As we all know, after Trump came to power, the U.S. government led by him has always had a special liking for local products. According to a report on the U.S. Defense News website on June 28, the U.S. House of Representatives The "National Defense Appropriations Act" passed clauses stipulating that the U.S. Navy can only purchase domestic products when purchasing certain equipment, which triggered strong opposition from the Navy.
The cause of the incident was the US Navy's FFG(X) next-generation frigate project. Those familiar with the U.S. Navy know that the rich and powerful U.S. Navy is almost exclusively the "Burke" class destroyer. It has competed with high-end powers, and has gone down to anti-piracy patrols on the African coast. The Aegis is the absolute main force in the hands of other countries. , In the hands of the U.S. military, it is an all-round messenger. However, affected by many factors such as the tight economy of the country and the pressure of competition from major countries such as China and Russia, the U.S. Navy found that this kind of extravagant gameplay is gradually unable to play it.Like the National Navy, the idea of using a medium-sized frigate with a displacement of about 4,000 tons and a 9,000-ton "Burke" for high-low matching was formed, and the specific result was the FFG(X) project that began bidding in 2017.
Because it is a "low-end" miscellaneous ship, FFG(X) The biggest feature is to save money. According to the requirements of the U.S. Navy, the upper limit of the budget for its first ship is US$1.281 billion, and the subsequent ships have to drop to an average of US$900 million. Although it still sounds staggering, compared to the current US$2 billion construction cost of the "Burke IIA" destroyer, it is indeed quite a saving.
The problem is that, due to the pressure of other major powers and the overwhelming impact of its own fleet, the U.S. Navy also requires FFG(X) to start procurement in 2020. Such urgent time pressure has led to the relaxation of the U.S. Navy. In addition to the design restrictions, it is enough to match the US Navy’s active weapons and ship electrical equipment on the existing mature ship. However, most of the mature 4,000-ton frigates on the market are designed by European manufacturers. This has led to the design of the European manufacturers among the five teams participating in the bidding.
Because it is a fast-moving miscellaneous ship, the U.S. Navy certainly doesn’t mind if it’s a national team’s design, but Congress will not do it at this time. Although it’s impossible to completely replace the design team, at least it must be included. Some of the equipment is replaced by American products, such as auxiliary propulsion equipment, cranes, water pumps and the like.
Safety, and it does involve many jobs. Countries around the world often regard production in their own country as an additional condition when engaging in similar international arms tenders. For example, in the Australian Navy’s recent frigate bidding, although the British 26 class won the bid and the total contract amount is as high as 24.4 billion US dollars, the Australian side requires most of the construction of these 9 ships to be arranged in their own country. This means that 65% of the US$24.4 billion will remain in Australia. In this way, Australia will not only take the opportunity to upgrade the technology of its shipyards, but will also create at least 4,000 jobs in the country.
The operation is obviously different, because it is just some auxiliary equipment, which are all mature stocks, and will not actually provide many jobs and profits for the United States. But in turn, this requires the European design team to temporarily change the design. This leads to rising costs; and due to the continued shrinking of the US shipbuilding industry, there is often only one supplier of these auxiliary equipment in the US that can meet the requirements of the Navy. This lack of competition will also cause costs to rise.
The reason why Congress makes such a decision that is almost negativeDistrict voters, and a similar operation occurred once in the 2019 National Defense Budget, and it is even more extreme: in the budget, the US Navy only requires the construction of a littoral combat ship as the class The construction of the battleship was finished, but Congress went uncharacteristically and added the construction budget for three ships in one go. The reason for this is simply because the shipyards where the littoral ships are built are located in the constituencies of some parliamentarians. In order to please the shipyard workers in these constituencies, it is natural to continue to build special projects.
For such things as congressmen sacrificing the navy and even national security for their own political interests, they cannot The U.S. Navy, which is very helpless in politics, can only express resolute obedience, but as soon as this opening is opened, will the congressional masters make more rude requests in the future, and the fate of the FFG(X) project and the interests of the entire U.S. Navy How much it will be affected, probably only God knows.