HII Delivers Stern for US Navy Columbia-Class Submarine

HII segment Newport News Shipbuilding has delivered the first stern to General Dynamics Electric Boat for the US Navy’s Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program.

The part, which will be integrated into the fleet’s lead vessel, USS District of Columbia (SSBN 826), was transported from Virginia to Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

The US Department of Defense selected General Dynamics to construct up to 12 vessels for the US Navy in 2016.

As a subcontractor, HII will fabricate and deliver six modular sections for the first tranche of submarines.

The resulting vessels will eventually replace the Ohio-class submarines by 2031 through 2042.

An artist rendering of a Columbia-class nuclear submarine breaching the surface. The top half of the submarine can be seen above the water surrounding it.
The Congressional Commissions report pushes for a strategy reform that will stress the need for stronger nuclear countermeasures. Photo: US Navy

“This is a major milestone in the ramp-up of Columbia-class module production here at [Newport News Shipbuilding],” Columbia-class Submarine Construction VP Brandi Smith stated.

“Our shipbuilders have worked with pride to accomplish this milestone, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to this important national security program.”

In 2019, the US Navy requested a $3.7 billion investment for the Columbia program. 

This amount made the effort the second-largest under the Pentagon’s 2019 budget request next to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Columbia Submarine Progress

General Dynamics received a $5.1-billion contract in December 2022 to organize advanced construction of the Columbia submarine and related components.

The US Navy awarded Curtiss-Wright a $250-million contract in August 2023 to supply propulsion equipment for the Columbia submarines and the agency’s existing Virginia-class and Ford-class systems.

The same month, HII received a $576.6-million contract to support advanced construction and material services for the upcoming fleet.

In April, the navy signed a $1-billion contract with Leonardo to provide electric propulsion components for the submarine systems.

Northrop Grumman awarded Curtiss-Wright a $120-million contract in September for the vessel’s generators.

Simultaneously, Leonardo delivered the main propulsion engine to General Dynamics for integration into the fleet’s lead vessel.

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