Navy's budget includes new technology, hardware

Service focused on purchasing 'more with less'

The Navy continues searching for efficiences to reduce costs and has asked for a fiscal 2012 budget of $161.4 billion, up from $155.6 billion in fiscal 2011. Speaking at a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Rear Adm. Joseph Mulloy, the Navy’s deputy assistant secretary for budget, said that the service’s cost-cutting goal has been to purchase “more with less” over time.

Mulloy said the Navy has generated 1,600 program efficiencies ranging from $200,000 to $2 billion, saving about $35 billion through overhead efficiency efforts. The service created the cost savings with smart acquisition efforts, streamlining organizations and operations, and cutting energy consumption, he said.

The Navy and the Marine Corps also expect future savings through personnel drawdowns, which are contingent on the future withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan. However, while the sea service expects some future savings from active-duty personnel cuts, it also plans to hire some additional civilian staff or accept transfers from other services through base closures and realignment. Mulloy said that the civilian staff increase for fiscal 2012 is expected to be about 2.5 percent.

The service’s fiscal 2012 focus areas include:

  • Elimination of cost growth across the Navy.
  • Energy initiatives.
  • Optimization of Unmanned Aerial Systems.
  • Baseline readiness.
  • Human capital.
  • Enhancement of acquisition policies.
  • Shipbuilding and strike-fighter management.

Key Navy priorities include shipbuilding and aviation plans, information dominance efforts and support for FleetCybercom/10th Fleet, quality of life issues for sailors and their families, current operations and platform maintenance and readiness, total ownership cost reduction, and energy efficiency. The service's operations and maintenance budget for fiscal 2012 is pegged at $47.9 billion.

In fiscal 2012,  the Navy plans to spend $45.8 billion to procure new ships, aircraft, weapons, hardware and ammunition. The service is also committed to its next-generation fighter aircraft, proposing to acquire 67 of the naval version of the Joint Tactical Strike Fighter aircraft for $1.3 billion. Other aircraft purchases include 41 more F-18 Super Hornets, and one E2D Hawkeye radar aircraft. The Navy is also interested in expanding its unmanned aircraft capability by acquiring 26 MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned reconnaissance helicopters. To support its communications systems, the service is continuing to acquire Joint Tactical Radio System radios by allocating $688 million. 

Research and development related spending in the fiscal 2012 budget is slated at $18 billion. This funding includes $198 million for the Navy's X-47B unmanned combat aircraft. The service is also continuing research and development funding for next-generation warships such as the DDG-1000 next-generation destroyer, the CVN-21 next-generation aircraft carrier, and Virginia class submarines.

The Navy is also focusing on energy savings. Mulloy said that the service wants to invest $2.5 billion in energy initiatives such as alternative fuels and energy-saving technologies.  

Marine Corps priorities include:

  • Maintaining force levels at 202,000 Marines.
  • Funding energy transformation.
  • Sustaining quality of life.
  • Funding training initiatives.
  • Preserving Defense Department mandates.

Mulloy said that the Marine Corps is planning to purchase additional ground vehicles and spend additional funds for advanced communications, electronics and radar equipment. Total Marine Corps procurement for fiscal 2012 is $1.2 billion, down from $1.7 billion in fiscal 2011. Additionally, Marine Corps spending on communications equipment will increase to $322 million, up from $245 million in 2011.

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