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Navy accelerating Columbia Class

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    Posted: 30 May 2018 at 11:27am
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/05/30/navy-seeks-acceleration-first-nuclear-armed-columbia-ballistic-missile-sub.html

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. "Depending upon available resources, the Navy plan is aligned with the current 30-Year Shipbuilding Plan," William Couch, Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman,told Warrior Maven. The Navy's Shipbuilding plan, released earlier this year, does cite acceleration as a priority as the service strives for an expanded 355-ship fleet. "Navy continues to aggressively pursue acquisition strategies to build ships more quickly and more affordably," the plan says. Also, industry leaders, members of and members of Congress have discussed 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.

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