The New London Day, which does a good job covering nearby Electric Boat, one of the two sub-building shipyards in this country, has an wallet-opening story today about the company’s proposal to “stretch” its Virginia-class submarines:
EB has been working on a concept for a “stretch Virginia” to boost firepower. The task was to figure out whether the subs could be lengthened by about 90 feet to accommodate triple the number of Tomahawk missiles they now carry, and to launch the weapons of the future, including unmanned undersea vehicles. Preliminary estimates say the modification could cost up to $500 million per ship, adding roughly 20 percent to the cost of an attack submarine.
We’ve got a lot of problems in this country. Lack of available firepower on our fleet of 50 attack submarines is not one of them. It’s notions like this, amid our national cash crunch, that I’ll focus on in print this week, where I’m finishing up a piece on how to cut military spending, smartly.