WASHINGTON — The vice chief of naval operations (VCNO) said the development and procurement of the Navy’s next-generation ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) is tracking on schedule but the margin leaves little room for any disruption that could delay it.
The Columbia-class SSBN “is on time, on schedule, but I’m not satisfied with how much margin we have — the risks to delivering on time — but I’m very comfortable to where we are on the schedule and the costing today,” Adm. Bill Moran said in March 8 testimony on strategic deterrent forces before the House Armed Services Committee.
The Columbia-class SSBN is planned to succeed the Ohio-class SSBN, whose 14 hulls each will serve for 42 years, 12 years beyond their original service life. Moran stressed the need to maintain the Ohio class while the Columbia class is being built in order to ensure a robust deterrent force and a smooth transition.
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