Get Ready, Russia, China and North Korea: The Navy Wants New Missile Submarines

    Kris Osborn

    Security,

    Ultimately, the Navy hopes to build and operate as many as 12 new nuclear-armed submarines, to serve well into the 2080s.

    The administration’s 2019 budget request, released earlier this year, has already increased funding for the service’s new nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine by $ 2 billion over this year’s amount in what appears to be a clear effort to further accelerate technology development and early production. Several Congressional committees are strongly supporting funding for new submarine in their respective budget mark ups.

    The Navy and industry may be speeding up full production plans for its first Columbia-Class nuclear armed ballistic missile submarine as part of a broader move to increase the size of the service’s submarine fleet more quickly.

    According to Navy statements, the first Columbia-Class submarine has been scheduled to begin construction by 2021 as a first step toward achieving operational status by the early 2030s.

    However, industry leaders, members of Congress and Navy developers have all called for both fully funding and accelerating the program, an effort which will bring new nuclear undersea strategic deterrence technology to the Navy. Submarine-maker General Dynamics has recently announced that early purchases are in place to acquire the materials needed 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-armed submarines, to serve well into the 2080s.

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