Submarines: August 14, 2005


U.S. submarine builders continue to have problems controlling costs. The second Virginia class sub has, so far, cost 24 percent more than it was supposed to cost ($2.19 billion). Thats over half a billion dollars in overruns, for a project that is also nearly a year late. Normally, the second, and subsequent, ship in a class costs less than the first one. The navy is not happy with the companies building its warships, and has not been happy with them for some time. As a result of these problems, the navy does not believe it will be able to turn out two Virginias a year. The Virginias were designed as a cheaper alternative to the larger, and even more expensive, Seawolf class. Many on Congress are asking the navy to come up with a truly low cost SSN (attack sub), even if it means another design. Since no one out there has a SSN that can even match the existing (and aging) Los Angeles class boats, the navy has a hard time making a case for an expensive replacement SSN. 




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