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Navy Outlines Plan to Solve Attack Sub Shortage

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    Posted: 28 Nov 2018 at 12:04am
Navy Outlines Plan to Solve Attack Submarine Shortage

27 Nov 2018

Military.com | By Matthew Cox

 

Lawmakers on Tuesday pressed U.S. Navy officials to explain what the service is doing to fix its shortage of attack submarines.

Navy officials testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on Seapower that the service is on track to achieve a 355-ship fleet by 2034.

Lawmakers, however, were concerned about the more immediate problem of the Navy's submarine shortfall.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said that retired Adm. Harry Harris, former head of U.S. Pacific command, had testified that "only half his requirement for attack submarines in the Pacific theater was being met."

"This challenge will only grow worse in the 2020s as attack submarines retire at a faster rate," Rounds said. "How is the Navy planning to mitigate the attack submarine shortfall in the 2020s?"

James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said the most "looming shortfall ahead of us in terms of capability is in attack subs."

Geurts said the service is ramping up Virginia-class submarine production to two per year, with the potential of producing more than two down the road.

The Navy is also looking at where it can do "service-life extensions on some of our existing submarines," he said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, referring to a recent Government Accountability Office report on maintenance delays in the attack sub fleet, said that since "2008, 14 attack submarines have spent a combined 61 months -- 1,891 days -- idling while waiting to enter ship yards for maintenance."

"We need action now to address the backlog that is bad for our national security and the harmful impact on our industrial base," he said. "We have been talking about this maintenance backlog for a year with no clear solution in sight."

As part of a larger, 30-year ship repair/sustainment plan the Navy plans to release this year, Geurts said he intends to make submarines a high priority.

"Going forward under the new role this committee provided me to oversee sustainment readiness, I am really focused on getting predictability and advanced planning in the readiness area for ship repair, with a particular focus on submarines," he said.

Currently, the Navy has four submarines in "maintenance availabilities" and the service plans to award at least two more "into private yards" next year, Geurts said, adding that the requests for proposal for those efforts are scheduled to go out by next summer.

"My strategic approach to this is balancing out that work and getting predictability into the maintenance plan, so that we have capacity to get those ships both in and out of those availabilities on time, to give the combatant commanders the capability they need," he said.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flapper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2018 at 3:13pm
Currently, the Navy has four submarines in "maintenance availabilities" and the service plans to award at least two more "into private yards" next year, Geurts said, adding that the requests for proposal for those efforts are scheduled to go out by next summer.

EB & Newport News, I presume.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kwn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2018 at 1:50pm
I believe those are the only two certified for nuclear work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltiDawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Nov 2018 at 4:05pm
Originally posted by Kwn Kwn wrote:

I believe those are the only two certified for nuclear work.

Nuclear Construction?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kwn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2018 at 3:19pm
Originally posted by SaltiDawg SaltiDawg wrote:

Originally posted by Kwn Kwn wrote:

I believe those are the only two certified for nuclear work.

Nuclear Construction?

I believe either construction or repair. Plus they are the only 2 yards with submarine experience. Pascagoula hasn’t done submarine work in years and they are no longer nuclear certified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltiDawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2018 at 8:28pm
Puget  Sound Naval Shipyard still does repairs - they've been out of the ship construction business for decades. Likely others.

Again, I think you are talking about construction yards.

EDIT:  "Norfolk, Virginia, and Kittery, Maine, and the shipyard and intermediate maintenance facilities at Puget Sound, Washington, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, are vital to maintaining the nuclear fleet, the Government Accountability Office report states...." 

As I said, I believe you are talking about Construction Yards. 


Edited by SaltiDawg - 30 Nov 2018 at 8:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kwn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2018 at 2:36pm
Originally posted by SaltiDawg SaltiDawg wrote:

Puget  Sound Naval Shipyard still does repairs - they've been out of the ship construction business for decades. Likely others.

Again, I think you are talking about construction yards.

EDIT:  "Norfolk, Virginia, and Kittery, Maine, and the shipyard and intermediate maintenance facilities at Puget Sound, Washington, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, are vital to maintaining the nuclear fleet, the Government Accountability Office report states...." 

As I said, I believe you are talking about Construction Yards. 

Sorry for the misunderstanding. When I replied they were the only two certified for nuclear work I meant the only two private yards certified. I understand all of the Naval yards remain certified nuclear. Since the article talks about repair work being sent to private yards there are only two certified for nuclear so that would have to be EB or Newport News. I would imagine it would be extremely difficult and expensive for a yard like Pascagoula to recertify and I doubt the expense could be justified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltiDawg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2018 at 5:11pm
The last Nukes built in Navy Yards were in like 1970.  Those two Navy yards still are certified for Nuclear Work, and a third is still doing inactivations!

At the time of privatization of Submarine construction, the Navy and NAVSEA lost the ability to Design Ships and Submarines and also lost the ability to design major components.

Currently there are only two (private) Shipyards that have the capability to design a Submarine.


Edited by SaltiDawg - 01 Dec 2018 at 5:32pm
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