Senate appropriators seek more information on Columbia-class submarine initiatives 

By Aidan Quigley / October 20, 2021 at 3:39 PM

The Senate Appropriations Committee wants more information from the Navy in future budget requests on how it will implement the Columbia-class submarine’s Integrated Enterprise Plan initiatives.

The Integrated Enterprise Plan is the Navy’s effort to build the Columbia class, the service’s top acquisition priority, between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, with a majority of the work going to General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Senate appropriators released their draft of the fiscal year 2022 defense spending bill Monday. Appropriators wrote that the FY-22 budget request includes $4.6 billion for the Columbia program, including $247 million to integrate IEP initiatives not identified in prior-year budget submissions.

“The Committee is displeased with the insufficient details regarding the future year funding requirements for the IEP initiatives requested in the fiscal year 2022 budget submission and is concerned about a similar lack of transparency for such initiatives requested in future budget submissions,” appropriators wrote in the report accompanying the bill.

The budget did not include the future year funding amounts needed to implement the IEP initiatives requested in FY-22.

“The Committee supports Navy initiatives, such as IEP, that intend to mitigate cost and schedule risk for CLB and continues to provide unprecedented acquisition and funding flexibilities for CLB, including: authority to enter into economic order quantity contracts, authority to award contracts for advance construction, authority to award contracts for continuous production, incremental funding authority for advance procurement, authority for incremental full funding of the first two CLB hulls, as well as sizeable additional appropriations to support the submarine industrial base for both COLUMBIA and VIRGINIA Class submarines,” appropriators wrote.

The committee asked the Navy acquisition chief to submit the service’s fully funded IEP initiative strategy, by fiscal year, with the submission of any future budget request that includes funding for IEP initiatives.