U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined his Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden, requesting an immediate update on the administration’s plans to implement the landmark Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) agreement.
The senators also stressed the need to receive the Submarine Industrial Base (SIB-25) report from the administration, including the cost estimates for what additional investment in the domestic submarine industrial base is required to advance the agreement in the most effective manner.
“To realize the full potential of AUKUS, the American defense industrial base will require significant resources to improve submarine construction and maintenance rates,” wrote the senators. “The volume of submarine tonnage the industrial base must produce to meet the Navy’s own requirements and fully implement the AUKUS agreement will require historic and sustained investments in the submarine workforce and supplier network. To achieve such capacity, Congress must have a comprehensive understanding of the current status of the submarine industrial base as well as the future resource investments necessary to meet our nation’s requirements.”
The study, conducted by the Department of Defense’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, will inform Congress’ ability to best proceed on supporting the agreement. The senators asked for an update on the study no later than October 31, 2023.