Nuclear-powered sub Boise, docked since 2017, may get funds for overhaul by end of this year

Nuclear-powered sub Boise, docked since 2017, may get funds for overhaul by end of this year
USS Boise moors at Marathi NATO Pier Complex

USS Boise (SSN 764) moors at Marathi NATO Pier Complex in Souda Bay, Greece, during a scheduled visit Dec. 23, 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeffrey M. Richardson)

WASHINGTON — The nuclear-powered attack submarine Boise (SSN-764) will remain in port for at least another year as the Navy eyes funding its long awaited maintenance availability at the end of 2023, a service spokesman told Breaking Defense.

The Navy’s new fiscal 2024 budget request includes funds to conduct an engineered overhaul of the Boise, a Los Angeles-class sub that launched back in 1991 but has sat in port since 2017 when a series of delays ultimately denied a timely maintenance availability at a public shipyard.

The boat has become the “poster child” for the Navy’s ship maintenance backlog, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said during a confirmation hearing this week for Nickolas Guertin, the president’s nominee to be the Navy’s acquisition executive.

A Navy spokesperson told Breaking Defense the “USS Boise (SSN 764) is currently in an early production period at [HII Newport News Shipbuilding]. This EPP is being conducted to complete necessary work leading up to an engineered overhaul, which is currently anticipated to be conducted at HII-NNS.”

While the service’s four public shipyards traditionally maintain the fleet’s submarines, the Navy started tapping private industry, such as HII, to assist with sub maintenance due to the ongoing backlog. The spokesman said that while a contract is expected to be issued at the end of 2023, it is not yet clear when Boise will dive again after its years-long stay in port.

“USS Boise [engineered overhaul] details are still being determined. The projected completion date will be dependent on the scope of work of the contract when it is awarded,” according to the spokesman.

For his part, Geurtin said during his confirmation hearing that he wants to “aggressively pursue any method we can” to resolve the maintenance backlog and other challenges plaguing the service’s four public shipyards.