File photo U.S. submarine New Mexico is seen during the NATO-Dynamic Manta 2017 anti-submarine warfare exercise in the port of Catania, southern Italy, 13 March 2017. Photo taken on March 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello)
The Navy and industry can accelerate the entire production of plans for the first Columbia-Class nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine as part of a broader movement to increase the size of the submarine fleet faster.
According to the Navy of the financial statements, the first Columbia-Class submarine is scheduled to begin construction by 2021 as a first step in the direction of the achievement of the operational status of the early 2030s.
“Depending on the available resources, the Marine plan is in line with the current 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan,” William Bank, Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman told the Warrior Maven.
The Navy’s Shipbuilding plan, earlier this year, cite acceleration as a priority as the department strives to provide a comprehensive 355-ships of the fleet.
“Navy continues aggressive acquisition strategies to build ships faster and more affordable,” the plan says.
Also the industry leaders, members, and members of Congress have discussed for both fully funding and accelerate the program, an effort that will provide a new nuclear submarine strategic deterrence of technology to the Navy. Submarine maker General Dynamics has recently announced that the early purchases are in the place to acquire the materials necessary to begin full construction by as soon as 2020, according to a report in The National Interest.
Ultimately, the Navy hopes to build and operate as many as 12 new nuclear submarines, to serve in the 2080s.
“The Navy is the role of a knowledgeable and demanding customer, defining the requirement, and work with Congress to establish the basic profiles in order to achieve it,” the Shipbuilding Plan states.
While the acceleration, given the current industrial expansion and the Congressional support is expected to be possible to speed this up, the shipbuilding plan cites formal tender of the first Columbia in 2021, with the second scheduled for 2024.
Although the exact timetable for the complete construction of the first Columbia is probably something still in motion, depending on the Navy and the General Dynamics of the planning, the service is working to add funding to accelerate the program. Since several years the requirements for the work, the technical specifications and early prototyping are already underway at General Dynamics Electric Boat.
The administration 2019 budget request, released earlier this year, has already increased funding for the new nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine by $2 billion more than this year, the amount in what seems to be a clear attempt to further accelerate the development of technology and the beginning of the production. Several Parliamentary committees are strongly supporting funding for the new submarine in their respective budget to highlight it.
The budget request, which marks a significant move on the part of the Navy and DoD, asks for $3.7 billion in 2019, up from $1.9 billion in 2018. The new budget effort is very large, given the fact that there has been a chorus of concern in recent years that there is not enough money for the financing of the development of the new submarines, without devastating the Navy shipbuilding budget.
The Columbia-class plus-up is an important part of a cross-the-board Marine increase of the budget; the general, the Navy 2019 request jumps to $14 billion more than this year, climbing to $194 billion.
Many consider the Columbia-Class submarines as the number one DoD priority, and it is quite possible the extra dollars will not only the technical development and the beginning of the construction, but can also be the entire production timeline closer.
Ultimately, the Navy hopes to build and operate as many as 12 new nuclear submarines will be in service by the early 2040s and should be well into the 2080s.
The construction of the first submarine in the new class is scheduled to be finished by 2028, with initial combat patrol to start in 2031, service officials have said.
Perhaps of equal or greater significance is the rapidly evolving global threat environment that, among other things, brings with it the realistic prospect of a North Korean nuclear weapons attack. Undersea strategic deterrence, therefore, as described by the Navy leaders, brings a crucial element of the nuclear triad to ensure a second strike capacity in the event of an attack.
The submarines are intended to quietly patrol the less well known parts of the global undersea domain. Ultimately, the Navy hopes to build and operate as many as 12 new nuclear submarines will be in service by the early 2040s and should be well into the 2080s.
Navy’s nuclear-armed submarines with ballistic missiles are intended to perform a somewhat contradictory, but very important mission. By providing the prospect of a huge destruction to an enemy by attacking, weapons of total destruction can – by design – to succeed in keeping the peace.
Although the full construction is slated to ramp up in the next decade, the Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat developers have been prototyping key components, the promotion of the science and technology efforts, and work to mature a handful of the next generation of technologies.
Read Warrior Maven’s Previous Report on the Columbia-Class Production & Tech CLICK HERE
With this in mind, the strategy for the development of the Columbia-Class can also be described in terms of a two-pronged approach; in important respects, the new boats will be the introduction of a number of great leaps forward, or technical innovations, while at the same time, the leverage currently available cutting-edge technologies from the Virginia-Class attack submarines, Navy program managers have told Warrior.
This article originally appeared on Warrior Maven.