Readers can read up on Naval News articles about the USS Connecticut incident here.
The USS Connecticut (SSN 22)is the second of three nuclear-powered attack Seawolf-class submarines in the U.S. Navy and that makes this submarine class extremely rare and valuable as the Seawolf-class has more displacement and double the number of torpedo tubes (eight vs. four) than the newer Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines. The USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) has a 100-foot (30 meter) Multi-Mission Platform hull insert to allow it to conduct special operations missions and is the only one of its kind in the Seawolf-class and in the U.S. Navy submarine fleet.
Naval News inquired about SSN 22’s damage sustained, the estimated cost of repairs, the estimated time to fully repair, the number of contractors involved, and if any other upgrades will be performed on SSN 22 in dry dock.
NAVSEA replied to Naval News on July 1, 2022 with the following statement.
“USS Connecticut (SSN 22) completed a short docking at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility earlier this year to undergo a thorough assessment of the damage sustained when it grounded on Oct. 2, 2021. Shipyard personnel documented the damage, which is located in the bow of the ship and the lower portion of the rudder. The assessment confirmed the ship can be fully restored for unrestricted operations.
The damage is expected to be repaired during a scheduled Extended Docking Selected Restricted Availability starting in February 2023. Planning for the availability is ongoing. The Navy has not yet determined if a longer dry-docking period will be required to complete the repairs. The cost to repair the damage is being calculated.”
Naval News and Author’s Comments
Webcam photos of the USS Connecticut limping into San Diego port after a Pacific surface transit from Guam clearly shows the bow sheared off, and with it, the entire sonar dome which supposedly rests somewhere on the bottom of the South China Sea.
NAVSEA’s July 1st statement confirms that the U.S. Navy is confident that SSN 22’s damage can be fully repaired and that the attack submarine can eventually return to the submarine fleet in the future despite some reporters and analysts predicting that the USS Connecticut’s sailing days are over because the damage would be unrepairable. NAVSEA also confirmed that the lower portion of the rudder sustained damage as well and also provided a date as to when SSN 22 will undergo extensive repairs.
The reason for SSN 22’s February 2023 repair date is unclear, but according to the Congressional Budgeting Office (CBO), the U.S. Navy does have a backlog of repairs for its submarine fleet. The schedule for 2023 would ostensibly defer the estimated cost of repairs to next year so a monetary number has not been provided by NAVSEA.