HMS Vigilant preparing to fire an unarmed Trident II (D5) ballistic missile

General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat has been awarded a modification contract by the US Navy to continue to support the common missile compartment programme, currently under development for the US Ohio-class replacement submarine and the UK’s successor ballistic-missile submarine.

Under the $22m cost-plus-fixed-fee modification contract, Electric Boat will continue procurement of common missile compartment prototype material, manufacturing and testing.

Electric Boat had received five-year $1.85bn contract in December 2012 to perform research and development work for the navy’s next-generation ballistic-missile submarine, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2021. The overall contract has a potential value of $2.9bn.

Armed with Lockheed Martin-built Trident missile, the Ohio-class submarines feature Northrop Grumman’s advanced SEAL delivery system (ASDS) and four 533mm torpedo tubes with an mk118 digital fire control system.

The 16,600t Ohio-class submarines can cruise at a speed of over 25k using a 325hp Magnatek auxiliary propeller motor and will also be integrated with an AN/BQQ-10(V4) sonar processing system and a BPS 15A I/J-band radar.

"Electric Boat will continue procurement of common missile compartment prototype material, manufacturing and testing."

Additional features of the submarines include a BPS 15A I/J-band radar, an IBM BQQ 6 passive search sonar, a Raytheon BQS 13, BQS 15 active and passive high-frequency sonar, a BQR 15 passive towed array and an active BQR 19 navigation sonar.

The UK Royal Navy’s four Vanguard-class nuclear-powered submarines, which are armed with four torpedo tubes and 16 Trident missiles, will be replaced by Successor nuclear-powered submarines from 2028.

Powered by one Rolls-Royce PWR2 nuclear reactor and two GEC turbines, the 149.9m-long Vanguard-class boat has a submerged displacement capacity of 15,900t and maximum submerged speed of 25k.

Expected to be completed by October 2015, work under the contract will be carried out in Groton, Connecticut, US.

Image: Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant preparing to fire a ballistic missile in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.

Defence Technology