An overhaul of the USS Boise (SSN-764) might be contracted out to the private sector because it would take an overtaxed public shipyard too long to do the work, according to a Navy official.
The Los Angeles-class submarine was supposed to begin a 22-month maintenance “availability” at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia over the summer, but that plan was nixed after it was determined that the work would actually take almost four years, said Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
“We made a rational decision on Boise not to induct her and let Norfolk Naval Shipyard focus on the work that she had so she could get those out on time,” Moore told reporters Nov. 2. “We’re likely going to have to contract [the Boise overhaul] out to the private sector,” which “costs us more money.”
To prevent such maintenance backlogs in the future, Navy is boosting its shipyard capacity by adding thousands of new workers, Moore said. The admiral is also trying to scrutinize maintenance projects further in advance so that there are fewer surprises.
“I want to start looking at the availabilities two years before we start the availability,” he said.