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US Navy's submarine USS Texas successfully leaves drydock.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the US DoD on February 21, 2024, the Virginia class submarine USS Texas (SSN 775) has successfully undocked from Drydock #3, which is currently at the shipyard for a scheduled maintenance period.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Virginia class submarine USS Texas. (Picture source: US DoD)

Dry docking is a necessary part of submarine maintenance, allowing for inspections and repairs that cannot be performed while the vessel is waterborne. This includes hull preservation, propeller work, and other underbody maintenance tasks. Dry docking periods are planned well in advance due to their complexity and the need for specialized facilities​​.

Submarine maintenance

Maintaining submarines is inherently intricate, expensive, and essential for naval operations, ensuring these vital assets are ready, safe, and capable of performing their duties. This process involves a wide range of tasks from simple checks and fixes to comprehensive upgrades and refurbishments.

Submarine maintenance presents various challenges, including the complexity and need for specialized knowledge due to the sophisticated nature of these vessels. They demand a workforce endowed with exceptional skills and training for upkeep and restoration.

The procurement of necessary parts poses a significant hurdle, with the Navy grappling with the daunting task of acquiring both minor and major components essential for maintenance. This difficulty is exacerbated by supply chain complexities and the obsolescence of certain parts.

The antiquated state of shipyard infrastructure, with some facilities dating back to before World War II, poses another significant barrier to efficient maintenance. Modernization efforts, such as the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan, are critical to enhancing maintenance efficiency. Furthermore, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is a challenge, though steps to improve employment incentives are being taken.

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