WASHINGTON, D.C. — The director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs was confident that the first of a new class of ballistic missile submarine, the planned USS Columbia (SSBN-826), would be ready for its first patrol in 2031. That will be just before the current Ohio-class nuclear-deterrent boats are too old to submerge. Read More
Sub builder General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $696.2 million contract modification for long-lead materials for the next for Virginia-class submarines – the first of the Block V attack boats.
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.
General Dynamics Electric Boat awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding a contract worth up to $468 million to begin work on integrated product and process development for the upcoming Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine, according to an HII news release this week. Read More
A top House Armed Services Committee member said the Navy needed a more aggressive attack submarine procurement plan to get the service to its 66-boat requirement on a shorter timeline. Read More
The Navy and industry must prove they can reliably build a Virginia-class attack submarine in just 60 months before talks start about increasing the quantity of boats built each year, the Navy’s top uniformed acquisition official told USNI News. Read More
The Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program (SSBN-826) is coming down in cost and staying on schedule despite an early challenge, program officials said last week. Read More
This post has been updated to note that SSGN submarines, not SSBNs, would likely take on the conventional prompt global strike mission, if the Pentagon were to continue with this capability development.
The Navy Strategic Systems Program and the Department of Defense this week tested a conventional prompt strike capability that could one day be fielded from guided-missile submarines. Read More
The Navy has developed a Tactical Submarine Evolution Plan that looks at rapidly inserting capability upgrades into the Virginia-class attack submarine mid-contract and considers long-term undersea warfare priorities such as converting the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) production line into a guided-missile submarine (SSGN) line in the late 2030s. Read More
Neither U.S. sailors nor civilian personnel were involved in so-called “drug-fueled” parties with members of the crew of the U.K. nuclear ballistic missile submarine HMS Vigilant that resulted in the expulsion of nine sailors from the Royal Navy, U.S. officials told USNI News on Sunday. Read More