Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, program executive officer for submarines at the U.S. Navy, has said the service branch has reduced the average procurement unit cost of the Columbia-class submarine program – SSBN-826 – to $7.21 billion through contracting methods and legislative authority, USNI News reported Monday.
“So that was a combination of missile tube continuous production… and advance construction, which is pulling key construction activities to the left,” Jabeley said at the Naval Submarine League’s annual conference.
“Really the focus of that was to reduce the risk of not delivering on time, but it had an added benefit of savings as well,” he added.
Some of the congressional authorities given to the Navy to advance the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program include the establishment of the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund and opportunities for the military branch to generate savings on common components used in the SSBN-826 program, Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier and the Virginia-class attack submarine.
Jabeley said the Navy expects Congress to grant additional legislative authorities to help bring down the cost of all 12 Columbia-class submarines to less than $7 billion apiece.
He noted that General Dynamics’ Electric Boat subsidiary has begun to prototype the program’s “quad pack” process for use in the construction of the submarines.
“This process is critical to the ability to build the ship in seven years, 84 months,” Jabeley said of the “quad pack” construction method.