The U.S. Navy’s $166 billion Virginia nuclear submarine program has faced a number of problems that could lead to undesirable delays in submarine deliveries.
In the U.S. House of Accounts indicated that the nuclear submarine of the fourth generation is already more expensive than expected because of several factors. In particular, the speech is about the influence of pandemic COVID-19, which slowed down the production in 2020, as well as internal problems at the manufacturing companies General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls Industries.
It is noted that existing delays in sales of Virginia block IV submarines are also slowing down the process. From February to August 2020, “delivery dates for eight of the ten remaining block IV submarines were reportedly delayed by an average of an additional four months.”
Navy officials attributed the increased program costs to a delay in deliveries of the previous version of the submarines. According to them, it triggered increased workloads for the enterprises. This, in turn, led to the attraction of new, inexperienced employees to the project, as both suppliers and shipbuilders had problems with staffing amid the pandemic.
To make an impact and increase production capacity, General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls expanded hiring and reallocated tasks at different stages of production.
Earlier it became known that in 2018 the US submarine type Virginia was ready to sink Russian Navy ships off the coast of Syria. It is noted that April 2018 was the combat debut for the US submarine USS John Warner (“John Warner”). Then it launched six Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea on the territory of Syria.