Seeking Sea Based Strategic Deterrence and Future SSBNs

I found this interesting for my underwater acoustics readers.

U.S. Seeks Successor to Trident Submarine
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE KING’S BAY, Ga., Feb. 20, 2009 – The U.S. Navy has started the process to find a 21st-century successor to the Trident strategic missile submarine, senior Defense Department officials said here yesterday.
“We’re just at the opening phases right now, going through the proper systems engineering that will advance that particular design approach,” Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter told reporters at a news conference.

Tridents are nuclear-powered, Ohio-class submarines. At 560 feet long and 42 feet wide, Tridents are the largest submarines in the U.S. Navy’s inventory. The first Trident ballistic-missile submarine, the USS Ohio, was commissioned in 1981.

“A wide variety of options” are being considered for the Trident’s replacement, Winter said. However, the Navy secretary expressed his belief that the Trident system would be replaced by another undersea-going platform.

“I do fully expect that it is going to be a submarine,” Winter said of the Trident’s successor.

Prior to the news conference the Navy’s top leaders and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were among senior officials who attended a ceremony that paid tribute to the crew of the USS Wyoming Trident strategic missile submarine.

The USS Wyoming finished its 38th patrol Feb. 11, marking the 1000th completed patrol of a Trident submarine since the Ohio embarked on its initial patrol in October 1982. The Wyoming was commissioned in July 1996 and began its first patrol in August 1997.

Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed Winter’s belief that the Trident’s replacement “will be a submarine.”

Chief of Naval Operations Navy Adm. Gary Roughead told reporters of the resilience and independence exhibited by submariners’ families.

“I think the families of our submariners are really like submariners, a special breed,” Roughead said. “And, my hat’s off to them, and they have my utmost respect and support.”

The U.S. military is about to embark on its Quadrennial Defense Review and a Nuclear Posture Review, Cartwright said, to determine what types of defense capabilities will be required to maintain U.S. national security in the coming years. The QDR is performed every four years.

The threats America faces during the 21st century are much more diverse and involve “a much broader spectrum of conflict against a much broader number of enemies, to include those that are not nation-states,” Cartwright told reporters.

Gauging and evaluating future threats and determining what kinds of military capabilities and systems will be needed to deter them will be debated during the QDR and the nuclear posture review, Cartwright said.

U.S. defense planners are now seeking “to tailor our deterrence for the types of actors that were not present during the Cold War but are going to be present in the future,” Cartwright said.

And, “it will be the sailors that will make the difference in deterrence, not necessarily just the platforms,” Cartwright said of the Navy’s future nuclear-deterrent mission.

The 14 nuclear-missile carrying Trident submarines based here and at other Navy ports provide more than half of America’s strategic deterrent capability, King’s Bay officials said.

“The application of deterrence can be actually more complicated in the 21st century, but some fundamentals don’t change,” Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said. “And, the underlying strength of our deterrence force remains the nuclear deterrent force that we have today.”

The Trident submarine strategic missile force “is absolutely essential” to America’s nuclear-deterrent capability, Chilton said.

“And, it’s not just to deter nuclear conflict,” he said of the Tridents’ mission. “These forces have served to deter conflict in general, writ large, since they’ve been fielded.”

The U.S. government agreed to reduce the number of its strategic-missile submarines as part of the 1992 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Consequently, four of the Navy’s 18 Trident submarines were modified to exchange their nuclear missiles for Tomahawk-guided cruise missiles. These vessels carry the designator SSGN. In 2006, the USS Ohio was converted into a guided-missile submarine.

At the news conference, Roughead said the Navy is “really pleased” with the converted Trident submarines, which also carry a contingent of special operations troops, as well as the Tomahawks.

“That [type of] submarine has performed extremely well,” Roughead said of the cruise-missile carrying Tridents.

The facility here was established in 1980, replacing a closed U.S. ballistic submarine facility that had been based in Rota, Spain. In 1989, USS Tennessee was the first Trident submarine to arrive at the facility. Another Trident training facility is based in Bangor, Wash.

Vibration and Noise Control Class Offered

Media Contact:
Carolyn Cordrey
(888) 501-2100
ATIinfo@aol.com

Vibration and Noise Control Class Offered

Respected specialists Dr. Eric Ungar and Dr. James Moore will be teaching Applied Technology Institute’s “Vibration and Noise Control” course in 2009. The four-day course focuses on vibration reduction and quieting of vehicles, devices, and equipment. It will provide guidance relevant to design, problem solving, and development of improvements. Dr. Ungar has served as president of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, Chairman of the Design Engineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and has won awards for his work on vibrations of complex structures, structural damping, and isolation. Dr. Moore developed Statistical Energy Analysis models for the investigation of vibrations and noise in complex structures such as submarines, helicopters, and cars. He has participated in the development of active noise control systems, noise reduction coating, and signal conditioning means. Both have many years of teaching.

Dates and Locations: March 16-19, 2009 in Boston, MA and May 4-7, 2009 in Beltsville, MD

Dr Ungar has also published a humorous Acoustics from A to Z, that is available at

http://www.ATIcourses.com/sampler/Acoustics%20from%20A%20to%20Z.pdf

ATI is the leader in scientific and technical training since 1984. Regisration: call 410-956-8805 / 888-501/2100 or online at www.ATIcourses.com

Whales and the Navy

Whales and the Navy
By Susan Chambers, Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 |

The U.S. Navy, pressured by coastal residents has extended a comment period on its plans to double its area for training off the coasts of Northern California, Oregon and Washington.

News of the Navy’s plans spread through e-mails and on blogs on the Internet two weeks ago as notices about public meetings were sent out. But many folks were outraged, contending there was insufficient public notice and too few public meetings. The deadline has been extended to Wednesday, Feb. 18.

New national security challenges and advancement in technology make it necessary, the Navy said.

“Recent world events have placed the U.S. military on heightened alert in the defense of the U.S. and in defense of allied nations,” the Navy said.

The Navy started scoping meetings in 2007 to get input on its study for the training complex. The 60-day process started in July and included meetings held in September 2007.

The Navy received 50 comments, 23 of which expressed concerns or opposition to the training’s impact on marine mammals, such as whales.

Bruce Mate, the director of the marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, said in an e-mail the Navy plans to use high-energy sonar, up to 235 decibels. The National Marine Fisheries Service, he said, limits the sounds of human activities to no more than 160 decibels.

Editor Note: Mate does not seem to take into account that the sound pressure level decreases with range and the acoustic intensity decreases as 1/(range squared):

Navy Sonar and Marine Mammals off Hawaii

The U.S. Navy was granted a one-year permit to train with sonar and bombs in Hawaii waters so long as it tries to protect whales and other marine animals from harm. This is a controverial topic. It is covered in a full day in ATI’s course Advanced Topics In Underwater Acoustics.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090114/ap_on_re_us/navy_whales_1

  • Environmental Impact Considerations for Underwater Sound (Ellison) Anthropogenic sound impacts on marine animals. Permit requirements and process. US Federal Regulations, NEPA, MMPA, ESA, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, National Marine Sanctuaries Act. International regulations and guidelines. Monitoring and mitigation.   
  • Marine Bioacoustics for Engineers (Ellison) Fundamentals of Marine Animal Hearing and Communication. Bioacoustic metrics. Acoustic exposure criteria for harm and significant behavior response for marine mammals. Developing criteria for fish and turtles. Behavioral testing techniques. 
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    http://www.aticourses.com/advanced_topics_underwater_acoustics.html