By MyBaseGuide Staff Member
The Columbia-class submarine was recently announced as the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine replacement, which has been a staple of American naval forces since 1976. With a new class of ship, however, a lot of money and human capital is needed to complete construction. That’s why a recent contract worth $5.1 to build the new sub was recently awarded to General Dynamics.

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What Is the Columbia-Class Submarine Replacing?

The Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine is set to replace the specific Ohio sub UGM-133 Trident II, built by Lockheed Martin Space, which will undergo the official decommissioning process starting in 2027. When the project for building the ship was first announced, it was known as the S SBN-X Future Follow-on Submarine project, as well as the Ohio Replacement Submarine project. Now, the name has been officially changed to the Columbia-class submarine, though there’s no word yet on if the name will change once again. Columbia-class submarines officially went into construction as long ago as October 2020, and they’re expected to officially enter the service in 2031, marking an 11-year construction time, which is par for the course for modern submarines.

More on the General Dynamics Contract

General Dynamics, or, more specifically, General Dynamics Electric Boat (their naval support construction branch), was awarded the contract to build the new Columbia-class submarine on December 21, 2022. The contract is worth $5,134,324,189. There are three locations that Electric Boat General Dynamics will be using as construction sites: Groton, Connecticut, Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and Newport News, Virginia. If all goes according to plan, the ships should be completed by 2030, one year ahead of their service entrance date. It’s expected that the ships will have a 42-year service life. Following the awarding of the contract, the President of General Dynamics Electric Boat, Kevin Graney, had this to say: “This award enhances Electric Boat’s efforts to maintain the Columbia-class production and delivery schedule. Advance procurement of long lead time materials and component construction is critical to the program, and the strategic investments in the development and expansion of the Submarine Industrial Base will help stabilize and grow the supply chain, which increases manufacturing capacity, reduces risk, and ultimately drives timely delivery of submarines to the Navy.” Long story short, that $5.1 million is already being put to good use.

What We Know About the Columbia-Class Submarine

Details about the Columbia-class nuclear submarine are exciting, and upon exploring the specs available to us now, it’s easy to see why it has such a high price tag. The Columbia-class submarine size is huge. It will be 560 feet long and have a displacement of roughly 21,000 tons. This will make it the largest submarine ever built by the U.S. As part of the new standard for American submarines, the Columbia-class submarine will also have a nuclear fuel core that allows it to avoid mid-service refueling and stay powered for its entire life. According to the U.S. Naval Institute, the sub will have an X-Stern configuration (seen on experimental 1960s sub USS Albacore), LAB Sonar, a six-mast sail, 16 87-inch missile tubes (a decrease from Ohio’s 24 tubes), a turbo-electric drive, anechoic hull treatments, and a water-jet propulsor. These features will launch the sub, and the Navy, into the future.

The Columbia-Class Submarine Is the Future

If the Columbia-class submarine is the future, then our Navy looks to be in good hands, and our nation will be well-defended in waters both at home and abroad. We look forward to seeing the completion of the Columbia subs and what they’re really capable of.

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An artist rendering of the future U.S. Navy Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines. | U.S. Navy | The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.




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