Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News Shipbuilding division, has been awarded a $567.6m subcontract modification from General Dynamics Electric Boat to provide advance construction activities for the next five submarines in the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).
In late 2022, General Dynamics was awarded a $5.13bn contract for constructing the Columbia class-submarine fleet to replace the US Navy’s Ohio-class submarines.
According to GlobalData, the procurement of the Columbia class by the US will substantially impact the nation’s presence in the worldwide submarine industry and will shape the course of submarine warfare for many years to come.
The US Navy has designated the Columbia class as its top acquisition priority. Ultimately, the class will replace the fleet of Ohio-class SSBNs and take over the role of the nation’s sea-based strategic deterrent, providing the most survivable leg of the nation’s strategic triad.
The funds will allow Newport News Shipbuilding to purchase major components and commodity materials and to begin advanced construction on the following five submarines in the class, known as Build II.
The Columbia-class submarines will have a 42-year service life and be capable of conducting various missions, including strategic deterrence, sea-based intelligence gathering, and special operations support. Construction of the first submarine in the class, USS Columbia, began in 2019, with delivery expected in 2028.
GlobalData’s “The Global Submarine Market 2023-2033” report claims that North America accounts for the largest market in the SSBN segment, with a total investment of $91.8bn over the forecast period.
The programme spearheading this market share is the US procurement of 12 Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines from General Dynamics.
General Dynamics Corp has a 94.3% share in the North American submarine market, with the supplier being projected to be the largest shareholder in the region with forecast revenue of $178.7bn over the 2023–33 period, owing to its contract for Columbia-class and Virginia-class submarines for the US Navy.
HII reported a 12.3% increase in revenues in the third quarter of 2022.