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Industry can support 3 attack submarine per year

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    Posted: 13 Sep 2017 at 1:23pm

INSIDE THE NAVY - SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

Industry can support three attack submarine per year build rate The two attack submarine manufacturers can support a three Virginia-class boat per year build rate in the years the Navy is not buying a ballistic missile submarine as long as the service supports industry in both planning and investment.

 

Kenneth Perry, vice president for program integration at General Dynamics Electric Boat, told Inside the Navy August 30 in Newport, RI, the company has sent the Navy an outline of what it will take for EB to build three Virginia-class attack submarines per year.

 

This would include investments not only in EB's facilities but also in growing a skilled workforce, he said.

 

Ken Mahler, vice president for Navy programs at Newport News Shipbuilding, told ITN Aug. 22 at the shipyard the company's facilities would need additional modifications to support a three per year build rate. Building two Virginia-class subs per year is optimal, he added.

 

Perry said industry received a request for proposals in August from the Navy for Block V, which is the first group of Virginia-class subs with the Virginia Payload Module.

 

EB is building the module at its Quonset Point, RI, facility and will ship it to Groton, CT, for assembly. VPM consists of four large-diameter tubes that weigh 2,500 tons.

 

"Let's put that into perspective, 2,500 tons is the size of many conventional submarines elsewhere around the world outside the United States," Perry said. "If you went to another country and looked at a typical diesel electric submarine they would be on the order of 2,500 tons."

 

At the same time that both EB and NNS are building a Virginia-class submarine with VPM the Navy is also paying the companies to build the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. EB is completing the bulk of Columbia work, which means NNS will start performing additional Virginia-class submarine deliveries.

 

The current arrangement is about a 50/50 split for Virginia-class deliveries. Mahler said the companies are discussing the new arrangement.

 

"We may deliver six, four, or we may deliver seven of their three," Mahler said. "We'll have to see how clear the RFP is about that work split then between Newport News and EB as part of the proposal development, we'll have to decide.”

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