Next US Navy submarine has a big welding flaw and incompetent contractors

The US Navy is spending $128 billion to build twelve Columbia-class nuclear missile submarines. A costly mistake on ballistic missile tubes almost passed undetected.

Contractor BWX discovered welding problems and notified primary builder Electric Boat. This led to a halt to the installation of the missile tubes. Electric Boat admitted this week that the faulty work will cost $27 million to fix over the course of the next year.

Cold War era Ohio-class subs are aging out at 42 years of age. This is very old for submarines. They are too old to safely patrol at crushing depths.

The US Navy now has 12-person teams conducting intrusive inspections on the tubes and other parts of the submarine.

The Navy had assumed the competence of Electric Boat. These are the first new missile submarines in many years. There has been a loss of skilled workers.