Defense Policy Bill Backs Two Virginia-Class Attack Subs

U.S. Congress is poised to authorize the construction of two Virginia-class attack submarines in fiscal year 2021 after the Trump administration only requested funding for one, according to a congressional aide familiar with the decision.

  • NOTE: House and Senate negotiators yesterday struck a deal on the defense authorization bill; the conference report has not yet been officially filed
  • The Senate version of the defense bill, S. 4049, did not authorize a second attack submarine made by General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls, but added $472m for advance procurement of material to preserve the option to procure 10 Virginia-class ships; the House bill, H.R. 6395, fully authorized two submarines a year
  • The Defense Department’s budget request this spring raised alarm with lawmakers who for years pushed the Navy to buy two subs a year. The administration proposed shifting funding away from the submarine program to instead bolster the agency that manages nuclear weapons, the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought sought last month to adjust the Pentagon’s fiscal 2021 funding request to two subs a year
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