Congressional Documents

EXCERPTS - Acquisition Programs

105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-132



                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


                               H.R. 1119

                             together with


      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

 June 16, 1997.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY One Hundred Fifth Congress FLOYD D. SPENCE, South Carolina, Chairman BOB STUMP, Arizona RONALD V. DELLUMS, California DUNCAN HUNTER, California IKE SKELTON, Missouri JOHN R. KASICH, Ohio NORMAN SISISKY, Virginia HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah Carolina CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado OWEN PICKETT, Virginia JIM SAXTON, New Jersey LANE EVANS, Illinois STEVE BUYER, Indiana GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii JOHN M. McHUGH, New York MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts JAMES TALENT, Missouri ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam TERRY EVERETT, Alabama JANE HARMAN, California ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland PAUL McHALE, Pennsylvania HOWARD ``BUCK'' McKEON, California PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island RON LEWIS, Kentucky ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma SILVESTRE REYES, Texas MAC THORNBERRY, Texas TOM ALLEN, Maine JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana VIC SNYDER, Arkansas SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia JIM TURNER, Texas VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee F. ALLEN BOYD, Jr., Florida JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida ADAM SMITH, Washington WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North LORETTA SANCHEZ, California Carolina JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina SONNY BONO, California CIRO D. RODRIGUEZ, Texas JIM RYUN, Kansas MICHAEL PAPPAS, New Jersey BOB RILEY, Alabama JIM GIBBONS, Nevada Andrew K. Ellis, Staff Director C O N T E N T S ---------- Page DIVISION A--DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION.................. 19 TITLE I--PROCUREMENT............................................. 19 OVERVIEW....................................................... 19 Aircraft Procurement, Navy................................... 57 Items of Special Interest.................................. 61 Weapons Procurement, Navy.................................... 66 Items of Special Interest.................................. 70 Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy............................ 74 Items of Special Interest.................................. 77 Aircraft Procurement, Air Force.............................. 101 Items of Special Interest.................................. 106 LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS......................................... 139 Subtitle A--Authorization of Appropriations.................. 139 Section 121--Limitation on Obligation of Funds for the Seawolf Submarine Program................................ 139 TITLE II--RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION............ 140 OVERVIEW....................................................... 140 Navy RDT&E................................................... 164 Items Of Special Interest.................................. 174 Air Force RDT&E.............................................. 202 Items Of Special Interest.................................. 211 Defense Agencies RDT&E....................................... 216 Items Of Special Interest.................................. 225 TITLE X--GENERAL PROVISIONS...................................... 399 LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS......................................... 405 Subtitle B--Naval Vessels and Shipyards...................... 406 Section 1022--Authority to Enter into a Long-Term Charter for a Vessel in Support of the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor (SURTASS) Program................................. 407
DIVISION A--DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION TITLE I--PROCUREMENT OVERVIEW The last few years have seen a vigorous debate concerning the adequacy of the Clinton Administration budgets for defense modernization. Administration officials argue that a ``holiday'' in weapons procurement was justified due to the many new weapons purchased in the 1980s and to not having to replace older weapons retired as a result of the drawdown in the size of the force. The 104th Congress reasoned otherwise: namely, that the disproportionate cuts in the equipment modernization accounts jeopardized the technological edge that was so brilliantly demonstrated in the Persian Gulf War. Consequently, Congress added $11 billion to these accounts in the fiscal year 1996 and fiscal year 1997 National Defense Authorization Acts (Public Laws 104-106 and 104-201)--a 15 percent increase over the budget request for each of those two years--despite the Administration's opposition to doing so. In taking these actions, the 104th Congress sought the expert advice of the military service chiefs on how best to apply the additional funds to the most urgent unfunded modernization priorities. Regrettably, no sooner had these acts had been signed into law than the Administration proposed to use the added modernization funds to pay for the operations and readiness shortages contained in their budgets. This same pattern continues with the fiscal year 1998 budget request. Attainment of even modest modernization increases has again been deferred until ``next year.'' Despite obvious and compelling evidence of procurement shortfalls and despite the fact that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded that, beginning with fiscal year 1998, the Department required $60 billion annually to keep the force modernized, the fiscal year 1998 budget request of $42.6 billion represents a cut of $1.5 billion from the budget enacted for fiscal year 1997 and is $2.9 billion below the spending levels forecast in the President's budget for fiscal year 1998 just last year. Furthermore, the budget request marks the fourth consecutive year that the Administration has reduced the fiscal year 1998 procurement figure--by a cumulative total of $14.5 billion-- relative to its earlier projections. The committee notes that the recently-released Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) acknowledges that the planned ``rebound'' in procurement ``has been repeatedly postponed in recent budgets as increases previously projected for the procurement accounts have been eroded by unexpected demands for additional funding in operational activities.'' The committee is dismayed by the fact that the Department believes this shift in resources from modernization to operations will continue and that procurement funding, instead of growing to $60 billion per year, could be expected to stall in the range of $45-$50 billion. The committee further notes that this belief is reinforced by the independent National Defense Panel's critique of the QDR, which found the QDR modernization plan risky due to tenuous assumptions of further base closures and savings from acquisition and other infrastructure reforms. Notwithstanding the Administration's lack of resolve to deal proactively with the continuing modernization problem, the committee--for the third year in a row--has added funds significantly in excess of the procurement budget request. Moreover, in formulating its proposed addition of $3.8 billion, the committee has also once again been responsive to meeting the unfunded priorities submitted by the various military service chiefs of staff. However, because the committee believes that the QDR has not made the correct decisions regarding tactical aircraft and the B-2, it has taken different positions on these two issues. Furthermore, the committee disagrees with the Department's assessment of the Arsenal Ship demonstrator's utility and its proposed teaming arrangement for construction of the New Attack Submarine. These topics are discussed at length in the report. ............. Aircraft Procurement, Navy ............. Items of Special Interest ............. F/A-18 The budget request contained $2,101.1 million for procurement of 20 F/A-18E/F aircraft, four fewer than the number for which advance procurement funds were requested in fiscal year 1997, and $90.5 million for advanced procurement of 30 aircraft in fiscal year 1999. Based on the recently-released recommendations of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the Navy's current procurement objective for the F/A-18E/F is 548 to 785 aircraft, at a maximum production rate of 48 aircraft per year, which has been decreased from the fiscal year 1998 budget request procurement plan of 1,000 aircraft at a maximum production rate of 60 aircraft per year. The committee understands that the Navy plans to determine its actual procurement objective based on the initial operational capability date of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The committee is sensitive to the Navy's requirement to modernize its tactical aircraft fleet. Unfortunately, the Navy failed in its attempts to replace the A-6 and F-14 fleets first with the A-12 and then with the A/F-X, both of which were terminated. Consequently, the F/A-18E/F program emerged--more by default than by design--as the Navy's choice to replace the A-6 in the all-weather attack mission, replace the F-14 in thefleet air defense and tactical reconnaissance missions, and to supplement existing F/A-18C/Ds. The F/A-18E/F improves range and payload capabilities compared to the F/A-18C/D, but it will not be nearly as survivable as either the A-12 or the A/F-X would have been. Accordingly, the committee strongly supports the Navy's participation in the JSF program to meet its longer-term force structure and modernization requirements and believes that the JSF will be more cost and operationally effective than any previous Naval aircraft when it enters service with the fleet. Therefore, the committee recommends an increase of $20.0 million in PE63800N to accelerate development of the Naval variant of the JSF, as explained elsewhere in this report. The committee notes that the budget request proposal to reduce the quantity of F/A-18E/Fs procured in fiscal years 1998 and 1999 by 10 from the 60 proposed in the fiscal year 1997 acquisition plan, together with the QDR recommendation to reduce both the total procurement objective and the maximum production rate of this aircraft, suggests that future aircraft, shipbuilding, and other weapons procurement demands on the Navy's budget are necessitating consideration of alternative F/A-18E/F production rates. Accordingly, the committee recommends $1,348.9 million for continued F/A-18E/F production, a reduction of $752.2 million. The committee believes that until the review of the QDR by the independent National Defense Panel is completed in December 1997 and assessed by the Congress, the F/A-18E/F program should proceed at a slower pace. ............. V-22 The budget request contained $472.0 million to procure five V-22 aircraft and $69.7 million for advance procurement of seven aircraft in fiscal year 1999. The committee has been a strong supporter of accelerated V- 22 procurement and endorses the recently-released Quadrennial Defense Review's (QDR) recommendation to achieve a long-term production rate of 30 aircraft per year by 2004. However, the committee notes that despite the fact that in fiscal year 1997 Congress appropriated advance procurement funding for 12 aircraft in fiscal year 1998, the Department has requested only five. Therefore, consistent with its prior actions, the recommendations of the QDR, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps' unfunded priorities for fiscal year 1998, the committee recommends an increase of $189.3 million to procure two additional aircraft. Weapons Procurement, Navy Overview ............. Items of Special Interest ............. Joint stand off weapon (JSOW) The budget request contained $58.7 million for 113 JSOW missiles for the Navy. No funds were requested to procure JSOW missiles for the Air Force until fiscal year 1999. The committee continues to support accelerated procurement of precision guided munitions and integration of these weapons into aircraft and mission planning subsystems. Also, the committee notes that the Chief of Naval Operations included additional JSOW procurement in the top one-third of his fiscal year 1998 unfunded priorities. The committee added funding in fiscal year 1997 to accelerate the integration of precision guided weapons on the B-2 bomber and understands that some of this funding will be used to complete JSOW integration in late 1998. The committee urges the Air Force to accelerate updating the B-2's mission support system in order to employ JSOW at the earliest possible date. The committee recommends an increase of $10.0 million for the Navy to procure 37 additional missiles and an increase of $29.0 million for the Air Force to initiate procurement of 100 missiles. The committee understands that these increases will reduce the fiscal year 1998 JSOW unit cost by 24 percent. The committee expects the Air Force to accelerate JSOW capability on the B-2 with these weapons. Standard Missile (SM)-2 Block IIIB medium range (MR) modification kits The budget request contained $35.6 million for 80 SM-2 Block IIIB MR modification kits. The SM is the Navy's primary surface-to-air weapon against hostile aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles. The latest MR version to enter production, SM-2 Block IIIB, retains the full performance of earlier models and adds improvements against electronic countermeasures. However, the current SM inventory is dominated by older versions that are less capable against modern anti-ship weapons and ineffective against some newer threat missiles. Even though the Navy plans to supplement its new missile production by upgrading older missiles to the Block IIIB configuration, its projected Block IIIB inventories at the turn of the century will still fall significantly short of the quantity required to meet deployment inventories. Accordingly, the committee recommends an increase of $33.0 million to procure an additional 80 SM-2 Block IIIB MR modification kits. This action will allow the Navy to field more of the latest- version missiles and reduce the need to ``cross deck'' the missiles between deploying and returning ships. ............. Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy ............. Items of Special Interest ............. New attack submarine (NAS) The budget request contained $2,314.9 million for procurement of the first NAS and $284.9 million for advance procurement of the second and third NASs in fiscal years 1999 and 2001 respectively. In presenting its budget request for fiscal year 1996 two years ago, the Navy was poised to proceed with its plan to begin producing a 30-ship class of NASs at a single shipyard, the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics. Congress rejected the Navy's plan, directing that the NAS would not be a serially-produced new class of nuclear attack submarines and further directing that Newport News Shipbuilding would participate in the future construction of such submarines. Congress was concerned over having the NAS design serially produced at a single shipyard since it could have led to production of a scaled-down, less capable, version of the NAS predecessor, the Seawolf, while precluding the consideration of technological innovation available through the other nuclear- capable shipyard. Moreover, because Congress was concerned with the prospects of an unaffordable nuclear attack submarine, it reasoned that competition between Electric Boat and Newport News was viewed as important to controlling costs. The results of Congress' efforts were enacted into law in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (Public Law 104-106). Section 131 of that Act replaced the Navy's plan with one that set forth a series of four submarines, beginning construction in each of fiscal years 1998 through 2001, which use the NAS as a baseline design and successively incorporate new technologies. The first and third of these submarines were to be built at Electric Boat; the second and fourth were to be built at Newport News. The Congressional plan stated that the best designs from each shipyard would form the basis for serial production of the first of a new class of next-generation submarines beginning in 2003 (amended to 2002 by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201)). Although the Navy's original plan also projected commencing construction of four NASs between fiscal year 1998 and fiscal year 2003, the Navy, nevertheless, maintained that the Congressional plan was unaffordable. Notwithstanding the previously signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Electric Boat and Newport News to facilitate the competition requirements of Section 131, the Navy's budget request for fiscal year 1998 is premised upon having the two shipyards team to produce not only the first four NASs, beginning construction in fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002 respectively, but all NASs thereafter. This teaming arrangement, in conjunction with authorization to initiate a proposed multiyear procurement contract for the first four submarines, would, according to the Navy, save $600.0 million ``over the current plan.'' The committee notes several inconsistencies between provisions contained in the formal Team Agreement and representations made to the committee in other documents: (1) The Team Agreement states that, ``The Government, acting through the Department of the Navy (``Government'') planned to construct four NAS submarines, the first and third of which were to be built by Electric Boat, and the second and fourth of which were to be built by Newport News, in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.'' The Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition), in a formal witness statement submitted to the committee earlier this year stated, ``The plan the Secretary of Defense submitted to the Congress in March of last year, for fiscal year 1997, included funding for two of the four submarines and concluded that it would be very difficult to accelerate funding for the program in the context of other modernization priorities.'' (2) The Team Agreement states that, ``Both Electric Boat and Newport News have been encouraged by the Government to enter into a team arrangement for NAS submarines, and the parties anticipate alterations to existing law to accommodate the team arrangement contemplated by this Agreement.'' In the same formal statement noted above, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy stated that, ``In December 1996, Electric Boat and Newport News proposed to construct New Attack Submarines as a team, rather than as competitors.'' The committee is puzzled by such apparent contradictions and believes they call into question the forthrightness with which the Navy is dealing with the Congress. Additionally, the committee notes that the Navy has proposed legislation that would waive section 2306b (a) of Title 10, United States Code, which enumerates those determinations that an agency head must make as being in the best interests of the government in order to enter into a multiyear procurement contract, and would repeal the provisions of the National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years 1996 and 1997, which codified the Congressional plan for next- generation nuclear attack submarines. Based on the Navy's request for a waiver of section 2306b (a), the committee can only infer that authorizing a multiyear procurement in the case of the NAS may not be in the best interests of the government. Accordingly, the committee does not recommend approval of this waiver. Moreover, the committee believes that the current NAS design is the best the Navy is willing to do rather than the best the Navy is capable of doing and, therefore, declines to repeal the Congressional plan for production of the next- generation submarine, as enacted into law. The committee is pleased that the Navy has followed the committee's direction to increase funding for advanced submarine technologies and notes that the fiscal year 1998 request adds approximately $60.0 million to the amount requested in fiscal year 1997 for this purpose. However, the committee is not convinced that the Navy is committed to maturing these advanced technologies and inserting them into the NAS, especially into any of the first four submarines. Although the Navy asserts there are many technology insertion ``opportunities'' on these four submarines, the committee does not yet see evidence of a funding commitment to incorporate more than a very few of them as they mature. Because of this apparent shortcoming, the committee recommends a provision (sec. 121) that would prohibit the obligation of more than 50 percent of the funds authorized and appropriated for fiscal year 1998 for the Seawolf (SSN-23) until the Secretary of Defense certifies that he will fully fund in the future years defense program accompanying the fiscal year 1999 budget request 50 percent of the procurement resources estimated to be required for incorporation into each of the first four NASs thetechnology ``opportunities'' available for those vessels, as briefed to the committee by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition). The committee is aware that the initial sea trials of the Seawolf produced some very unexpected and positive results. Those results testify to the potential of contemporary hydrodynamic design to both improve the performance and enhance the affordability of the NAS. Unfortunately, the Seawolf's hydrodynamic design is not reflected in the NAS, and the committee believes that the results of these sea trials demonstrate that the Congressional plan not to freeze the NAS design has merit. Based on the Seawolf initial sea trials, the committee believes that the current NAS power plant might be capable of providing performance levels beyond those demonstrated by the Seawolf, if alternative hydrodynamic technologies are exploited. If such is the case, then: (1) an even smaller power plant might be used on an NAS-displacement platform to produce planned-for NAS performance levels while simultaneously yielding more space for additional weapons storage; or (2) a smaller power plant might be used to provide Seawolf performance levels on a less-than-NAS-displacement platform. In recognition of the fact that hydrodynamic shaping and advanced control surfaces cannot be ``inserted'' once a submarine is built, the committee further believes the Navy should pursue a parallel, large-scale demonstrator that is not limited by form (hull and appendages) or by a single hull design to evaluate the potential to achieve higher levels of performance with either the NAS or smaller power plants. The committee is aware of the encouraging hydrodynamic and acoustic potential identified by a recent Electric Boat evaluation of incorporating a double hull around a contemporary submarine and believes this potential reinforces the benefits of constructing such a demonstrator. For this purpose, the committee recommends an additional $103.0 million in research and development funds and directs the Secretary of the Navy to issue a competitive solicitation for the demonstrator to the shipyards not currently involved in the design or future construction of the NAS. Furthermore, the committee directs the Secretary to transfer funds in the future years defense program accompanying the fiscal year 1998 budget for the Arsenal Ship demonstrator, which the committee recommends terminating in Title II of this report, to the submarine large-scale demonstrator. Nuclear aircraft carrier refueling overhauls The budget request contained $1,615.0 million for the refueling overhaul of the Nimitz nuclear aircraft carrier and $92.9 million in advance procurement for overhaul of a second carrier in fiscal year 2001. The committee understands that the Navy will not install the close-in weapons system on the Nimitz, as previously planned and budgeted. Therefore, the committee recommends $1,608.4 million, a corresponding reduction of $6.6 million. ............. LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS Subtitle A--Authorization of Appropriations ............. Section 121--Limitation on Obligation of Funds for the Seawolf Submarine Program This section would prohibit the obligation of more than 50 percent of the funds authorized and appropriated for the Seawolf Submarine until the Secretary of the Navy certifies that he would fully fund in the future years defense program accompanying the fiscal year 1999 budget request 50 percent of the resources estimated to be required for incorporation into each of the first four New Attack Submarines of the technology ``opportunities'' available for those vessels, such ``opportunities'' being those presented to the committee in testimony by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition). ............. ............. Aircraft Procurement, Air Force ............. Items of Special Interest B-1 modifications The budget request contained $114.2 million for B-1 modifications, but did not include funding to procure a digital data link for this aircraft. The committee notes that the Air Force Chief of Staff's fiscal year 1998 unfunded priority list included as the fifth highest priority a request for funding to provide a limited capability and to develop tactics and concepts for employment of a digital data link on the B-1 fleet. Such a data link allows the fighter and bomber fleets--the ``shooters''--to receive real-time, secure, and jam-resistant targeting information from aircraft such as the Airborne Warning and Control System or the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System--the ``sensors.'' This linked information improves an aircrew's situational awareness, operational coordination among shooter aircraft, and in-flight re-targeting of emerging higher priority targets. It also contributes to the positive identification of both airborne and ground forces, thereby contributing to the elimination of friendly fire. The committee endorses the requirement to include the B-1 on the Department's primary data link and recommends $24.0 million to install a stand-alone Joint Tactical Information Distribution System terminal and display on up to six B-1 aircraft for this purpose. B-2 The budget request contained $174.1 million for the B-2 bomber. These funds are requested for costs associated with additional software investment, technical orders, interim contractor support, aircrew training devices, peculiar support equipment, program management administration, and non-recurring costs for curtailment of the B-2 production line. Having held two hearings on the B-2 since the committee concluded its fiscal year 1997 authorization deliberations, the committee is convinced of the need to continue production of this bomber. No less than seven former secretaries of defense have recommended doing so, as have numerous other former senior leaders of the Air Force and the Congress. Likewise, current Air Force leaders privately acknowledge that they would welcome more B-2s in the bomber inventory, except that they are ``unaffordable.'' The committee rejects this ``unaffordable'' assertion and strongly believes the United States can afford additional B-2s. Twenty-one B-2s does not constitute an adequate force level to deal with the many likely contingencies and crises over the next 30-40 years, and no other military systems in existence or on the drawing boards can adequately substitute for the capabilities the B-2 offers. As noted in testimony presented to the committee by the former air component commander in the Persian Gulf war, the B-2 is the only weapon system in the U.S. inventory free of range, survivability, and lethality limitations, and, as such, could well be the nation's only practical option for quickly projecting truly decisive power in future regional crises. On April 1, 1997, the B-2 reached its initial operational capability milestone. According to a statement issued by the commander of the Air Force's Air Combat Command, ``This is a significant milestone in ensuring the future of national defense. The combination of low observability, large payload capacity, bombing accuracy, and long range gives America a unique, unprecedented military capability. This combination allows the B-2 to penetrate sophisticated defenses and threaten an enemy's war-making capability. It gives the United States the capability to project power to any part of the globe within a matter of hours and deliver combat power with precision in support of warfighting commands.'' The committee agrees that the B-2's combination of range, payload, precision weapons delivery, and stealth make it uniquely capable of independently responding quickly and decisively from secure U.S. bases to future contingencies anywhere in the world--and thus justify its continued production. Accordingly, the committee recommends an additional $331.2 million for the B-2. This amount represents an increase of $353.0 million to initiate the eventual procurement of an additional nine B-2s coupled with a decrease of $21.8 million, which was requested for production curtailment costs. Of the $353.0 million added, $281.0 million is for reestablishment of those elements of the production line that have been previously laid away and $52.0 million is for advance procurement. Missile Procurement, Air Force ............. Items of Special Interest ............. AGM-130 The budget request contained $1.5 million for AGM-130 management administration and contractor support, but did not include funding to procure additional AGM-130 missiles. The AGM-130 is a precision-guided air-to-surface missile employed on the F-15E aircraft to strike targets from outside point defense ranges and is the F-15E's only 2,000-pound class weapon with this capability. The committee is aware that both the Department's Heavy Bomber Force Study and a separate study conducted by the Defense Science Board recommended that the Air Force retain 1,000 AGM-130 missiles in its inventory. In view of this fact, and to address the unfunded requirement identified by the Air Force Chief of Staff, the committee recommended an increase of $95.0 million in fiscal year 1997 for an additional 250 missiles. Recognizing that the requirement for the AGM-130 still exceeds the number of missiles funded in prior years by over 200, the committee recommends an increase of $41.0 million for an additional 100 missiles. TITLE II--RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION ............. Navy RDT&E ............. Items of Special Interest ............. Advanced deployable system The budget request contained $33.0 million in PE 64784N for continued development of the Advanced Deployable System (ADS), an element of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System program. The request includes funds for the concept evaluation, program definition, and risk reduction phase of an ADS prototype and engineering and manufacturing development for production of the ADS. To meet the requirement for providing reliable detection of quieter threat submarines operating in the noisy and shallow waters of the world's littoral regions, a significantly improved information processing and data fusion capability is needed for support of ADS operations. The committee finds the budget request to be insufficient for development of these capabilities and inadequate to support the conduct of at-sea testing to validate performance in challenging littoral environments. Accordingly, the committee recommends an increase of $10.4 million for continued development and integration of automated detection and data fusion algorithms, rapid prototyping of information processing capabilities, and at-sea testing to validate the expected improvements in ADS performance. ............. CVN-77 research and development The budget request contained $17.9 million in PE 64567N for aircraft carrier contract design for the CVN-77. The Navy has stated that CVN-77 will provide a transition from the Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier to the next- generation CV(X). As such, CVN-77 is a candidate for development, evaluation, and incorporation of a range of advanced technologies and acquisition reform initiatives which, not only could result in lower life cycle costs, but could also set the standard by which further improvements in the application of advanced technologies and acquisition initiatives to the design and construction of the CV(X) will be measured. Accordingly, the committee recommends an increase of $17.0 million to accelerate the evaluation of maturing advanced technologies for potential incorporation in the design of CVN- 77. CV(X) carrier systems development The budget request contained $90.2 million in PE63512N for future aircraft carrier research and development. The committee notes that this request represents an increase of $84.5 million above the amount appropriated for fiscal year 1997 and $88.4 million above that projected for fiscal year 1998 in the fiscal year 1997 Future Years Defense Plan. The increase is planned for advanced development of a range of advanced technologies for potential incorporation in the design and construction of the next-generation CV(X) aircraft carrier. The committee notes that the Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved a mission needs statement (MNS) for a New Tactical Aviation Sea-Based Platform for the 21st Century, the CV(X), in March 1996. The committee understands that among the potential alternatives that may compete with CV(X) in meeting the operational requirements of the MNS are the Mobile Offshore Base (MOB) and the Arsenal Ship, as well as land-based aircraft. The committee further understands that MOB studies in support of the CV(X) cost and operational effectiveness analysis have just been initiated. The committee also notes that the budget request includes funding for an Arsenal Ship demonstration that could lead to procurement of up to five Arsenal Ships. The committee is concerned that the issues raised in the committee report on H.R. 3230 (H. Rept. 104-563) and the statement of managers accompanying the conference report on H.R. 3230 (H. Rept. 104-724) relative to the need for validation of the Arsenal Ship operational requirement and performance analysis have not yet been addressed by the Navy. In view of the above, the committee believes that it is neither fiscally nor technically prudent to increase advanced carrier systems research and development for the CV(X) to the degree sought by the Navy. The committee believes that increased emphasis should be placed on the research and development program for the CNV-77, and elsewhere in this report, has recommended an increase to the research and development program for the CVN-77 aircraft carrier to provide a transition to the CV(X). The committee recommends that funding for carrier systems research and development for the CV(X) be held to the level originally projected for fiscal year 1998 and recommends a decrease of $88.4 million ............. F/A-18E/F super hornet The budget request contained $317.0 million in PE 24136N for the F/A-18 fleet. The committee understands that $267.5 million of this amount is for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and that funding for this program has increased $114.2 million over the amount forecast in the 1997 Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP). The committee has expressed great concern, described in detail elsewhere in this report, over the unaffordable pace of tactical aviation (TACAIR) modernization being pursued by the Department. Of the three most costly TACAIR programs in the Department's request--the Air Force F-22 Raptor, the Navy F/A- 18E/F Super Hornet, and the Joint Strike Fighter--the Super Hornet was recently approved by the Department to enter production, even prior to final recommendations by the Quadrennial Defense Review and National Defense Panel. The committee is unaware of any justification to support such a large increase in this year's research and development request for the Super Hornet over the recently forecast funding level identified in the 1997 FYDP. Therefore, the committee recommends $202.8 million for the F/A-18 fleet, a decrease of $114.2 million for the F/A-18E/F. ............. Joint air to surface standoff missile/standoff land attack missile expanded response The budget request contained $9.6 million in PE 64312N and $203.3 million in PE 27325F for the Air Force/Navy Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program and $28.9 million in PE 64603N for the Navy's Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM ER) program. The JASSM program was established in the fiscal year 1996 budget, following cancellation of the Tri-Service Stand-off Attack Missile (TSSAM), to develop a replacement for that system at the earliest possible date. In the statement of managers which accompanied the conference report on S. 1124 (H. Rept. 104-450), the conferees stressed the urgent need for the operational capability that would have been provided by the TSSAM and the expectation that theSecretary of Defense would establish a joint program in the Air Force and the Navy for development of a TSSAM replacement that would meet the requirements of both services. The committee notes recent proposals by the Navy to replace the joint program for JASSM with the Navy's SLAM-ER, prior to completion of the current program definition and risk reduction phase for JASSM. The committee considers such a proposal to be premature and not in the best interests of the joint program. The proposal is, however, one of the program alternatives that could be considered at the Milestone II review for entry of the JASSM program into engineering and manufacturing development in July 1998, if properly based on the technical progress in the program and risk reduction phase, cost and operational effectiveness analysis, and other factors that must be taken into account in that review. The committee has reviewed the Navy's SLAM-ER program and considers the development and procurement schedule excessively concurrent. The committee understands that on the basis of a single controlled flight test, the Navy has made a low rate initial production decision that will result in the procurement of approximately 19 percent of the total planned buy of SLAM-ER before the completion of development and operational testing. The committee further notes that flight test of a SLAM-ER with operational seeker will not be conducted until Development Test II. The committee believes that this decision is neither technically nor fiscally prudent. The committee directs the Secretary of the Navy to review the development and acquisition program for SLAM-ER and provide to the Congressional defense committees by December 31, 1997, and provide an assessment which addresses the concerns expressed by the committee. Joint standoff weapon system The budget request contained $71.5 million in PE 64727N for the joint standoff weapon system (JSOW). JSOW is a modular design that is being developed in three variants: a submunition dispenser, an anti-armor submunition dispenser, and a unitary warhead variant which will incorporate an imaging infrared seeker, data link and 500 pound blast fragmentation warhead. The committee understands that the submunition variant has completed development and initial operational testing with a success rate of over 96 percent and has been approved for low rate initial production with initial deliveries to the Navy for use in the F/A-18 in 1998. Initial procurement of the anti- armor submunition variant is scheduled for fiscal year 1999, however, current program funding levels would delay fielding of the unitary warhead variant until 2002. The committee recommends an increase of $9.0 million to accelerate the development and fielding of the unitary warhead variant. Joint strike fighter The budget request contained $448.9 million in PE 63800N for Navy portion of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The committee is concerned that, although this request represents an increase of almost 100 percent in funding for Navy JSF participation over fiscal year 1997 levels, it is based on schedule, cost, and quantity objectives that no longer reflect the Department's plans for Navy tactical aircraft as outlined in the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The committee understands that the QDR proposes a major increase in Navy JSF aircraft quantities from the level anticipated in the 1997 Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) and supports efforts to accelerate the Navy portion of JSF. The committee recommends an increase of $20.0 million and directs the Secretary of Defense to use the increase in funding to ensure that JSF meets all Navy requirements and to enable this program to support a significantly increased quantity of Navy JSF aircraft. The committee is also concerned that the 1997 FYDP does not reflect adequate funding within the JSF program to continue development of the alternative fighter engine (AFE) beyond the current demonstration/validation phase. The committee continues to believe that a fully developed and flight tested AFE is essential to reduce risk to the JSF program and to provide credible competition necessary for controlling program cost. Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a report to the Congressional defense committees no later than February 15, 1998, detailing the level of funding within the JSF program that is identified to fund full development and flight test of the AFE. ............. Submarine combat system multi-purpose processor (MPP) The budget request contained $42.3 million in PE 64503N for SSN-688 and TRIDENT modernization, including $33.5 million for submarine sonar improvement. However, the budget request did not contain funding for the MPP. To facilitate rapid improvements in submarine acoustic data processing, the Navy selected the MPP as the cornerstone of sonar upgrades for the existing SSN-688, 688I and TRIDENT submarines. At one-half the cost of legacy systems, the MPP provides the Navy with vastly improved processing power and the ability to integrate advanced software to existing hardware using an open operating system architecture. For fiscal year 1997, the committee recommended an additional $11.0 million and Congress appropriated $7.0 million for advanced development and rapid introduction of the MPP into the U.S. submarine fleet. To continue this cost-effective initiative, the committee recommends an increase of $15.0 million. ............. Surveillance towed array sensor system/low frequency active program The budget request contained $9.9 million in PE 24311N for the integrated surveillance system, including research and development support of the Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) and for the integrated undersea surveillance system (IUSS). The committee understands that the SURTASS is a proven mobile, long-range underwater passive acoustic sensor systems and that the addition of the low frequency active (LFA) capability provides a significant increase in the capability of the system to detect quiet submarines operating in both deep ocean and shallow coastal littoral waters. In the statement of managers accompanying the conference report on H.R. 3230 (H. Rept. 104-724), the conferees agreed to increased funding for the SURTASS program which would: (1) continue development and integration of SURTASS twin line arrays, reduce the size of transmit arrays, continue fiber optic array development, expand frequency processing capabilities, and conduct at-sea testing of resulting developments; (2) sustain the low frequency active program and development of more reliable low frequency active transmitters; and (3) adapt SURTASS software algorithms for submarine sonar systems. The committee recommends an increase of $4.0 million in PE 24311N to continue the development of fiber optic sensors for the SURTASS/LFA program. ............. Air Force RDT&E ............. Items of Special Interest ............. Bomber testing The budget request contained $389.3 million in PE 65807F for test and evaluation support of Air Force test ranges and facilities. The committee is aware of ongoing efforts to improve B-2 bomber testing capability at the Bark Flight Test Facility and supports the expansion of this facility's capability to conduct testing of other Air Force bomber aircraft. The committee recommends an increase of $8.0 million to add test capability to this existing facility for B-1B, B-52, and other bomber or strike aircraft. Conventional ballistic missile The budget request contained $32.8 million in PE 63851F for intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) demonstration and validation activities. The committee notes that a number of ``rogue'' nations have constructed hardened, deeply buried facilities. Some of these facilities represent command and control structures and sites at which weapons of mass destruction are developed and stored and are therefore of great military significance. The destruction of these sites requires a weapon that can penetrate hardened structures or rock, while maintaining sufficient structural integrity to detonate. The committee further notes that the ability of the U.S. military to strike at these targets effectively without recourse to nuclear weapons is extremely limited. The committee believes that a conventionally armed ICBM has the potential to hold these targets at risk, in the near term, and at modest cost. This proposed capability is based on a combination of very high ICBM warhead terminal velocities, technologies that allow precision delivery, long range, relative invulnerability to enemy defenses, and the maturity of current ICBM technology. Therefore, the committee recommends $49.3 million for ICBM demonstration and validation activities, an increase of $16.5 million. The additional funding is for the purpose of establishing a conventional ballistic missile advanced concept technology demonstration program. The funding is to be used to modify an existing reentry vehicle, complete flight test plans, and procure long lead items to support a flight test. ............. Minuteman safety enhanced reentry vehicle The budget request contained $137.9 million in PE 64851F for efforts to upgrade the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) guidance and propulsion systems. The Minuteman guidance replacement program (GRP) is replacing 1960's vintage electronics with modern supportable technology. The program is proceeding through engineering and manufacturing development and the first of the upgraded guidance systems is expected to be delivered in 1999. The GRP also preserves the option to incorporate the Mk-21 safety enhanced reentry vehicle on the Minuteman III ICBM if Peackeeper ICBMs, which are now equipped with the Mk-21, are retired. The committee notes that the Mk-21 is the most modern, safest, and logistically supportable reentry vehicle in the Air Force inventory. It further notes that the Air Force is planning to replace the older Mk-12A reentry vehicle with the Mk-21 on 150 Minuteman III ICBMs. However, the actual design and development efforts for the hardware and software needed for the incorporation of the Mk-21 remain to be accomplished. Initial engineering tests will be accomplished with additional funding authorized and appropriated for fiscal year 1997. The committee believes that a continuation of this effort will reduce the risk of a potentially costly redesign and refit of the new guidance systems. To promote the timely completion of Mk-21 integration efforts, the committee recommends $152.9 million for PE 64851F, an increase of $15.0 million. ............. Joint strike fighter The budget request contained $458.1 million in PE 63800F for the Air Force portion of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). As mentioned elsewhere in this report, the committee is extremely concerned that the current pace of the Department's tactical aviation programs is both unaffordable and not coordinated with the emerging Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The committee notes that this request represents an increase of $27.0 million over the projected funding for JSF identified in the 1997 Future Years Defense Plan and recommends $431.1 million, a decrease of $27.0 million. ............. Defense Agencies RDT&E ............. Advanced submarine technology program The budget request contained $69.1 million in PE 63763E for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency marine technology program. No funds were included for joint U.S./Russian submarine research and development. The committee recommends an increase of $3.0 million to enable the Director of DARPA to establish a U.S.-Russian cooperative program for research and development relevant to nuclear submarines. This initiative will capitalize on the trust and confidence created under DARPA-sponsored initiatives with the Russian submarine design bureaus and institutes of the Russian Academies of Science. The cooperative program should apply to technology in the areas of nuclear submarine architecture, ship automation and damage control, submarine hydrodynamics and hydroacoustics. The technical direction and scope of these initiatives will be coordinated with the Department of the Navy. ............. Joint strike fighter The budget request contained $23.9 million in PE 63800E for continued development of the Joint Strike Fighter. The committee understands that defense-wide funding for this program has been transferred to the Navy and Air Force research and development accounts, and, therefore, recommends no funds be authorized in defense-wide research and development accounts for this program. ............. ............. ADDITIONAL AND DISSENTING VIEWS ---------- DISSENTING VIEWS OF RONALD V. DELLUMS I voted against reporting H.R. 1119 from the committee for several reasons. First, the price tag for this bill continues to be significantly out of line with the military requirements of this country, out of line with a properly balanced allocation of expenditures across all national security accounts, and out of line with the strategic and geopolitical realities of our world. The national security agenda of this country contains three equally important elements, and requires a balance of funding among the accounts of each element. We must have a vibrant and energetic economy and an informed, healthy, trained and educated citizenry in order to maintain our domestic tranquillity. Second, we must have an engaged foreign policy and foreign aid program that can promote sustainable development, a respect for human rights, and the growth of democracy, all of which are vital for regional stability and the prevention of war and conflict. Third, we must field a right-sized, properly equipped and appropriately trained military force in order to deter violence and aggression, participate in internationally sanctioned peace keeping and meet our obligations to support humanitarian operations. Our national security is as dependent on the amount of the discretionary budget allocated to the first two of these accounts as it is to the account that is recommended to be authorized in this bill and report. To the extent that we over- fund the defense account, as I believe we have done with this recommendation, those other elements of our national security agenda will continue to atrophy. Second, the committee recommendation would procure too much of yesterday's technology by adding, for example, funding for long-lead procurement of nine additional B-2 bomber aircraft as well as for the purchase of additional tactical aircraft for which there is no urgent requirement. Third, the committee recommendation would press forward too rapidly with national missile defense, notwithstanding that the committee recommendation implicitly adopts the administration's so-called three-plus-three strategy for development and preparation of a national missile defense system. I applaud the committee's retreat from any effort to implicitly or to explicitly recommend a program that would exceed the limits of the ABM Treaty. Fourth, the committee recommendation fails to offer the operations and maintenance, personnel and other savings that could be attained if our force structure were further realigned. In an era where we will face no peer competitor for at least a decade, we should undertake such action in order to meet the near-term and mid-term requirements that will confront us. Fifth, I am troubled that the committee recommendation siphons off important resources from the environmental clean-up and construction accounts of the Department of Energy's defense programs in order to finance procurement of the unnecessary additional items in the procurement account. Sixth, I am also troubled at the decision to reduce funds for the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, a program that is essential to our interests in reducing or eliminating threats that are currently posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and materials. Ronald V. Dellums. ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF JOHN SPRATT I support most aspects of this legislation and will vote for it, but I disagree with the diversion of $2.6 billion in budget authority from the Department of Energy (budget subfunction 053) to the Department of Defense (budget subfunction 051). I agree with OMB Director Frank Raines, who wrote the following to the Chairman of the House National Security Committee prior to committee mark-up: The Administration does not support reducing funds from DOE (subfunction 053) accounts below the President's 1998 budget request or allocating these funds to DOD programs. This would be inconsistent with our understanding of the Budget Agreement reached with the Congressional leadership. Of the $2.6 billion diverted, $1.5 billion was designated to start a ``full funding'' policy of major Department of Energy (DOE) capital investments. ``Full funding'' simply means that Congress provides sufficient budget authority to cover the entire estimated procurement cost of major capital investments in one year, rather than paying for the project over a period of years (``incremental funding''). In essence, the DOE was ``banking'' funds needed for large projects, most of which were for the Stockpile Stewardship program (which ensures the safety and reliability of our nuclear weapon stockpile) and for environmental clean-up of sites contaminated by radioactive waste. The committee also slashed $936 million from the DOE's $1.006 billion request to ``privatize'' portions of its environmental clean-up program. The DOE wants private companies to build facilities to treat hazardous radioactive waste. In exchange, the DOE will guarantee that it will pay for the treatment of the waste at a set price per unit of treated waste. By law, an agency cannot enter into a contract without having the budget authority to fully cover the costs of the contract, so the DOE needs to have the budget authority now in order to commit to paying for treatment of waste years from now. I am not sold yet on DOE's privatization policy, and the committee may be wise in postponing this policy. But I am sold on the need to clean up DOE's nuclear weapons facilities, and whether the clean-up is financed through direct appropriations or by privatizing some projects, there is a need for environmental funding. The simple fact is that the committee diverted these funds to the Department of Defense (DOD) and created a $936 million hole in the DOE's five-year environmental clean-up plan. It would have been more prudent to fence the money, to prohibit DOE from spending it until we are convinced of the merits of privatization. If the committee remained unconvinced, Congress could then direct that the funds be used to clean-up our nuclear weapon sites in more traditional ways. Diverting the funding to DOD has effectively cut nearly $1 billion from a sorely needed program. The committee's actions have created a $2.6 billion shortfall in the DOE's planned activities over the next five years. In prior years, this shortfall could have been overcome by re-adjusting future budget requests. But under the bipartisan budget agreement, function levels for discretionary spending have been established for the next five years. The DOE will be hard-pressed to replace this loss of funding since it will either mean retrieving the money from future DOD budgets, or adding funding from other budget functions to the 050 function and violating the budget agreement. This problem is exacerbated since the $2.6 billion diversion fromDOE to DOD went into procurement items that will generate future DOD costs, making it even harder to retrieve the funding from future DOD budgets. I do not believe that we fully thought through the implications for environmental clean-up or nuclear weapons, particularly stockpile stewardship, when we decided to divert this funding. While I support the overall bill, I hope these issues will be revisited during the House-Senate conference. Other important programs at DOE received cuts that seem unwarranted. The Office Worker and Community Transition was established by Congress in the early 1990s to ease the impact of worker layoffs at DOE sites. On a more positive note, I was pleased by several actions taken by the committee to address needs at Shaw Air Force Base and the South Carolina National Guard. The committee fully funded the Air Force's request for $6.072 million for the construction of an ``information warfare sq ops facility.'' The facility will house a new information warfare unit at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. The Joint Chiefs of Staff state in Joint Vision 2010 that information superiority will be a key asset in the battles of the 21st century. The Research & Development and Procurement Subcommittees held a hearing this week which underscored this point. Lt. Gen. Douglas Buchholz, Director for Command Control, Communications and Computer Systems who represented the JCS at the hearing explained, ``Our successes in the battlespace of the future, whether combating large, heavily armed forces or providing peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance, depend upon the precise application of force across the full spectrum of missions. The cornerstone of this effort is the ability to get the right information to the right place at the right time--or information superiority.'' The Air Force's information warfare unit at Shaw is tasked with making informational warfare ``operational at the component level.'' In other words, its work is where the rubber meets the road, developing methods to make certain that information technology can be used to tactical advantage. The committee included language directing the Air Force to study the acquisition of land near Shaw without appropriated funds. This language will allow the Air Force to exercise its authority, granted in the FY96 Defense Authorization Act to acquire land adjacent to Shaw. This land will provide a significant enhancement to the base, improving operational flexibility for the Air Force. ............. John Spratt. ............. ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF JAMES M. TALENT I am pleased that the full committee, after vigorous debate, soundly rejected efforts to procure a mix of the older- model F/A-18C/D and the new F/A-18E/F ``Super Hornet,'' and instead procure only the newer E/F. However, I must express my profound disagreement with the net result of the House National Security Committee's action, which was to reduce overall procurement funding for Super Hornets from the Navy's request of $2.1 billion for 20 low-rate initial-production aircraft to $1.348 billion, and to reduce the Navy's research and development request from $267.5 to $153.3 million. These reductions are entirely unjustified and will detract from the Navy's ability to execute its missions in the increasingly demanding threat environment of the next two decades. The Secretary of Defense, in his June 10, 1997 letter, emphasized his ``strong support of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program,'' stating that ``our warfighters require the most advanced technology available.'' He further added that ``the Quadrennial Defense Review clearly validated the need for the F/A-18E/F. . . . Without the E/F we would be sending our pilots into combat at the turn of the century with the 1970s technology of the F/A-18C/D.'' The Chief of Naval Operations, in his own letter to the chairman and ranking member, expressed his ``strongest possible support for the F/A-18E/F program . . . It is the cornerstone of the future of carrier aviation and the Navy's number one aviation priority.'' Further, he recently stated to Congress that ``the multi-mission F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a leap forward in both TacAir design and survivability. The Super Hornet may look like its predecessor, however it is far larger, significantly more capable, and most importantly it is a first strike, every day strike, survivable weapon system for the foreseeable future.'' The Navy states that the Super Hornet will dominate all possible threats for at least the next two decades. The CNO's letter further states that ``the E/F has flawlessly progressed through every required milestone to include operational requirements, mission needs, cost and threat analysis, and engine development. Admiral Johnson describes the entire aircraft program as ``a model of acquisition reform and unprecedented cost performance. The F/A- 18E/F has completed significant portions of the flight rest program (over 1,100 flight hours) . . . Testing results have clearly exceeded all specific performance parameters. The program is on schedule, within budget and under specification weight.'' In terms of cost, the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Dr. Kaminski, in his recent Selective Acquisition Report, found that the Super Hornet would cost only 13 percent more than its C/D predecessor based on production figures of 1,000 aircraft per program. His report pegged C/D per-unit cost at $36.5 million and E/F per-unit cost at $41.6 million. In terms of survivability, the Center for Naval Analysis in its recent report to Congress, reported that the Super Hornet would suffer roughly one fifth the losses of an F/A-18C/D airwing given the same threat environment and warfighter scenario. The independent Institute for Defense Analysis, in its report requested by the Joint Staff, determined that the Super Hornet's survivability characteristics, to include a radar signature only one-tenth that of the older C/D, reduces the number of targets considered as ``high risk'' to the pilot and aircraft by 75 percent over the C/D Hornet it will replace. Finally, it is essential to point out that the E/F program is not in competition with the emerging joint strike fighter concept. The Super Hornet will replace aging F-14s, whose operational costs the Navy desperately seeks to avoid, and older Hornets, all of which have reached the limits of their technological upgradability. The most optimistic forecast for a Navy version of the JSF is 2010, and even then the service would not be able to place a meaningful number of aircraft on its carrier decks until approximately 2015. The Super Hornet is indeed a ``bridge'' from the F-14 and C/D-model Hornets to the joint strike fighter, and that bridge by any reasonable estimate appears to be about two decades in length. I am pleased that the House National Security Committee, after careful consideration of these important issues, declared its overwhelming and bipartisan support for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet program. James M. Talent. ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF PATRICK J. KENNEDY ....... This year the committee again worked to ensure a strong focus remained on anti-submarine warfare (ASW). As a maritime nation, we must be able to achieve and maintain sea control, therefore we must invest in ASW to remain effective against increasingly advanced submarines. In recognition of the continuing importance of ASW to our national security, as was done in previous years the committee made a significant increase to the Administration's request for ASW. While the committee maintained undersea warfare as a priority, it failed to accept the proposal put forward by the Navy and the shipyards with respect to the teaming agreement. In this instance, I believe we lost an opportunity to take the most cost effective approach tomodernizing our submarines while maintaining a hedge against a future threat. By pursuing a plan that calls for competition of submarine construction at extremely low rates of production, we will embark upon a prohibitively expensive course that will force us into the dangerous position of possessing only one shipyard actively constructing submarines. The Navy's proposal represented an opportunity to endorse the concept of putting the best minds in the business together to develop a more effective yet affordable next generation attack submarine. I am disappointed the committee did not pursue the teaming route though I am confident that we will again revisit this issue during the conference process. ........... Patrick J. Kennedy.