Quietly tucked away in the Defense Authorization Act is a special appropriation of more than one-hundred million dollars to repair the damage done to the Seawolf-class submarine, USS Connecticut which struck a submerged object while operating in the South China Sea on the afternoon of October 3rd.

New images have emerged that offer some information as to the scope of the damage to the submarine and suggest why the repairs will cost so much. A statement made by Navy officials and sub’s Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, and Command Master Chief of the Boat all being relieved of their duties also gives an indication of what may have happened just prior to the collision.

The Seawolf-class is said to be the most advanced attack submarine in the US Navy and perhaps the world.  It is also the most expensive submarine ever built by this country.  Initially, twenty-nine ships in the class were ordered to be built with the first being delivered in 1989. By then, the cost had ballooned to an eye-popping $3.3 billion a copy which would amount to more than $7 billion in today’s valuation.  Two of them would equal the cost of a Gerald Ford-class nuclear carrier today.

Perhaps the most important feature of a submarine is silent operations and the Seawolf-class is the quietest ever built.  It is said that the sound signature of a Seawolf running submerged at twenty-five knots is less than that of a Los Angeles Class submarine tied up at the pier in port.