A reader tips me off to this Government Accountability Office report from December on the battleship issue (such as it is). In short, as the battleships don’t really meet current or projected requirements in several key areas as fire support platforms, the report basically comes across as being against keeping the battleships, either by reactivating them or by keeping them in inactive status.
DOD is in the process of reviewing a draft joint fires requirements document for expeditionary operations in the littorals which was developed primarily by the Marine Corps in May 2005. The draft requirements document shows that planned capabilities will help to mitigate existing gaps in joint fires capabilities if programs such as the advanced gun system for the new DD(X) destroyer and the extendedrange munitions for existing DDG destroyers are implemented as currently planned. However, current and planned DOD capabilities for joint fires will not fully meet DOD’s needs because they will not provide sufficient capabilities such as engaging moving targets in restricted weather conditions or providing a sufficient quantity of fires over a short period of time. DOD officials believe that although some gaps in joint fires capabilities exist now and will continue to exist in the future, the risk associated with these gaps is acceptable and will not significantly affect the combatant commanders’ ability to execute war plans. Moreover, they do not believe that keeping or modernizing battleships would be cost effective nor would the modernized battleships significantly reduce the risk in comparison with other planned capabilities that DOD is funding. [emphasis Murdoc’s]
Here are a couple of slides enclosed with the report:
I’ve also uploaded a copy of the report in the event of the GAO link breaking.