The United States Navy requires a frigate. Building this warship will strengthen our depleted naval fleet and reenergize a vital sector of the nation’s defense industrial base, especially in the Midwest “rust-belt” region of the nation.
In July, the Navy issued a request for information to shipbuilding manufacturers for a new frigate. Officials said they want a “mature design” — in other words, a proven ship. The service will even consider a foreign warship, so long as it is built in the United States by Americans. The United States has not been a global leader in shipbuilding for a generation. The new frigate program is an opportunity to bring new designs, new construction techniques, lower prices, and higher efficiency back to the U.S.shipbuilding industry. The frigate program also gives the Pentagon and contractors an opportunity to take a wider strategic look at the nation’s defense industrial base.
Such a strategic look at America’s defense industrial base was last performed by the Eisenhower Administration. Under Project Solarium, small teams of experts examined strategies for confronting the Soviet Union, and made specific and detailed recommendations for investing in the defense industrial base. A key component of their findings was that the nation must establish critical redundancies within a dispersed defense industrial base to ensure that the nation could continue to defend itself in the event of a massive Soviet attack.
Read the full op-ed in Defense One.
More from CNAS
VideoThe Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas
On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...
By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens
VideoThe Bottom Line
Although lawmakers and the public frequently debate the size of the U.S. defense budget, a fundamental question usually receives less attention: What does U.S. military spendi...
By Susanna V. Blume
CommentaryIt’s the Logistics, China
In protracted warfare, logistics and sustainment capabilities are as important as force composition, something China will struggle to mitigate. Despite recent successes by ...
By Will Mackenzie
CommentaryTrump, Racism, and the Military
Throughout his administration, President Trump has misused the US military to advance his racist and discriminatory political priorities. He has used the Department of Defense...
By Susanna V. Blume