Pentagon approval will advance submarine work - Navy - Stripes: Advance work on a new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, the Navy's top priority and key to fortunes at Newport News Shipbuilding, received approval this week from the Pentagon's lead weapons buyer.
The endorsement of Frank Kendall, a Defense Department undersecretary, means the Columbia class submarine program can proceed to the next phase: detailed design and construction.
The Newport News shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, serves as top subcontractor on the $100 billion program. Taking the lead is General Dynamics Electric Boat of Groton, Conn.
The two yards are exclusive builders of nuclear-powered submarines for the Navy. They already split work on the Virginia-class submarine program, which the Navy holds up as one of its success stories.
Kendall's approval came late Wednesday and was announced in a news release from Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn. He worked closely on the program with former congressman Randy Forbes, a Chesapeake Republican.
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