Electric Boat awarded $9.4 billion Columbia Class SSBN contract

Written by Nick Blenkey
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General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., has been awarded a $9,473,511,245 contract modification that exercises an option for the construction and testing of SSBN 826 and SSBN 827, the lead and second ships in the Columbia class of ballistic missile submarines that will replace the current Ohio class SSBNs.

The just-awarded contract modification includes associated design and engineering support and will fund the fiscal 2021 construction start of the lead ship the future Columbia (SSBN 826) and advance procurement, advance construction, coordinated material buys and full construction of the follow hull, the future Wisconsin (SSBN 827) in fiscal 2024.

Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (36%); Newport News, Virginia (25%); Quonset Point, Rhode Island (17%); with other efforts performed at various sites throughout the U.S. (each less than 1%) (22%), and is expected to be completed by April 2030.

Efforts within the ship include the Common Missile Compartment which is a joint U.S./United Kingdom effort.

General Dynamics notes that Electric Boat is the prime contractor on the Columbia program and will perform about 78% of the construction of the class. It recently shifted the program to full-scale construction at its manufacturing complex in Quonset Point, R.I.

Construction of four of the six “supermodules” that make up the submarine will take place at the Quonset Point facility and will then be transported by barge to the company’s final test and assembly yard in Groton, Conn. There the components will be assembled into a complete submarine in a 200,000 square-foot facility now under construction specifically for the Columbia class.

General Dynamics recently reported that the design maturity for Columbia was almost 90% complete, nearly twice the level of design completion of the lead Virginia-class submarine when it started construction.

“Electric Boat has been making preparations for construction of the Columbia class for nearly a decade, including advancing the design of this critical Navy asset, hiring and training thousands of skilled tradespeople, modernizing our facilities and helping to bolster the supply base. As a result, Columbia’s design is more advanced than that of any previous submarine program,” said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat. “We are grateful for the unwavering support of the Navy and Congress in securing funding to avoid disruption of this critical program.”

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