Congressman Joe Courtney today praised the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee's "mark" of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The mark, which was released today and will be voted on tomorrow, includes measures secured by Rep. Courtney aimed at ensuring a stable production rate for the Virginia Class submarine program.
"The mark released today reflects the reality that our submarine force plays an unmatched and increasingly critical role in our nation's security," said Congressman Courtney. "While we are all mindful of the pressures facing the defense budget, the fact remains that a steady submarine production rate today will ensure that the Navy has the submarine force structure it needs in the future and that our industrial base will remain stable. While there are several steps ahead of us, this is an important show of support for the Virginia Class submarine program."
Today's mark would authorize advanced procurement funding for the long lead materials needed to build two submarines in 2014. Additionally, the measure approves multi-year contracting authority for a five year block of up to 10 new submarines, and authorizes an incremental funding approach to allow the Navy to better manage the program and increase efficiency.
The President's 2013 budget request proposed a five year, nine-boat block of new submarines between 2014 and 2018. For 2014, the budget reduced the production rate temporarily to one, and two each in the remaining years of the block. While temporary, the interruption of the sustained two submarine production rate would increase program costs and leave the Navy with one fewer submarine than previously planned.
Congressman Courtney is a member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee