Connecticut’s Groton Shipyard, shown in 2003 as work is under way on a nuclear powered, Virginia class attack submarine. (UNITED STATES NAVY / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Joe Courtney this week said that a report from the Congressional Budget Office supports his efforts to have the Navy turn more often to private shipyards to overhaul, repair and maintain its fleet of attack submarines.

The CBO analysis shows that between 1993 and 2017 the average costs of submarine repairs at private shipyards was 38 percent lower than at public shipyards.

“We have seen increasing delays and shortfalls in capacity in the public shipyards that have kept submarines from their most important function, being at sea to support the needs of our nation. Unfortunately, the Navy has often pushed back on assigning more availabilities to private shipyards claiming that the cost of conducting maintenance in the private yards comes at an unaffordable ‘premium.’ This analysis makes clear that these arguments do not hold up under objective scrutiny,” Courtney said.

Several Navy attack submarines have been delayed in receiving maintenance at public shipyards. As a result, they have missed deployments or had shortened deployments. CBO was asked by the House Armed Services Committee to compare the maintenance costs at public and private shipyards.

Courtney is the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services subcommittee that oversees the Navy.