US Navy seeks to address major programme delays caused by shipbuilding's new normal of worker and supply shortages

by Michael Fabey

Aircraft carrier Enterprise is running 18–26 months behind schedule. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Major US Navy (USN) shipbuilding programmes are running one to three years behind schedule due in a large part to the lack of a sufficient workforce and supply-chain disruptions, according to a 45-day shipbuilding review of these programmes and USN officials who spoke about the review's findings on 2 April during a roundtable media discussion.

While some of these issues are “lingering” Covid impacts, Nickolas Guertin, assistant secretary of the navy for research, development, and acquisition, acknowledged during the roundtable that they have become a new normal of the shipbuilding waterfront world.

“The supply chain is different now,” he said, adding some materials must be acquired much sooner than before.

In addition, he said, not only has there been a thinning of the workforce, there has also been a “greening of the workforce” – with veteran workers leaving the ranks and being replaced by younger and less-experienced workers, which also has an impact on waterfront work.

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Keel laid for Constellation-class guided-missile frigate lead ship

by Michael Fabey

The keel was laid for guided-missile frigate Constellation , the lead ship for the new class of surface ships. (US Navy)

The keel for the guided-missile frigate Constellation (FFG 62), the lead ship of the new Constellation-class of ships, was laid on 12 April, the US Navy (USN) confirmed.

Speaking at the keel-laying ceremony on the same day, USN Secretary Carlo Del Toro noted the need to augment the fleet with ships like FFGs, especially with recent events in the Red Sea.

Constellation and the Constellation-class frigates are a critical next step in the modernisation of our surface ship inventory, increasing the number of players on the field available globally for our fleet and combatant commanders,” Del Toro said during his speech, according to the USN.

“As recent events in the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific have shown, our ships, submarines, aircraft, sailors, and marines are in high demand by our national decision makers,” he said.

Testifying on 10 April before the House Appropriations Committee (HAC), Del Toro noted some of the fleet-relative technological enhancements being advanced in the frigate programme.

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Navy League 2024: US Navy leadership touts amphibious-ship investments as cost and readiness concerns continue

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy lost amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard to fire damage. (US Navy)

US Navy (USN) leaders are touting the investments being planned for the country's naval amphibious fleet and associated resources, even as government analysts are questioning the costs of some of these acquisitions and the navy is studying requirements and maintenance issues associated with amphibious forces.

Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the chief of naval operations (CNO), confirmed that the USN and the US Marine Corps (USMC) will review amphibious warship readiness and maintenance issues on 8 April during a discussion with reporters at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2024 global maritime exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.

The USMC could not fulfil US emergency-response force needs on two recent important occasions, Bryan Clark, senior fellow and director of the Center for Defense Concepts and Technology at Hudson Institute, told Janes on 31 March in an interview in advance of the symposium.

Marines had to forego disaster relief for Türkiye and the service could not provide similar amphibious operations for Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) for South Sudan, Clark noted.

With the loss of amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard

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UDT 2024: Aselsan to start work on second Deringöz AUV variant

by Kate Tringham

A full-scale model of Aselsan's first Deringöz AUV under development on display at UDT 2024. The company is set to start work on a smaller version this year. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

Aselsan has outlined plans to start expanding its family of Deringöz autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) this year as the first prototype under development progresses through its trials programme.

Speaking to Janes at the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) 2024 conference and exhibition in London on 9 April, an Aselsan spokesperson told that the first prototype is making good progress following the successful completion of its first diving test in early March, and the company was optimistic that the system would complete development in the first or second quarter of 2025.

The AUV will conduct further navigation and guidance testing during April before progressing to trials in deeper water in May, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the company is planning to start building a second, smaller version this year, which it aims to complete by 2026, according to the spokesperson. Aselsan is planning a family of three Deringöz AUVs in total, although no timeframe has yet been set for the development of the largest version.

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Major US Navy (USN) shipbuilding programmes are running one to three years behind schedule due in a ...

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