Defense Department acquisition chief Frank Kendall has granted Milestone B approval to the U.S. Navy’s potential $125 billion Columbia-class nuclear missile submarine program, Breaking Defense reported Wednesday.
Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. writes the Milestone B decision will pave the way for the Navy to use the $773 million in funds that Congress passed in December through a continuing resolution to begin detailed design and engineering work on the program.
The service branch plans to purchase up to 12 submarines for a total procurement cost of $96 billion in 2017 dollars and at $8 billion per vessel, Freedberg reports.
A DoD official said that Kendall also designated the Columbia-class submarine program as a major defense acquisition initiative through an acquisition decision memorandum signed Wednesday, according to a report by Megan Eckstein for USNI News.
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Connecticut) told USNI News that he expects the “anomaly” funds in the CR to head toward General Dynamics Electric Boat and some other contractors in the next few days through the National Sea Based Deterrence Fund.
“On Monday the Treasury deposited the anomaly funds that were in the CR, the $773 million, into the NSBDF – so that (fund) has now been activated officially with real deposits and withdrawals,” Courtney said.
Lawmakers in December included an anomaly in the stopgap spending measure in order to keep the development of the Columbia-class program on schedule, the report added.