The Virginia-class submarine program office is looking to get its attack boats out to the fleet faster through shortening the post-shakedown availability period to just three months, the program manager told USNI News
.Capt. Mike Stevens said at the annual Naval Submarine League symposium that operational commanders wanted more boats and faster, and while procurement rates cannot be bumped up in the near-term, the transfer of new construction boats to the fleet could be sped up a bit. PSAs are currently contracted to last six months, but the last two boats, USS John Warner (SSN-785) and USS Illinois (SSN-786), wrapped up early.
“We put our foot on the gas pedal and we pressed on the post-shakedown availabilities to get those shortened so that we can get these very fine submarines just out to the fleet faster,” Stevens said at the Nov. 1 event.
“It’s such an advantage for the crew, which come through all those trials and has done so much to get up to speed, and go through the acoustic trials and the weapons systems acceptance trials, and they’re really at a fine point in terms of proficiency. And then to just go in for a short post-shakedown availability and march right into their fleet readiness training program is really advantageous to the fleet and it keeps the crew in one piece so they don’t break up after a long post-shakedown availability.”
Read the full story here.