General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $9.5 billion contract for the construction and testing of the first and second ships in the Columbia class of ballistic missile submarines under development.
GDEB announced the award Nov. 5. They are the prime contractor for the Columbia program, which is meant to be the successor to aging Ohio-class SSBNs currently operating today.
The funds cover construction of the first ship, the USS Columbia (SSBN-826), as well as advance procurement for the USS Wisconsin (SSBN-827), which will start construction in fiscal 2024 if all goes according to plan.
“Electric Boat has been making preparations for construction of the Columbia class for nearly a decade, including advancing the design of this critical Navy asset, hiring and training thousands of skilled tradespeople, modernizing our facilities and helping to bolster the supply base. As a result, Columbia’s design is more advanced than that of any previous submarine program,” said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat, in a statement. “We are grateful for the unwavering support of the Navy and Congress in securing funding to avoid disruption of this critical program.”
The vessel will be 560 feet long and displace 21,000 tons, making them the largest ever build by the U.S. Navy. Electric Boat hopes to deliver the USS Columbia in 2027.