[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, the United States Navy released a report to Congress required by the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act entitled “The Submarine Industrial Base and the Viability of Producing Additional Attack Submarines Beyond the Fiscal Year 2017 Shipbuilding Plan in the 2017-2030 Timeframe.” The report is available here.
The report emphasizes the merits of continuing to build two Virginia Class submarines per year (instead of just one) during the years Electric Boat is also building the Columbia Class boats. The report notes that this viable strategy would decrease overhead costs, retain and increase highly skilled workers, while also improving quality, cost, and schedule of the program. Producing more attack subs will also help address the submarine shortfall, thus strengthening our undersea capabilities.
"This report is a strong sign of confidence from the Navy that Connecticut is up to the task of expanding submarine production -- confirming that increased Virginia Class submarine production is viable, economical, and essential to securing our seas. Producing more attack subs will enhance our national security by working to address the impending submarine shortfall, in turn strengthening our undersea capabilities, while also empowering Connecticut's economy by creating and retaining a highly skilled manufacturing workforce that is the lifeblood of Connecticut's manufacturing economy," said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Blumenthal worked to secure $6.4 billion for Virginia submarines – $1.2 billion above the President’s request for advance procurement – in the Senate-passed FY18 NDAA. Blumenthal led a successful amendment that will allow $450 million of this funding to be used to help strengthen and expand the submarine supply base to support production increase, which will help lead to greater cost savings and efficiencies. The remaining $750 million above the President’s request can be used for economic order quantity purchases that will allow for large quantity purchases of parts to enable greater cost savings across the program – a measure specifically supported in the Navy’s report.