Dear Virginia-class Program Office: Get yer story straight

by Craig Hooper on September 21, 2010


UPDATE: Interested news media can contact Craig Hooper at

Don’t bother asking the Virginia Program Office (PMS-450) when they noticed the Special Hull Treatment was prone to debond, because they don’t know.

The Program Office’s story changes by the month.

Here’s their story as of July 15, 2010–the Virginia Program Office to Inside The Navy (sorry, no link) via written comments:

“”The debonding issue has been aggressively pursued since its recognition in 2006,” the statement reads. “The problem was largely due to immature application processes…””

By September 15-7, the story had changed. Here’s the Virginia Program Office to the Daily Press via written comments:

The Navy first discovered the hull coating problems on the first-in-class Virginia in March 2007, just days after it finished its post-delivery maintenance period, called a “post-shakedown availability.””

This, in a word, is unacceptable. After running away from Rickover’s legacy, and selling the Virginia-class as the program that could overcome Rickover’s legacy of overpriced, behind-schedule sub building,the Virginia-class Program Office could do well rediscovering Rickover’s irascible commitment to provide the Navy the very best.

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