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US Navy awards General Dynamics Electric Boat contract for Columbia Class SSBNs

General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a US$869 million cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to provide continued design completion, engineering work, affordability studies and design support efforts for the Columbia Class fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). 

General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a US$869 million cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to provide continued design completion, engineering work, affordability studies and design support efforts for the Columbia Class fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). 

The US Navy announced that General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a contract modification for the design completion, engineering work and design support efforts for the Columbia Class of SSBNs.

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An option valued at US$9.47 billion supporting the construction of the first two ships of the Columbia Class is established as part of this modification. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

This modification also includes submarine industrial base development and expansion efforts as part of the integrated enterprise plan and multi program material procurement supporting Columbia SSBNs and the nuclear shipbuilding enterprise (Virginia Class and Ford Class).

The contract modification also provides additional United Kingdom Strategic Weapon Support System kit manufacturing and effort to support expansion of the domestic missile tube industrial base.

Specific effort includes design completion associated with the SSBN 827 technical variance documentation; non-recurring design effort for scope changes between the SSBN 826 and SSBN 827; design for affordability; lead ship component development lead yard support; follow ship lead yard support; and implementation of enhanced cyber security measures.

General Dynamics Electric Boat president Kevin Graney said, "The shipbuilders of Electric Boat recognise the responsibility and welcome the opportunity to deliver the Columbia Class. Columbia is our nation's top strategic defence priority and, as the prime contractor, we will provide the safest and most capable class of submarines in the defence of our nation."

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Electric Boat is the prime contractor on the design and construction of 12-ship Columbia Class, which will replace the ageing Ohio Class of ballistic missile submarines. Electric Boat will manage numerous vendors and suppliers to do this work.

"As we move toward full scale construction later this year, Columbia's design is more advanced than that of any previous submarine program. We stand ready to execute on this critical program and have made extensive preparations by hiring and training the next generation of skilled shipbuilders, expanding and modernising our facilities and strengthening our supply base," Graney added. 

Advanced construction began in 2017 at the company's facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Final assembly and test of the Columbia Class will take place starting in 2024 at Electric Boat's shipyard in Groton.

General Dynamics is investing $1.8 billion in capital expenditures to construct and expand its facilities to support the construction of the Columbia Class, the world's most advanced strategic missile submarine.

The company's three primary locations are in Groton and New London, Connecticut; and Quonset Point. Its current workforce is more than 16,000 employees.

Further, the action includes UK Strategic Weapon Support System kit manufacturing; expansion of the domestic missile tube industrial base; and submarine industrial base supplier development efforts.

The submarine industrial base development and expansion efforts improve sub-tier vendor stability and gains economic efficiencies based on production economies for major components.

The nuclear shipbuilding industrial base continues to ramp up production capability to support the increased demand associated with the Navy’s Force Structure Assessment. Improved capacity at the sub-tier vendors reduces risk across nuclear shipbuilding programs.

The contract modification includes a fully priced option for the construction of SSBN 826 and SSBN 827, associated design and engineering support.

US Navy awards General Dynamics Electric Boat contract for Columbia Class SSBNs
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