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May 11, 2022

GA-EMS provides hardware for US Navy’s Columbia-class SSBN propulsor

Delivery of the hardware is expected by early 2023.

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has received a contract to provide structural hardware for the US Navy Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine’s (SSBN) propulsor.

The sole-source delivery task order contract has been awarded by the US Naval Surface Warfare Centre, Carderock Division (NSWCCD).

The task order comes under a broad indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) Propulsor Demonstration Hardware (PDH) contract.

It aims to build and supply critical components and hardware for the existing and future US Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines.

Under the new task order, the company will provide structural hardware to support the propulsor bearing support structure (BSS) of the submarines.

Earlier in March, GA-EMS has already delivered the first of two BSS for the first submarine of the Columbia class.

GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: “This task order involves the precision machining of components to extremely tight tolerances and demanding material specifications, and the delivery of approximately £10,000 of hardware that will affix the propulsor BSS, already provided by GA-EMS, to the submarine.

“The delivery will meet the shipyard’s schedule for the installation of critical components onto the first Columbia-class submarine currently under construction, and it will provide the manufacturing template for these structures in follow-on ships of this class.”

The hardware engineering work is underway at GA-EMS’ facilities in Tupelo and San Diego while the entire SSBN’s construction is taking place in Tupelo, Mississippi, US.

The structural hardware is expected to be delivered by early next year.

The US Navy’s future Columbia-class programme aims to design, develop and deliver 12 new ballistic missile submarines, with delivery expected to start in fiscal year 2027.

The future Columbia-class SSBN will replace the existing fleet of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.

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