PORTLAND, Maine — The Navy’s commitment to repairing a nuclear submarine severely damaged by an arsonist last spring is wavering under the realities of mandatory budget cuts, officials say.
The Navy announced last summer that it intended to repair the Miami at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard with a goal of returning it to service in 2015. The cost of repairing the vessel would be about $450 million, which the Navy said would be cost-effective because the 22-year-old submarine could serve another 10 years.
But the repair has been postponed and the Navy is now rethinking its repair budget because of the mandatory cuts triggered by federal law this month.
“The Navy needs every submarine in our inventory. Restoring Miami remains a high priority. But it necessarily must compete with other high naval priorities during this period of restricted budgets,” said Navy Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge, commander of Submarine Group 2 in Groton, Conn.