Virginia Class Submarine Program
|Columbia Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program|
|2022 Letter to Members of Congress|
|Importance of the Submarine Industrial Base|
|Current Submarine Programs|
The submarine industrial base comprises more than 2,700 first tier 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.
With midterm elections approaching and budget discussions underway, we must seize this opportunity to engage members of Congress on the importance of submarines and the submarine industrial base with both veteran members and newcomers. It is imperative we amplify our collective impact as the SIBC on the entire submarine base’s behalf.
Our legislative priorities include support for three primary submarine asks in fiscal year (FY) 2023. Through our Legislative Action Center suppliers can reach out to members of Congress and urge support of key budget requests, encourage them to join the Congressional Submarine Caucus or invite them to visit a facility.
If you have follow up questions or comments, please reach out to email@example.com.
Support Navy funding for Columbia Class RDT&E, SCN and DOE funding in FY23 to continue Columbia Class development and construction.
Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) program is the Defense Department’s #1 priority. SSBNs carry ~70% of the U.S. strategic arsenal as the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad. Construction of the first Columbia Class submarine officially began in October 2020 with the most mature submarine design in our Navy’s shipbuilding history. It is critical to maintain full funding for the program to reduce risk of construction delays and prevent a gap in U.S. deterrent capabilities when the Ohio Class SSBNs begin to retire. The first Columbia Class SSBN is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2027 to make her first strategic deterrent patrol in 2030.
Support Navy funding for Virginia Class RDT&E and SCN in FY23 to maintain the two attack submarine (SSN) annual build rate.
The U.S. currently has 50 fast attack submarines (SSNs) including 20 Virginia Class SSNs. The recent Long Range Navy Shipbuilding Plan, released in June 2021, calls for at least 72 SSNs by 2045. It is critical the nation maintains at least a 2 submarine per year build rate for the Virginia Class program to support the nation’s submarine requirements and continued undersea dominance. Newer Block V submarines include upgrades to combat threats. Further, the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) adds 28 additional launch canisters per boat, which will be introduced on the second submarine in Block V and included on all follow-on submarines in the Block
Support additional $130 Million in FY23 Navy SCN, Columbia Class Submarine Advance Procurement Funding for Supplier Base Reconstitution.
Submarines have unique requirements of stealth, endurance, and survivability which have no commercial equivalency. This requires a robust industrial base with unique capabilities. However, the submarine industrial base has lost thousands of suppliers since the Cold War and must expand. Funding is still needed for the ramp-up of additional capability and capacity in order to reduce the risk to both the Columbia and Virginia programs. Increased FY23 funding will allow investment in unique equipment, facilities, and tooling for all levels in the supply chain; qualify multiple suppliers for critical components to add resiliency, competition, and capacity; and provide workforce training, qualification opportunities, and educational tools to suppliers.