Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated May 17, 2019]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "The Columbia (SSBN-826) class program is a program to design and build a class of 12 new ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 aging Ohio-class SSBNs. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy's top priority program. The Navy wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021. Research and development work on the program has been underway for several years, and advance procurement (AP) funding for the program began in FY2017. [...] Issues for Congress for the Columbia-class program include the following: [1] whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's FY2020 funding requests for the program; [2] the risk of cost growth in the program; [3] the risk of technical challenges or funding-related issues that could lead to delays in designing and building the lead boat in the program and having it ready for its scheduled initial deterrent patrol in 2031; [4] the potential impact of the Columbia-class program on funding that will be available for other Navy programs, including other shipbuilding programs; and [5] potential industrial-base challenges of building both Columbia-class boats and Virginia-class attack submarines (SSNs) at the same time."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41129
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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