Submarines are quiet, deadly, and expensive. Boats like the Virginia-class, a U.S. attack submarine, can cost $ 3.4 billion and take seven years to build. The Navy has ambitious goals for the future of the submarine fleet, but some issues may prevent it.
“The Navy is undergoing a 20-year plan that will cost $ 21 billion to improve its infrastructure,” said Aidan Quigley, an Inside Defense reporter who oversees the US Navy and Marines. “Right now, the infrastructure of the Navy yards is not great. They have been underfunded for the past few decades.”
The Navy currently has 68 submarines in service. And it plans to begin building two to possibly three Virginia-class attack submarines and about one Columbia-class submarine per year by about 2035 by about 2035. But, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a lack of shipyard infrastructure could delay these plans.
“The Navy is focused on improving production capacity through initiatives to increase on-time delivery and operational availability while reducing maintenance costs,” said Navy Lt. Rob Reinheimer in a statement to CNBC.
And in response to the Government Accountability Office’s January report on the Columbia Class Sourcing report, Reinheimer said: “Over the past three years, with strong support from Congress, the Navy has invested over $ 573 million in strengthening existing sources and developing new suppliers. “
The recently released defense budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year could be less than what the Navy needs to keep up with China and Russia, according to some observers.
Check out the video above to find out how the Navy will upgrade its multi-billion dollar submarine fleet.