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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Ronald O'Rourke
Specialist in Naval Affairs

The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2010. The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. The eight boats to be procured in the five-year period FY2009-FY2013 (boats 11 through 18) are being procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement.

The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13
th and 14th Virginia-class boats. The FY2011 budget estimates the combined procurement cost of these two boats at $5,344.4 million, and the boats have received a total of $1,903.0 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) and Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2011 budget also requests $1,436.8 million in AP funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years, and $254.4 million in Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) purchases of long-leadtime items for Virginia-class boats to be procured under the FY2009-FY2013 MYP arrangement.

Potential issues for Congress regarding the Virginia-class program include the following: 
  • the Virginia-class procurement rate, particularly in the context of a debate over future U.S. defense spending;
  • Virginia-class technology insertion; and 
  • the reliability of in-service Virginia-class boats. 

Date of Report: November 22, 2010
Number of Pages: 24
Order Number: RL32418
Price: $29.95

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