The U.S. Navy abruptly halted submarine repair work at four dry docks on the West Coast, sparking renewed concern within the U.S. over the AUKUS agreement just weeks before Australia, the UK and the U.S. announce plans to develop nuclear submarines for Canberra.
The Navy announced over the weekend that it would “temporarily suspend” operations at three docks at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Washington state. Also in the fourth dock at the Trident Refit Facility, in Bangor, which serves the Ohio-class submarine. They referred to the need for their anti-seismic strengthening.
A very interesting wording. It looks like they are trying to hide some real problems behind it. It is possible that this is an echo of the scandal with the supply of substandard steels for the construction of nuclear submarines. Unfortunately, this scandal both flared up and went out. No specific test results have been released.
The Navy stressed that the decision to suspend repairs “does not affect the strategic deterrence capacity or the ability of the fleet to continue to perform tasks.” That said, the ship repair halt would make it harder for the US Navy to arrange for the deployment, maintenance, and then decommissioning of nuclear submarines, and could raise new concerns about the constraints facing the US industrial base ahead of the announcement of plans under AUKUS in March.
The fact that US shipyards simply “will not pull” such volumes of nuclear submarine construction was said initially. As soon as the first mentions of the possibility of building a nuclear submarine for Australia appeared. The United States is currently supporting its fleet’s needs for the construction of two nuclear attack submarines annually, with transcendental efforts, while one in three submarines in service is either undergoing maintenance or awaiting maintenance. Violation of repair schedules can have very serious consequences in the future.