Huntington Ingalls Industries‘ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has secured a contract modification to advance construction on the US Navy’s first Columbia-class submarine, the future USS Columbia (SSBN-826).
Valued at $197m, the current award is a modification to a previously awarded contract from General Dynamics’ (GD) wholly owned subsidiary Electric Boat.
Under the deal, Newport News will be responsible for delivering long-lead-time material and advance construction for the US Navy’s ballistic-missile submarine.
Advance procurement funds will be used by the company to purchase major components and commodity materials.
Construction of vessels is expected to start in the fiscal year 2021, while delivery of the first boat is slated for 2028.
Newport News Columbia-class Construction vice-president Jason Ward said: “This contract modification is critical in engaging the submarine industrial base as we continue our efforts to support starting full construction in fiscal year 2021.”
HII’s Newport News serves as the major subcontractor for construction of the US Navy’s fleet of 12 new Columbia-class submarines.
Designed to replace the Ohio-class submarines, the new submarines are designed to carry approximately 70% of the country’s nuclear arsenal and are expected to remain in service until 2080.
The 560ft-long submarine will have a hull diameter of 43ft, a submerged displacement of 20,810 long tonnes and can travel at speeds of more than 20k.
In September 2017, GD Electric Boat secured a $5.1bn Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) contract from the US Navy to complete the design of the future USS Columbia.
In December the same year, the company awarded a $468m contract to HII to begin work on integrated product and process development for the new submarines.
In addition, the Electric Boat division secured a $480.6m contract modification to continue development of the lead vessel in September this year.