The U.S. Navy awarded a $5 billion contract to General Dynamics’ Electric Boat on Thursday to finish designing a whole new class of ballistic-missile submarines so construction may start.
The Navy referred to as the program its top priority because ballistic-missile submarines help deter nuclear war. An Electric Boat official said the award, announced Thursday, keeps this program on track.
The Connecticut-based company is the optimum contractor for that Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine program. It’s designing 12 submarines to exchange the actual fleet of 14 aging Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines.
Construction for the Columbia class is expected to start in fiscal 2021 at Electric Boat’s Rhode Island manufacturer possibly at its headquarters in Groton, Connecticut. Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia will be the subcontractor. The first of the 12 submarines is predicted to become sent to the Navy in fiscal 2028.
The sum total of the shipbuilding program is about $100 billion. Each submarine has meant to live in the fleet for 42 years.
“The Ohio-class strategic deterrent submarine will almost certainly reach the end of their operational life throughout the following decade, so it’s essential for your Columbia detailed construction and designs to proceed to ensure ship is made and sent to the Navy in time,” said Will Lennon, Electric Boat’s vp for your Columbia-class submarine program.
Electric Boat received a $76 million contract in late 2008 to start out implementing a missile compartment that could be used for the two U.S. Navy’s new ballistic-missile submarine along with the Royal Navy’s new ballistic-missile submarine, which construction began on last year.
In 2012, it received a five-year, $1.85 billion award to do the study and development for your Ohio-class replacement and continue developing the common missile compartment.
Adm. John Richardson, the main of naval operations, told Congress earlier this year that it’s “the Navy’s contribution to our nation’s strategic nuclear deterrent and our highest shipbuilding priority.”
Rep. Joe Courtney said anything enables “the final locking in of how a ship is going to get actually built.” The Democratic congressman’s district in Connecticut includes Electric Boat’s headquarters.
“Despite all of the drama surrounding budgets and debates in Washington, this system is continuing to move forward without interference or delay,” Courtney said Thursday. “This is another strong indication that the Navy and Congress are seriously interested in ensuring that these boats are set because enough time comes for your replacement of the old class.”
Submarines will possess a higher percentage in the nation’s maximum number of nuclear warheads allowed within the terms with the New Start treaty negotiated with Russia by the Obama administration really. Courtney declared that since submarines will “carry the lion’s share of our nuclear deterrence,” the Columbia class is often a “must-do project.”
This new contract allows Electric Boat in order to complete the style and to start out early construction of prototype sections in the ship, which could then be utilized about the first submarine, Lennon said. Three thousand Electric Boat workers are focusing on this program.
Most with the design with the strategic weapons systems on Columbia has become rolled over from the Ohio class, Lennon said. The remainder from the submarine is meant to today’s standards along with, also to support modular construction, he added.
A larger construction contract is predicted to get awarded in fiscal 2021.