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Leonardo secures $3bn contract for US Navy Columbia Class

The US Navy has awarded Leonardo DRS a US$3 billion (AU$4.47 billion) contract to provide integrated electric propulsion system products for the US Navy’s Columbia Class submarines.

The US Navy has awarded Leonardo DRS a US$3 billion (AU$4.47 billion) contract to provide integrated electric propulsion system products for the US Navy’s Columbia Class submarines.

This contract solidifies DRS’ position through the 12 proposed submarines of the Columbia Class program. The award was previously announced on the DRS 2023 Q3 earnings call.

Leonardo DRS was chosen by General Dynamics Electric Boat and the US Navy to design and manufacture the permanent magnet main propulsion electric motor, the propulsion motor drives, switchgear, and the propulsion controls – the heart of the Columbia Electric Drive Propulsion System.

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These are key components of the primary propulsion system of the next-generation ballistic missile submarine fleet. All prototype components of this system successfully completed full power endurance and other testing at the Navy’s land-based test facility.

Leonardo DRS chief executive officer Bill Lynn welcomed the contract announcement, saying, “This award highlights Leonardo DRS as an agile and trusted partner for the US Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat, having now been awarded contracts to supply our state-of-the-art electric propulsion components through shipset 12 for the Columbia Class program.”

Jon Miller, senior-vice president and general manager of Leonardo DRS Naval Power Systems, echoed the comments of Lynn, saying, “DRS is committed to our partnership with Electric Boat and the US Navy. Their strategic mission is our purpose. Together, we develop innovative systems for critical next-generation national security platforms like the Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine.”

The Columbia Class submarine is a new class of ballistic missile submarine and is a top priority for the US Navy and are designed to replace the fleet of Ohio Class submarines. At 560 feet long with displacement of nearly 21,000 tonnes, the Columbia Class submarines will be the largest ever built by the United States.

The integrated electric propulsion components will be manufactured in the DRS facilities in Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; Danbury, Connecticut; and High Ridge, Missouri.

Leonardo DRS is a leading provider of next-generation electrical power conversion and propulsion technology for the US Navy, with major systems for next-generation submarines and surface ships.

Investments in the company’s market-leading propulsion and power generation technology have created opportunities to use proven electric drive capabilities for future naval platforms.

DRS solutions are leading the way in providing power flexibility to support the increased power requirements of current and future naval platforms.

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