WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's Ohio-class submarine replacement program achieved 'Milestone A' and is approved to enter the Technology Development Phase of the Department of Defense life cycle management system as of Jan. 10.
Milestone A is the point at which a recommendation is made and approval sought regarding starting or continuing an acquisition program, i.e., proceeding to the next phase. Reaching the milestone allows the Ohio-class replacement program to move into the technology development phase. During this phase, the program will establish requirements and continue design and technology development efforts that will ultimately lead to a ship construction contract.
The milestone was met following the endorsement of the Defense Acquisition Board, chaired by Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Dr. Ashton Carter, on Dec. 9.
"The Navy is committed to ensuring that an affordable replacement ballistic missile submarine is designed, built, and delivered on time with the right capabilities to sustain the most survivable leg of our triad for many decades to come," said Program Executive Officer for Submarines Rear Adm. Dave Johnson.
The Defense Acquisition Board endorsed replacing the current 14 Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines as they reach the end of their service life with 12 Ohio replacement submarines, each comprising 16, 87-inch missile tubes, in a acquisition decision memorandum.
The acquisition decision memorandum validates the program's technology development strategy and allows entry into the technology development phase during which warfighting requirements will be refined to meet operational and affordability goals.
Design, prototyping, and technology development efforts will continue to ensure sufficient technological maturity for lead ship procurement in 2019.
The 2010 Nuclear Posture Review revalidated the recapitalization of the nation's sea-based strategic deterrent. This study followed the May 2009 Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, that recognized submarine-launched ballistic missiles as the most survivable, and therefore most capable, of the three strategic deterrence legs of the U.S. nuclear triad. The Ohio replacement will leverage the successful Virginia-class acquisition program and carry the Trident II (D5) Life Extension missile, the nation's most accurate and reliable strategic missile system with 134 consecutive successful flight tests.
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