US nuclear submarines are said to have been built with inferior steel

Here is information which falls rather badly, whereas the US Navy is engaged in a strategic race with the Chinese Navy, and that Australia denounced the contract for the construction of 12 French Shortfin Barracuda submarines to turn to a nuclear solution most likely from the United States. Indeed, Elaine Marie Thomas, former director of the Tacoma foundry, pleaded guilty to having falsified qualitative reports on steel delivered to Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding shipyards between 1985 and 2017, steel used in the construction of US Navy nuclear submarines.

According to the investigation report, 240 batches of lower quality steel were delivered during this period to these shipyards, and used for the construction of half of the nuclear submarines assembled during this time interval. In fact, all of these ships will have to undergo an additional maintenance procedure, in order to mitigate the risks inherent in this defect with potentially catastrophic consequences, especially in times of tension or war, when submarines must be upgraded. take advantage of all of their operational potential to gain an advantage over their adversary. If the defects have already been noted on several Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines, the scale and duration of the fraud now raises fears that other classes, such as the nuclear attack submarines Seawolf et Los Angeles, but also certain Ohio-class nuclear missile submarines were also victims of this fraud.

Ohio SSGN Defense Analytics | Military Naval Constructions | UNITED STATES
Even the Ohio-class SSBNs, mainstays of US nuclear deterrence, may have suffered from the Tacoma smelter fraud.

As a result, the US Navy will now have to conduct in-depth inspections on nearly half of its submarine fleet. And even if, according to his own statements, the risks are low and the corrective measures relatively quick and "inexpensive" (a very relative notion when it comes to submarines), this crisis comes at a particularly difficult time. for the US Navy, which is unable to keep up with the industrial rhythm imposed by Chinese shipyards, especially since today its fleet of nuclear submarines is undoubtedly its best asset to contain the aspirations of leaders Chinese, especially vis-à-vis Taiwan. Unfortunately, the freedoms taken by the manager of the Tacoma foundry are far from being an exception in the field of American shipbuilding.

There are 75% of this article left to read, Subscribe to access it!

Metadefense Logo 93x93 2 Defense Analysis | Military Naval Construction | UNITED STATES

The Classic subscriptions provide access to
articles in their full version, and without advertising,
from 1,99 €.

For further


Last articles