Submarine Industrial  Base Council

Legislative Priorities

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

Virginia-Class Submarine Program
Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program
Letter to Members of Congress
What People Are Saying About Submarines
Importance of Submarines and the Submarine Industrial Base
Current Submarine Programs Fact Sheet

Our legislative priorities include support for two submarine programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The numbers we requested at this year’s Supplier Days for Columbia-Class are based on projections for FY18 in the FY17 President’s Budget submission.  The requests for Virginia-Class are based on projected FY18 budget submission.  Note that the President’s Budget FY18 is expected to be released this May.  If you have follow up questions or comments, please reach out to

Virginia-Class Submarine Program
  • Authorize and appropriate an additional $200 million for a total of $2.135 billion in Advance Procurement (AP) funding
  • Authorize and appropriate $3.296 billion in funding for two Virginia-Class submarines
  • Authorize and appropriate $72 million in RDT&E funding for Virginia Payload Module (VPM) design.

Submarines continue the record of excellence in delivery, quality, and cost.  For example, USS ILLINOIS (SSN 786) delivered early to the Navy in August 2016, under target cost (by $100 million).  Adequate Advanced Procurement (AP) funding is key to the success of the Virginia-Class submarine program.

An additional $200M in AP funding is required to support Virginia Payload Module (VPM) detailed design efforts and long lead time material procurement. Without this additional AP, construction spans will increase up to one year incurring additional costs of up to $400 million and exacerbate the shortfall of fast attack submarines starting in the mid-2020s.  PACOM Commander, Admiral Harris, testified to Congress that “[m]y submarine requirement as a combatant commander in the Pacific is not being met…I can’t get enough of them, and I can’t get enough of them fast enough.” (February 2016).

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
  • Support DOD funding of $1.934 billion ($1.147B in RDT&E, $787M in SCN) and DOE funding of $157 million in FY18 for Columbia-Class development

The Columbia-Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) program consists of 12 submarines to meet the requirements for U.S. strategic deterrent force structure as set forth in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.  The Columbia-Class program completed Acquisition Milestone B on January 4, 2017 and is in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase.  SSBNs are essential to national security and are ”…foundational to our survival as a nation.” (Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Richardson, January 2016).

SSBNs will soon 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.