Fast becoming a reality is a powerful new nuclear-powered United States Navy—a navy backboned by atomic-bomb-carrying 85,000 ton super-carriers, fast striking guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, and specially designed submarines for high-speed attack, hunter-killer, radar-picket, guided-missile, and other new missions.
Already more than two billion dollars have been spent or programmed for research, development, and construction of such a Navy. The table on the following page sets out what is on hand and what is on order. Another $500,000,000-a-year for at least eight years ahead will be needed to bring it into full being.
It began in 1948 with a small but ambitious joint Navy-Atomic Energy Commission program aimed at submarine nuclear propulsion and later expanded to include design and development of a full spectrum of naval nuclear propulsion plants for new naval construction from small submarines to the largest aircraft earners.