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AUKUS submarines: A burden too big for overloaded U.S. shipyards

Rear admiral says more work would be 'detrimental' to overstretched industry

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Maine at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington in June 2021. Nuclear-powered submarines provide the most survivable leg of America's nuclear triad.   © U.S. Navy

TOKYO -- A senior U.S. Navy official has expressed concern that assisting Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines may be too much of a burden for America's overstretched nuclear shipyards.

During a webinar at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies last week, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, program executive officer for strategic submarines, was asked if an arrangement under AUKUS to help Canberra acquire nuclear submarines could chip away at or pose a risk to America's own submarine plans.

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