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Shaheen Helps Lead Bipartisan Effort to Receive Update on Submarine Industrial Base

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, helped to lead a bipartisan group of Senators with U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) on a letter to President Biden requesting an immediate update on the Administration’s plans to implement the landmark AUKUS agreement—a trilateral security partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Specifically, the Senators reaffirmed their commitment to AUKUS and expressed their eagerness to receive a vital industrial base study from the Administration. The study analyzes what additional investment in the domestic submarine industrial base would be required to advance the agreement and counter emerging threats, including China’s increasing aggression in the Indo-Pacific. The study, which was conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD)’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, would prove pivotal to informing Congress’ future plans for supporting the AUKUS agreement. The Senators asked for an update on the study no later than October 31.

The Senators’ letter comes as President Biden today released an urgent security supplemental funding request asking Congress to provide $3.4 billion in funding to enhance the submarine industrial base, including at least $558 million for New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the nation’s three other public shipyards.

“It is critical that the Administration promptly submits a plan detailing the submarine industrial base enhancements required to meet the needs of the United States Navy and implement the trilateral AUKUS agreement,” the Senators wrote. “This is a crucial first step in posturing the United States to effectively address existing security challenges in the Indo-Pacific, while also providing for the workers, factories and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire that provide for these submarines.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

In the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2024, Senator Shaheen supported the inclusion of a provision that directs DOD to designate a senior official to be responsible for DOD’s engagement as part of the efforts to implement the AUKUS agreement, which will help improve interagency coordination. Shaheen also successfully secured language in the Fiscal Year 2024 Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act emphasizing the role that U.S. public shipyards like Portsmouth Naval Shipyard will play in the future by helping the Australian Navy to establish the industrial base required to maintain future fleets of Virginia-class and AUKUS-class nuclear-powered submarines. Shaheen has long led congressional efforts to invest in the U.S. submarine industrial base, including securing $748 million in funding for FY 2023 and supporting $644 million for FY 2024.