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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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) since FY1998. Twelve were procured through FY2010, two more were requested for FY2011, and another two are requested for FY2012. The eight boats to be procured in the fiveyear period FY2009-FY2013 (boats 11 through 18, in annual quantities of 1-1-2-2-2) are being procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement.

The Navy’s proposed FY2012 budget requests $3,232.2 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 15
th and 16th Virginia-class boats. The FY2012 budget estimates the combined procurement cost of these two boats at $5,142.8 million, and under Navy budget plans the boats are to receive a total of $1,910.5 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) and Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2012 budget also requests $1,524.8 million in AP funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years.

Potential issues for Congress regarding the Virginia-class program include the following:
  • the potential impact of a year-long continuing resolution (CR) for FY2011 at FY2010 funding levels on the Navy’s ability to execute the planned procurement of two Virginia-class boats in FY2011 under the terms of the FY2009-FY2013 Virginia-class MYP contract; 
  • the Virginia-class procurement rate in coming years, particularly in the context of the larger debate over future U.S. defense strategy and defense spending; 
  • the Navy’s plans for inserting new technologies into the Virginia-class design; and 
  • the reliability of in-service Virginia-class boats.

Date of Report: April 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 29
Order Number: RL32418
Price: $29.95

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