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Navy Rushes To Check Contractors After Submarine ‘Debacle’

Posted by Paul McLeary on


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The 12-hull, $128 billion Columbia class program is the Navy’s cornerstone project not only for a new class of submarines, but also for the United States’ nuclear triad, which relies on a mix of air, land, and sea-launched nuclear missiles.

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Submarine Maintenance Backlog Threatens Crisis Response: Admiral

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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CRYSTAL CITY: The good news? The US submarine fleet is meeting day-to-day demands around the world, without having to do the extra-long deployments that have ground down surface ships and sailors. The bad news? A massive maintenance backlog that could idle 15 submarines for months – costing an estimated seven to 15 years of time… Keep reading →

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Frigate RFP Pioneers New Shipbuilding Approach

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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CRYSTAL CITY: When the Navy publishes its Request For Proposals to design a new frigate, probably today, there should be no surprises for industry. That’s by, well, design. In stark contrast to the predecessor program, the Littoral Combat Ship, where the Navy changed key specs midway through construction at great expense, the frigate is a… Keep reading →

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15 Subs Kept Out of Service: 177 Months Of Drydock Backups

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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  WASHINGTON: A massive maintenance backlog has idled 15 nuclear-powered attack submarines for a total of 177 months, and the Navy’s plan to mitigate the problem is jeopardized by budget gridlock, two House Armed Services Committee staffers told Breaking Defense. That is almost 15 submarine-years, the equivalent of taking a boat from the 2018 budget… Keep reading →

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Spending Bill Delay Would Trip Up Nuclear Missile Sub: CR Vs. ORP

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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CRYSTAL CITY: If Congress doesn’t pass the annual defense spending bill — already 26 days overdue — by January 1st, the Navy’s top priority program may miss its sailing date 14 years from now. The Ohio Replacement SSBN submarine, which will carry 70 percent of American nuclear warheads, “will come to almost a screeching halt” without… Keep reading →

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Run Silent, Run Scared: ‘A Crucial Year’ For Navy’s New Nuke Sub

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FAIRFAX, VA: “No one should be sleeping comfortably at night,” Rear Adm. Dave Johnson warned Navy submariners and contractors today. For the fleet’s top priority program, the replacement for the aging Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine, fiscal 2015 “is a crucial year,” the Program Executive Officer for all submarine programs said this morning. “If we in this… Keep reading →

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Set Cyber Zebra: Navy Shipboard Cybersecurity

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FALLS CHURCH, VA: Sure, everyone’s sick of the word “cybersecurity” and endless discussion of “attacks,” Vice Adm. William Hilarides said today, making prominent air quotes with his fingers. Navy submariners in particular, safe beneath the waves, tend to think of cyber as someone else’s problem — but “not so fast,” he told the annual Naval… Keep reading →

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Run Silent, Go Deep: Drone-Launching Subs To Be Navy’s ‘Wide Receivers’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The Virginia-class attack submarine Minnesota (SSN 783) is under construction at at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding, Nov. 1, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding/Released) Photo by Chris Oxley

WASHINGTON: This Saturday the Navy will christen its newest nuclear-powered submarine, the $2.6 billion USS Minnesota at the Newport News shipyard in Virginia. Countless movies have cemented the popular image of subs as stealthy underwater killers, stalking hapless surface vessels with periscope and torpedo. But today’s Navy is experimenting with launching robotic mini-subs and even… Keep reading →

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Nuclear Navy Frets Over Panetta’s Concessions To New Zealand

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: As the administration courts New Zealand’s support for its new Pacific strategy, at least some submariners are uneasy that the US might make too many concessions at the expense of the nuclear navy. “The SecDef for some reason became fascinated with New Zealand,” said Rear Adm. Robert Thomas, noting the country’s contributions in Afghanistan… Keep reading →

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Navy Fears Pentagon Neglects New Missile Sub; SSBN(X) Must Survive Almost 80 Years

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Right now, the Navy is designing the ballistic missile submarine that will provide 70 percent of the nation’s nuclear deterrent until 2080. Yet even as the service prepares to award research and development contracts this December, the submarine community is deeply worried that the rest of the military is neglecting the program — which… Keep reading →

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