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Biden Pushing For Major Investments in Submarines

  • President Joe Biden’s discretionary funding request calls for slight increase to military budget, including submarine investments
  • Plan specifically supports the recapitalization of the strategic ballistic missile submarine fleet, next generation attack submarines, and autonomous and remotely operated systems
  • Submarine investments would provide a major boost to the southeastern Connecticut economy

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

President Joe Biden’s proposed military budget explicitly supports the strengthening of the United States submarine fleet, an action that would bolster a key industry in southeastern Connecticut.

Biden’s discretionary spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year includes a 1.6 percent increase for the defense budget, bringing it to $715 billion. While the request currently provides a general overview of priorities, including “executable and responsible investments in the U.S. Navy fleet,” it specifies that the request includes the “recapitalization of the Nation’s strategic ballistic missile submarine fleet, and invests in remotely operated and autonomous systems and the next generation attack submarine program.”

The language effectively supports development of the new Columbia class ballistic submarine, which will replace the aging Ohio class fleet. Twelve boats are scheduled to be ready by fiscal year 2030, and General Dynamics Electric Boat plans to perform about 78 percent of the manufacturing necessary for the new submarines. The program is expected to double Electric Boat’s workforce over the next five years.

The next generation attack submarine, known as SSN(X), has been in planning for years. While the Biden administration has not yet issued goals for attack submarine development, the Trump administration’s plan sought to add two or three boats a year to help swell the fleet and change from the current Virginia class attack submarine to the SSN(X) in the 2030s.

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