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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

GAO addresses attack submarine maintenance delays

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is recommending the Navy conduct a business case analysis as part of an effort to address attack submarine maintenance delays.

The GAO said the effort would assist in pinpointing maintenance workload allocation across public and private shipyards.

Navy shipyards have been unable to keep up with maintenance demands for attack submarines, officials said, resulting in the Navy spending $1.5 billion since 2008 to support submarines that it could not deploy and the GAO’s assessment of the situation.

The GAO’s examination of Navy maintenance data determined between fiscal year 2008 and 2018, attack submarines incurred 10,363 days of idle time and maintenance delays as a result of delays in getting into and out of the shipyards.

The GAO is recommending the Navy assess how to best use public and private shipyards to achieve the full benefit of the nation’s investment in the submarines.

The Navy has not effectively allocated maintenance periods among public shipyards and private shipyards that may also be available to help minimize attack submarine idle time, the GAO learned, adding analysis found while the public shipyards have operated above capacity for the past several years, attack submarine maintenance delays are getting longer and idle time is increasing.

The Navy may have options to mitigate idle time and maintenance delays by leveraging private shipyard capacity for repair work.

GAO officials said the Department of Defense agreed with the agency’s recommendation.