The Navy plans to buy a second Virginia-class attack submarine in Fiscal Year 2021 to keep the industrial base building two SSNs a year even during Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine procurement, several Navy officials confirmed today.

Due to concerns about overwhelming the two sub construction yards – Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat – with too much new work, as the Block V boats are set to include a new Virginia Payload Module section around the same time SSBN construction will begin, the Navy previously planned to buy just one SSN in years it also bought an SSBN. Due to an impending attack sub shortfall, though, Navy plans have continued to up and up the amount of work that could come to the two builders.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told USNI News after the Senate hearing this morning that the Navy desired as many submarines as it could get without breaking the industrial base or breaking the bank.


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Oct. 5, 2012) The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Minnesota (SSN 783) under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding. The U.S. Navy is reliable, flexible, and ready to respond worldwide on, above, and below the sea. Join the conversation on social media using #warfighting. (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Oxley/Released)