at NNSY, with 16 percent of work at Quonset Point, Rhode Island and seven percent in Groton, Connecticut. USS Georgia began its ERO at NNSY in March 2005, and is expected to complete conversion in September 2007. The SSGN program leverages the expertise of private and public shipyards. General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) is responsible for the ship design and conducts and manages the conversions. The Naval Shipyards are conducting the refueling overhauls, providing government furnished services to GDEB, and providing some conversion labor under Centers of Industrial and Technical Excellence agreements with GDEB. Under the direction of PMS 398, the first four Ohio Class submarines, USS Ohio (SSGN 726), USS Michigan (SSGN 727), USS Florida (SSGN 728), and USS Georgia (SSGN 729) are being converted into the new SSGN class. All four submarines in the program are in Naval Shipyards now for overhaul and conversion; specifically, Ohio and Michigan are at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and Florida and Georgia are at NNSY. The SSGN program oversees the development and installation of the modifications to the four Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines to provide a conventional strike capability using Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as the SOF capability. These modifications include integration of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System and conversion of the existing strategic fire control system to support the launch of Tomahawk Block III and IV missiles. The missiles are housed in a modular Multiple All Up Round Canister subsystem within the submarine missile tubes. The SSGN program is producing important capability on a time-compressed schedule, at about $1 billion per ship. The cost is significantly less than the cost of a new submarine platform. The primary missions of the SSGN will be land attack and Special Operations Forces (SOF) insertion and support. Each of the converted submarines will have the capability to launch up to 154 Tomahawk or Tactical Tomahawk land attack missiles, as well as support enhanced Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and joint special operations. The space capacity of the SSGN provides the room needed for several SOF platoons to train and maintain physical conditioning for a sustained deployment. Clandestine insertion and retrieval of SOF operators via lockout chambers will be enhanced by the ability of the SSGN to host dual Dry Deck Shelters with SEAL Delivery Vehicles and/or the Advanced SEAL Delivery System. "With our rapid design and construction cycle, intelligent use of existing ships and support infrastructure, and unequalled land attack and special operations capabilities, the Ohio Class SSGN program is a major submarine transformation success story. SSGN provides an exceptional capability in the near term for the Global War on Terrorism at an affordable cost," said Norris.
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EW3    RE:Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN   10/18/2005 8:47:04 PM
The SSBN to the SSGN conversion is an interesting lesson in American politics. As I understand it the Navy wanted no part of it, and it was forced on them by congress. (gf correct me if I'm wrong, my sources are weak) The SSGN is one of the best weapons for the next 20 years. Less than a month to the Ohio being recommisioned.
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gf0012-aust    RE:Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN   10/19/2005 7:31:48 PM
" As I understand it the Navy wanted no part of it, and it was forced on them by congress. (gf correct me if I'm wrong, my sources are weak)" actually I have NFI on the politics of this. I was lucky to be able to sit in on a presentation by NG's head of the Virginia/Seawolf project and CINCPAC last year as they crunched the capbility though. comment was made that the SSGN was literally the most powerful platform available to throw non nuclear weapons of any country in the world. It was referred to as the underwater version of the arsenal ship - amongst other things. I would guess that USN-MID or the other USN boaties would be a lot closer to knowing the history of the political machinations.
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Galrahn    RE:Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN   10/24/2005 1:51:36 AM
For background on the concept you can check out COMING OF AGE: THE SSGN CONCEPT By Rear Admiral John D. Butler, USN 3 part study. Summery: 4 Ohio's were going to be put on the table for decommissioning as apart of the START Nuclear Reduction Treaties. The Bush administration did a study, followed by the treaties themselves during the Clinton administration. Congress liked the SSGN conversion ideas because it fit their idea of "Transfermation." The Navy didn't like it because they were scared it would take away from other platforms they wanted, like the Seawolf (at the time) and later the Virgina class. The surface fleet people also didn't like it because they originally didn't see a use for it. With Sea Power 21, 9-11 and the GWOT, and increased reliance on Navy stealth for SOF and the possibility of premptive cruise missle strikes against GWOT targets, the SSGN grew in popularity once the idea was fully realized prior to the Ohio conversion. Also, it became clear that congress wasn't interested in replacing other ideas, simply forwarding their own 'transformation' strategy they could claim as their own in Navy circles. The advent of UAV, UUV, and USV technologies and concepts has only forwarded the SSGN potential within the Navy, and now the Navy is enjoying the increased R&D money they have been provided to forward the SSGN concept as a result from it being 'Congresses' idea. It isn't really congresses idea, but the Navy has no problem letting them think it is as long as they see the extra R&D money associated with it being their idea.
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Factor X    RE:Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN   10/24/2005 8:46:43 PM
I see it as a transformation from "Deterring" to, well, actual "Doing" the types of missions we see forthcoming. are 150+ Tomohawks really a heavy impact on a coastal city? I can't recount any really decisive Tomohawk actions. FX
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EW3    RE:Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN   10/24/2005 9:22:28 PM
are 150+ Tomohawks really a heavy impact on a coastal city? It depends on what city you're talking about, but 150 Tomahawks into NYC would make 9/11 look like a holiday. Start by destroying all the bridges, and that wouldn't take more than 50 missiles. Would cripple the city for years.
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683spa    RE:Conversion of USS Georgia From SSBN to SSGN   10/25/2005 1:57:49 PM
kinda depends on what type of missile.
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EW3    Converted Ohio ready for sea trials   10/28/2005 11:14:25 PM
Getting close. Have to wonder why it will take to 2007 for it to be ready to deploy. But still good news. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Converted Ohio ready for sea trials By Christopher Munsey Times staff writer The guided-missile submarine Ohio, the first of four former Trident ballistic missile boats undergoing conversion to the new SSGN mission, is scheduled to start sea trials soon. Ohio recently finished a nuclear reactor refueling and conversion process at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington, said Kevin Sykes, a Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman. Four former Trident submarines, including Ohio, Georgia, Florida and Michigan, are being converted to SSGNs, at a total cost of approximately $4 billion. Instead of Trident nuclear-warhead tipped missiles, the new SSGNs will carry an arsenal of up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and serve as special operations platforms. As part of the conversion, the battery of 24 Trident missile tubes were removed, freeing up space for cruise missile canisters and storage space. Officials have said an SSGN will be able to host as many as 66 SEALs or Special Operations forces, along with transporting a mini-submarine called the Advanced SEAL Delivery System, and a dry deck shelter with a SEAL Delivery Vehicle. Following sea trials and after completing testing and training, Ohio is expected to be available for deployment sometime in 2007, Sykes said. Conversion work is on schedule on Georgia, Florida and Michigan, with all three conversions complete by September 2007. from:
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VelocityVector    RE:Converted Ohio ready for sea trials   10/29/2005 12:54:59 AM
> Have to wonder why it will take to 2007 for it to be ready to deploy. < We require additional time to (1) develop her offensive employment schemes in various bodies of water throughout the world (2) improve safeguards for such a valuable but detectable platform in the littorals and other risky environments (3) create, test and refine her computers, networks and systems which will make or break (1) and (2) above (4) place more national technical resources into their atmospheric and extra-atmospheric orbits so the orchestra can play as unity v^2
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EW3    RE:Converted Ohio ready for sea trials   10/29/2005 1:06:36 AM
Thanks v^2, excellent explanation. That actually makes the delivery date of 2007 for the other 3 boats kind of interesting. The Ohio will have improved the baseline systems, so these improvements would get incorporated into the other 3 boats.
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VelocityVector    RE:Converted Ohio ready for sea trials   10/29/2005 7:06:29 PM
Eventually the class will become known as having been one of three things. It was: (1) an expensive experiment a la Regulus or Lipscomb that never fired a shot in anger and therefore the project was never justified in view of our other commitments, (2) a naval masterstroke which takes down an Abu Musa, scuttles an attempted Formosan Straits crossing or some such validation of the expenditure, or (3) a national blunder and an albatross which kills a lot of Navy personnel or results in their capture and drowns the Navy budget going forward. I bet those who pushed the concept through are now considerably more cognizant of the downside risks including that boats or large numbers of SEALS may get trapped and plutonium reactors may be bottomed and they appreciate the destabilizing influence the class may exert in a genuine crisis and possibly even recognize that the powers who be will likely default to the aircraft carrier assuming the political stakes are high. The CNN-consuming public can get its arms around the defensive, anti-surface and land strike aspects of the aircraft carrier and the anti-ship and strategic missions for the submarine, however, I’m not sure they, or anybody else for that matter, fully comprehends the two-edged nature of an arsenal-assault submarine employment and its attendant risks, military and political. I favor the class but only time will tell whether it actually made sense, as with similar national projects, I s'ppose we can always re-install the SLBM tubes if an SSBN goes down. v^2
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