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General Dynamics Electric Boat wins contract for Columbia class submarines.

| 2023

According to a PR published by HII on April 11, 2023, the firm announced that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has been awarded a $567.6 million subcontract modification from General Dynamics Electric Boat to provide long-lead-time material and advance construction activities for Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the future Columbia class submarine. (Picture source: US DoD)

HII is currently under contract for the construction of submarine modules for Build I, the first two submarines in the class: District of Columbia (SSBN 826) and Wisconsin (SSBN 827).

The advance procurement funds from this subcontract modification, awarded April 4, will allow NNS to purchase major components and commodity material and to begin advance construction on Build II, the next five submarines in the class.

The Navy has designated the Columbia class its top acquisition priority. Ultimately, the Columbia class will replace the fleet of Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, and take over the role of the nation’s sea-based strategic deterrent, providing the most survivable leg of the nation’s strategic triad.

NNS is a major shipbuilding partner in the Columbia-class program, constructing and delivering six module sections per submarine under contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Columbia class submarines

The submarines will have a displacement of 20,810 long tons (21,140 t) when submerged and measure 560 feet (171 m) in length with a beam of 43 feet (13 m).

They will be powered by a nuclear reactor, utilizing a turbo-electric drive and pump-jet propulsion system that provides an unlimited range. The submarines will accommodate a crew of 155 personnel.

The class of submarines will be equipped with an enlarged version of the Virginia-class LAB sonar, providing superior underwater detection capabilities. The armament of the Columbia-class submarines will consist of 16 Trident D5 ballistic missiles and twin torpedo tubes.

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