I heard of that...but just do not believe they will use a Columbia that way...it puts too many SLCM in one place where more Virginias gives you very strong SSN capabilities on that front as well as spreading out the SLCMs so they are not so many in one place to lose when you lose one vessel.Actually Jeff there was a recent report that might change that.
If accurate then the navy is thinking of replacing block VII with a new SSN (X) which would be more like the Sea Wolf class. The remaining cruise missile capacity to be spread across a Columbia class SSGN derivative.
I still believe continuing the Virginias which have been an example of how to manage a Naval project...ahead of schedule and below cost...lets keep that going.
A new SSN (X) would be nice with an updated Sea Wolf, but it would end up either not being that much better than the Virginia later blocks and more expensive...or, if they push the envelope, will end up taking a lot longer.
Sooner or later we will have to do the next SSN...but I believe the Virginia with block iterations can keep us well ahead of adversaries for some time to come.
They should begin doing an SSN(X) design study starting in the 2030s to 2040s.