USN's submarine programmes remain on course, but sequester would disrupt shipbuilding plans
By Grace Jean
The official in charge of the US Navy's (USN) new construction submarine programmes expects the Virginia-class attack submarine (SSN) and the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine replacement (SSBN[X]) efforts to weather the uncertain fiscal climate, but warned they would not enjoy immunity should mandatory spending cuts take effect on 1 March.
"Funding-wise, we're okay with Virginia and we're okay with Ohio replacement. It's when you move into sequester that all bets are off," Rear Admiral David C Johnson, programme executive officer for submarines, told a Naval Submarine League gathering near Washington on 15 February.
If US lawmakers are unable to avert sequestration, the USN will face an additional USD4 billion reduction in its accounts across the board on top of an USD4.6 billion shortfall currently plaguing the service because it is operating under a stop-gap funding measure known as a Continuing Resolution (CR), which is sustaining federal government spending at Fiscal Year 2012 levels.
Navy officials already have implemented cost-saving measures to ease the blow should the worst come to pass in March. Most of the cuts have taken place in operations and maintenance accounts in order to preserve money for the long haul.193 of 719 words
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