Pentagon watchdog to audit $128B Columbia-class submarine: report

Pentagon watchdog to audit $128B Columbia-class submarine: report
© Dave Fliesen/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

The Pentagon’s watchdog plans to audit how well the Navy is handling the development of its new $128 billion Columbia-class nuclear-armed submarines, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General is expected to start the review in June to look at how well the service is overseeing the development of the propulsion and steering system on the underwater craft, at least 17 months before construction is set to begin on the first of them.

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The audit will “determine whether the Navy is managing the development” of the system to “ensure that it meets performance requirements without cost increases or schedule overruns,” the office wrote in its fiscal 2019 audit plan.

While the General Dynamics-built submarine is still largely in the design phase, an audit this early indicates that there may be unease with the technology development for the vessel.

The audit is expected to be completed in 2020, ahead of the October start date to begin construction.

A spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command told Bloomberg that the service looks “forward to working with the DoD IG on any such effort.”