Submarine Industrial  Base Council

Legislative Priorities


Virginia Class Submarine Program
Columbia Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program

Supplier Development and Supply Base Reconstitution

2018 Letter to Members of Congress
What People Are Saying About Submarines
Importance of the Submarine Industrial Base
Current Submarine Programs

The submarine industrial base comprises more than 5,000 companies in all 50 states and employs tens of thousands of highly skilled American workers.  It is crucial that every Member of Congress and of the Administration understands the importance of our nation’s submarine programs and that the requests outlined below support both national and economic security.

Our legislative priorities include support for several submarine programs in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  If you have follow up questions or comments, please reach out to

Virginia Class Submarine Program
  • Advance Procurement Funding of $2.796B (AP $1.811B + EOQ $985M)
  • Procurement Funding of $4.373B for two Virginia Class submarines
  • RDT&E funding of $148M for future Virginia Class submarine

Virginia Class attack submarine (SSN) funding is critical to maintain program cost, schedule and design improvements while providing future capabilities to the fleet and helping to maintain timely deliveries of two submarines per year to support the Navy’s operational needs. FY19 funding supports construction of the first Block V, Virginia Payload Module (VPM) equipped submarine. VPM provides over three times the firepower of current Virginia Class submarines. VPM is the most cost effective way to restore the Navy’s undersea strike capacity, which drops by 60% as the current SSGN force retires by 2028.

Virginia Payload Module (VPM) is the most cost effective way to restore the Navy’s undersea strike capacity, which will drop by 60% as the current SSGN force will be retired by 2028. VPM’s open architecture design enables the submarine to deliver a large variety of capabilities including weapons, unmanned systems including Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, seabed sensors and other undersea capabilities.

Columbia Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program
  • DOD funding of $3.71 Billion ($705M in RDT&E, $3.005B in SCN)
  • DOE funding of $138 Million in FY19 for Columbia Class development
  • Request an additional $150 Million be added to the FY19 Navy SCN, Columbia Class Submarine Advance Procurement Funding for Supplier Base Reconstitution

The Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) program will deliver a minimum of 12 submarines to replace the current Ohio Class SSBN fleet and provide the required strategic deterrence capabilities for decades as set forth in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. In FY19, advanced procurement of major long lead components is initiated to support ship construction starting in 2021. This funding is vital to keep the ship on schedule. Advance construction has started and must be fully supported in FY19 to prevent a gap in U.S. deterrent capabilities.

The nuclear shipbuilding industrial base is poised to ramp up production capacity to support the increased demand associated with the Navy shipbuilding plan. Lack of capacity in the current industrial base poses risk to the Columbia and Virginia Class submarine programs as well as the Ford Class Aircraft Carrier program. Supplier development must be funded now due to the time necessary to add sustainable capacity and capability to the existing supply base and qualify new suppliers to perform this complex and unique work as the increase in demand starts in 2019.

SSBNs carry nearly 70 percent of the U.S. treaty accountable operational nuclear deterrent arsenal and are the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad. The Ohio-Class SSBNs begin to reach their end of service life in 2027.  Between 2032 and 2040, the Navy will only have the minimum SSBN force structure necessary to meet USSTRATCOM’s strategic deterrent requirements. Delivery of the Columbia-Class on schedule maintains the minimum force structure necessary to meet USSTRATCOM’s requirements. Ohio-Class SSBNs’ service lives have been extended from 30 to an unprecedented 42 years. There is no margin to further extend the service life of the current SSBNs and will begin to reach their end of service life in 2027.