The U.S. Navy still isn’t positive what one of its most powerful attack submarines hit in the South China Sea, as repair assessments continue in Guam, four sources familiar with the results of the preliminary investigations told USNI News this week.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the undersea object that damaged the forward section of USS Connecticut (SSN-22) had not been definitively determined as part of several investigations into the Oct. 2 incident, the sources said.
The Navy has seen better days. In the 1980s, it reached nearly 600 ships and became an ever-present reminder of U.S. strength around the world. Today, we are just short of 300 vessels, a ceiling we have been unable to crack in 15 years. Under President Joe Biden’s direction, the fleet would shrink further.
The Navy’s USS Gerald R. Ford is set to deploy next year, four years after its original maiden deployment date.
The aircraft carrier, the lead ship in the new Ford class, is in the middle of its last maintenance phase ahead of deployment following a series of delays, including those stemming from new technologies.
“Everything is on track,” Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 12 who will lead the carrier on its first deployment, told USNI News. “We’re still looking to get out as scheduled after the six-month availability.”