Virginia Class Submarine Program
|Columbia Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program|
|2021 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 a new administration in 2021, it is more crucial than ever that we educate freshman members of Congress and appeal to our legislative champions to ensure funding for submarine base priorities is included in the final budget. 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) 2022. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Navy funding of $4.322 Billion ($326M in RDT&E, $3.996B in SCN) and DOE funding of $55 Million in FY22 for Columbia Class development.
The 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 2031.
Support Navy funding of $6.651 Billion ($318M in RDT&E, $6.333B in SCN) to maintain the two Virginia Class attack submarine (SSN) annual build rate.
The U.S. currently has 50 fast attack submarines (SSNs), including 19 Virginia Class SSNs. Both the recent Future Naval Force Study and FY22 Shipbuilding Plan call for at least 72 SSNs by 2045. It is critical the nation maintain 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 an additional $130 Million in FY22 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 FY22 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.