The U.S. Navy assigned a $480.6-million contract modification to General Dynamics’ Electric Boat subsidiary to continue developing the Columbia-class nuclear submarines. The Navy is planning 12 of these ballistic missile-armed vessels in an overall $6.1-billion program, described by General Dynamics as “the nation’s next-generation sea-based strategic deterrent.”
The initial contract was awarded in September 2017. Electric Boat is designing the Columbia-class subs jointly with Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding subsidiary, as a replacement for the current Ohio-class submarines. Construction of the first vessel is scheduled to begin in 2020.
The submarines will be 560 ft. long and 43 ft. in diameter, only slightly larger than the Ohio-class vessels. Each will have 16 missile tubes armed with one Trident II D5LE missile.
The modification includes funding for advance procurement, advance construction, and long lead-time material for Columbia (SSBN 826.)
“In close collaboration with the Navy and the submarine industrial base, Electric Boat will continue to lead key aspects of the Columbia-class development effort. This work includes design, material procurement, construction and operating-cost reduction. The entire Columbia-class team is committed to achieving an affordable and effective program. Our nation’s security depends on it,” stated Jeffrey S. Geiger, Electric Boat president.