Washington — The Navy gave Electric Boat good news on Friday in a report that said increasing the production of Virginia-class attack submarines while the shipyard builds a new Columbia-class ballistic missile sub is “viable” and could save taxpayers money.
The Navy Submarine Capacity Report said continuing the two-a-year pace of Virginia-class subs in 2021, when construction will begin on the Columbia-class boat, “is achievable and would provide benefit to Navy’s attack submarine force inventory.”
Fourteen Virginia-class subs have been delivered and 11 additional subs are under construction. A total of 48 Virginia-class subs and 12 Columbia-class subs are planned.
Initially the Navy planned to reduce the two-a-year pace of Virginia-class construction to one in years when construction begins on a Columbia-class sub.
In making its assessment, the Navy analyzed capacity at Electric Boat shipyards in Groton and Rhode Island and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, EB’s partner in the production of the Virginia- and Columbia-class subs. It also studied the shipbuilder’s ability to hire needed skilled workers and the capabilities and reliability of the shipyard’s suppliers.
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