Additional proof that the USN needs subs, and that the Virginia class deserves funds

As the Navy has already stated:

“Virginia-class submarines are flexible, multimission platforms designed to operate in both open-ocean and littoral waters. Their inherent stealth, endurance, and firepower enable them to support the United States seapower core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, and maritime security.”

The Virginia class program manager has confirmed this program is necessary, by saying:

“With the delivery of the sixth submarine, the Virginia Program continues to provide needed capability to the fleet.”

He also said:

“Raising the bar yet again, the Virginia shipbuilding team has completed the fastest delivery to date, with further improvement soon to follow. This improvement in performance positions the team to double the production rate to two submarines per year in 2011. Keeping the production rate at two per year is critical to maintaining the Navy’s Attack Submarine inventory.”

The Virginia class program is a well-performing weapon program. The USS New Mexico was delivered to the USN 4 months ahead of schedule. According to the Navy:

“”New Mexico performed superbly on sea trials,” said Rear Adm. William Hilarides, program executive officer for submarines. “Her early delivery keeps us firmly on pace for a 60-month construction span by the end of the Block II contract.””

The Congress should increase the order for Virginia class submarines by additional 40 vessels, and increase the Navy’s shipbuilding budget accordingly.


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