Chapter 3. Radically Restructuring to Deliver: Take Her Down a Half Billion

IN THE FALL OF 2005, THE U.S. NAVY’S SUBMARINE PROGRAM WAS FOUNDERING. THE HEYDAY OF THE LOS ANGELES CLASS NUCLEAR-POWERED, FAST-ATTACK SUB, THE BACKBONE OF THE FLEET AND ONE OF THE STARS OF TOM CLANCY’S NOVEL THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, WAS LONG PAST. ITS REPLACEMENT, THE SEAWOLF CLASS, WAS SCUTTLED AFTER PENTAGON POLICYMAKERS DEEMED IT OUTMODED AND FAR TOO COSTLY IN A WORLD WHERE THE COLD WAR NO LONGER RAGED. AND NOW CONSTRUCTION DELAYS AND COST OVERRUNS THREATENED THE NEW VIRGINIA CLASS AS WELL. WITHOUT FAST ACTION, AMERICA WOULD FIND HERSELF PERILOUSLY SHORT OF ATTACK SUBMARINES.

Admiral Michael G. Mullen, who was then Chief of Naval Operations and is now Chairman of ...

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