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Systems Engineering

Submarines rely on stealth.  And American Virginia Class submarines are considered the quietest, safest subs on the planet–it’s how the U.S. Navy justifies spending about $2 billion dollars for each of the two boats the nation wants to build every year. So…who would expect that the pricey subs–the foundation of America’s dominance under the seas–would […]


Daily Press reporter Peter Frost broke the news yesterday that the Navy has put the Virginia-class submarines’ sloughing hull-coating problem “behind” them.  Here’s parts of the interview (full story here): “Clearly we had problems on the early ships,” said Vice Adm. Kevin M. McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, the Navy’s ship-buying and maintenance […]


Virginia-class Sub Managers have a truth problem:

by Craig Hooper on October 26, 2010

The Virginia Program Office (PMS-450) has been lying for months and nobody–not anybody–is holding the program managers accountable. Want to know how bad it is? Take this “correction” from the current–October 22–issue of Inside the Navy (behind a subscription wall, sorry). The Program manager cannot bring himself to tell the public–even his own sailors–just how […]

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More coverage on the Virginia-class Hull Treatment:

by Craig Hooper on October 4, 2010


The indefatigable Peter Frost from the Newport News Daily Press sunk his teeth into the Virginia Class sub-skin failures (which we have been covering here, here and here), leading to a nice article that, earlier this week, bounced the ball down-field a good bit. Sharing a story with the grand-old-man of naval observation, Norman Polmar, […]


UPDATE: Interested news media can contact Craig Hooper at Earlier this week, the Virginia Class Program Office indulged in some nimble footwork to minimize the scope of their emergent hull treatment debonding problem. First, they told observers that only three of the first four Virginia-class subs suffered the most serious hull treatment failures–the USS […]


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 […]


UPDATE: Interested news media can contact Craig Hooper at After the Pentagon’s top weapons tester at DOT&E released a scathing report on the Virginia Class sub’s tendency to shed it’s sound-dampening hull coating, Alan Baribeau, the Naval Sea Systems Command’s talking head for the Virginia Class program office, told Inside the Navy (sorry, no […]


For years, the Virginia Class has been portrayed as a shipbuilding success story. The subs have been, for years, touted as a model program–one that got the “Submarine Production Procurement Price” down and delivered needed boats to the fleet, are the efficiency chickens coming home to roost? A June 30 memo from J. Michael Gilmore, […]

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