The Navy is accelerating and increasing design support for the development and construction of its new Columbia-Class nuclear armed ballistic missile submarines — to ensure progress toward the goal of engineering the most lethal, high-tech and advanced ballistic missile submarines the world has ever seen.
Designed to serve well into the 2080s and beyond, Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat developers are hoping to leverage years of science and technology development to best position the new submarine to enter service by 2031.
The increased support was announced by the Department of Defense as a $203 million modification to an existing deal between the Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat to begin manufacture of 17 new tactical missile tubes able to fire nuclear-armed Trident II D5 missiles.
A prior 95-million modification to a Naval Sea Systems Command deal with Electric Boat, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, is a key part of the Navy’s broader deterrence strategy to ensure a second-strike nuclear ability from beneath the ocean around the world in the event of a catastrophic first-strike on the continental US.
The effort, which has been preceded by “tube and hull” forging work underway for several years, is part of a collaborative US-UK Common Missile Compartment program.
The US and UK are together immersed in a common missile compartment effort. In fact, the US and UK have been buying parts together for the common missile compartment and working on a $770 million contract with General Dynamics’ Electric Boat. This recent contract modification includes foreign military sales to the United Kingdom. Work will be performed in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and is expected to be completed by December 2023. United Kingdom foreign military sales funding in the amount of $22,957,933 will be obligated at the time of award, a Pentagon statement said.
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