The US Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $313.9 million Columbia Integrated Product and Process contract modification.
The modification supports the construction of Columbia-class ballistic submarines and manufacture of United Kingdom Strategic Weapon Support System kits for Trident II D5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
The work is scheduled for completion by September 2029 and also covers the building of Virginia-class submarines and the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.
General Dynamics Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding are the prime and secondary contractors. The Columbia submarine project includes a fleet of 12 Columbia submarines to replace the navy’s 14 aging Ohio-class subs, beginning in 2028.
The 560-foot (171-meter) submarine will have a displacement of nearly 21,000 tons, making it the largest US submarine ever built.
Like the Ohio-class, the Columbia-class submarine will also carry nuclear Trident II intercontinental ballistic missiles but feature 16 missile-launch tubes, eight fewer than its predecessor.
However, it will have several improved features over the Ohio, such as a nuclear reactor that ensures a lifetime operation of 42 years without refueling. Ohio-class subs require mid-life nuclear refueling.
It will also feature “fly-by-wire” navigational systems, enabling more precise speed and depth monitoring.