US Virginia and Columbia submarines from now to 2030

The US Navy is considering increasing maintaining a 2 Virginia class attack submarine build rate along with a production of one Columbia SSBN sub per year.

Adding 7 more Virginia class submarines will add about $18 billion in spending over the next 13 years. The proponents argue that they will get 7 for the price of 6 as they will save about the price of one submarine in production efficiency.

The Navy has assigned only a “43% confidence interval” that it will keep costs at or below the $100.2 billion (2017 constant dollars) research acquisition cost for the Columbia SSBN submarines.

There have been a declining number of U.S. SSBN patrols and an the even more drastic decline in Russian patrols (only five in 2015, down from 102 Soviet patrols in 1984).

The Columbia (SSBN-826) class program, previously known as the Ohio replacement program (ORP) or SSBN(X) program, is a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy’s top priority program. The Navy wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021. The Navy’s proposed FY2018 budget requests $842.9 million in advance procurement (AP) funding and $1,041.7 million in research and development funding for the program.

The Navy as of January 2017 estimates the procurement cost of the lead ship in the class at $8.2 billion in constant 2017 dollars, not including several billion dollars in additional cost for plans for the class, and the average unit procurement cost of ships 2 through 12 in the program at $6.5 billion each in constant FY2017 dollars. A March 2017 GAO report assessing selected major Department of Defense (DOD) weapon acquisition programs stated that the estimated total acquisition cost of the Columbia-class program is $100,221.9 million (about $100.2 billion) in constant FY2017 dollars, including $12,648.1 million (about $12.6 billion) in research and development costs and $87,426.5 million (about $87.4 billion) in procurement costs.

3 thoughts on “US Virginia and Columbia submarines from now to 2030”

  1. “The US Navy is considering increasing maintaining”

    So which is it, increasing or maintaining? The NEED to go to 3 a year if they want a hope in hell of avoiding shortages down the line.

    • Based on the source article, it is supposed to be maintaining the rate, but increasing the time to give an increased total build number.

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