Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated January 15, 2021]   [open pdf - 2MB]

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 first boat began in FY2017. [...] Issues for Congress for the Columbia-class program include the following: [1] the risk--due to the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] situation, technical challenges, and/or funding-related issues-- of a delay in designing and building the lead Columbia-class boat, which could put at risk the Navy's ability to have the boat ready for its first scheduled deterrent patrol in 2031, when it is to deploy in the place of the first retiring Ohio-class SSBN; [2] whether the Navy has accurately priced the work it is proposing to do in the Columbia-class program in FY2021; [3] the risk of cost growth in the program; [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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