Navy leaves door open for second attack sub in FY-21

By Lee Hudson / December 14, 2016 at 3:32 PM

The Navy is looking to leave the door open to purchase an additional Virginia-class attack submarine during the same year the service purchases the lead next-generation ballistic missile boat.

On Dec. 14, Naval Sea Systems Command issued a presolicitation outlining details for a multiyear contract, as long as funds are appropriated and authorized by Congress, for up to 10 Virginia-class attack submarines from fiscal year 2019 through FY-23.

The Navy's long-range shipbuilding plan anticipates the service will buy one Virginia-class sub in FY-21, which is the same year the first Columbia-class submarine is slated for purchase. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced today the Ohio-class Replacement Sub will be dubbed the Columbia-class.

The FY-17 defense policy bill that was approved by the House and Senate and is awaiting signature by the president authorizes two Virginia-class subs for 2017, and advanced procurement funding to sustain a two-per-year build rate in 2018 and 2019. The policy bill includes $85 million over the service's initial request, reflecting a funding increase for the Virginia Payload Module.