Navy Announces Ship Repair Schedule For FYs 91-92

The U.S. Navy's ship repair schedule was recently released covering an anticipated 356 availabilities for the Fiscal Years (FYs) 1991- 92, as well as Phased Maintenance Availabilities (PMA) for amphibious and auxiliary ships for FYs 1993-95. One hundred and ninetyone of the availabilities will be on the East and Gulf Coasts and the remaining 165 will be on the West Coast. Nine Ballistic Missile Nuclear Submarine (SSBN) Availabilities are also included in the total.

No start/stop dates were released for security purposes.

Close examination of the figures in Exhibit 2, "U.S. Navy Availabilities By Region And Ship Type," reveals that the Navy has decreased its frigate availabilities from a scheduled 71 as of the March 1990 ship repair schedule to 57 in its updated schedule. This would indicate that the Navy intends to retire the Knox Class (FF-1052) frigates from active service beginning in 1992. Reportedly eight of the class will be assigned to the Naval Reserve fleet as training frigates. Of the remaining 38 Knox Class frigates, 32 will be mothballed, while no plans have been revealed for the remaining six ships. Overall, the number of availabilities in the new schedule remains unchanged, except for a substantial increase in amphibious ship availabilities on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in FYs 91-92, from 18 to 29, and a drop in submarine availabilities on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, from 34 to 24.

Exhibit 3, "Availabilities For FYs 91-92, By Homeport And Quarter," is based on figures published by the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), a national organization representing major U.S. shipbuilders and repairers, in a recent analysis of availabilities reserved for homeports during FY 1991-92. According to SCA, the number do not include ships competed under Phased Maintenance programs, or which are involved in coastwide or extended solicitation area bidding.

SCA's analysis does not take into consideration any possible impact of ship movements connected with Operation Desert Shield.

The Shipbuilders Council believes that long-range requirements for Navy depot-level maintenance will decrease over the next five years, and is projecting a 450-ship Navy fleet by FY 95. Also impacting on the number of shipyard mandays that will be required for naval ship maintenance is the Navy's transition from steam propulsion to gas turbine and diesel power. The SCA's projections indicate that the Navy market will decline by 25 percent by the end of FY 95.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 44,  Feb 1991

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