House Panel Recommends Special Funding for New Trident Submarine

A U.S. House committee may use an annual defense bill to order the establishment of a separate funding stream for a new ballistic-missile submarine.

Language authorizing the establishment of a distinct fund to pay for a planned fleet of strategic vessels to replace the Ohio-class submarine was included last week in the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee mark-up of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization legislation, Inside Defense reported.

The Seapower panel's mark-up will be considered by the full House Armed Services Committee later on Wednesday.

The subpanel is calling for the creation of a special fund for "obligation and expenditure only" for the "advance procurement or construction of nuclear-powered strategic ballistic missile submarines." Funds would be deposited in the envisioned account beginning after fiscal 2017.

Subcommittee member Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) is leading the effort to create a special fund out of concern that the Ohio-class submarine replacement program would otherwise consume too much of the Navy's shipbuilding budget.

"I think this is a very exciting development that we are now taking this outside of bar talk and now moving it into actually statutory framework where we can talk about a solution," he told Inside Defense late last month.

Courtney plans to reach out to congressional appropriators to get their support for the effort.

The Navy intends to begin building its first new ballistic-missile submarine in 2021. A total of 12 new strategic vessels are planned. The program is estimated to cost a total of $90 billion.

May 7, 2014
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A U.S. House committee may use an annual defense bill to order the establishment of a separate funding stream for a new ballistic-missile submarine.

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