The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Minnesota (SSN 783) is under construction on Oct. 5, 2012, at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. (Chris Oxley/Navy)
US Navy Gearing Up for Boost in Submarine Production
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By: Julia Bergman, The (New London, Conn.) Day via AP
GROTON, Conn. — The U.S. Navy is working to build three attack submarines in some years as opposed to two, and wants to keep five of its attack submarines in service longer than expected to address a dip in the number of nuclear-powered attack submarines in coming years.
The U.S. attack submarine fleet is expected to shrink by 20 percent over the next decade. There are 52 attack submarines today; by 2028, that number is expected to dip to 42. The Navy has said it needs a fleet of 66 attack submarines, but that isn't expected to happen until 2048 under current plans.
Meanwhile, the Navy continues to drive down the construction timeline for the Virginia-class attack submarine program. At the outset, the boats were built in 84 months. Then the Navy reduced the construction timeline to 74 months, and now the goal is to build them in 66 months.
The Navy wants to knock off even more time, which means pressure is mounting on Electric Boat and hundreds of submarine suppliers in Connecticut to keep on schedule. Already, EB has been busy building two...