Discretionary Spending

Function 050 - National Defense

Reduce the Number of Ballistic Missile Submarines

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

Billions of dollars 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2015-2019 2015-2024
Change in Spending                        
  Budget authority 0 0.1 -0.8 -0.9 -3.1 -3.2 -4.7 -6.4 0.2 -2.2 -4.6 -20.9
  Outlays 0 * -0.1 -0.3 -0.8 -1.5 -2.2 -3.2 -3.6 -3.1 -1.3 -14.9

Notes: This option would take effect in October 2015. Estimates of savings displayed in the table are based on the fiscal year 2015 Future Years Defense Program and the Congressional Budget Office’s extension of that program.

* = between -$50 million and zero.

The Navy maintains a force of 14 Ohio class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Over the next two decades, the Ohio class submarines will reach the end of their service life. This option would reduce the Navy’s SSBN force to eight submarines in 2021 by retiring one Ohio class submarine a year over the 2016–2021 period. (All years mentioned in this option are fiscal years.) That number would be maintained after 2021 by delaying the start of the Ohio Replacement program from 2021 to 2025 and reducing the number of SSBNs purchased under that program.