The U.S. Navy has awarded Sheffield Forgemasters, a British heavy engineering firm, a contract worth over 30 million USD for the production of submarine components.
The engineering specialist has confirmed orders for a sequence of castings for the US Ohio submarine replacement program.
No further information has been released about the order specifics, but the contracts will provide a much needed body of work for the company, which has been under economic pressure after the collapse of the offshore oil and gas market and in the wake of a global economic downturn.
According to British news site Telegraph, the company was recently forced to cut 100 positions from its workforce at the start of the year while the parent company’s revenue suffered a £7.6m loss.
Known as the Ohio replacement program, the U.S. Navy’s newest class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN(X)) will be named Columbia after the name of the first vessel in the class, USNI News recently reported.
“Work has already started on these orders and the first parts will complete in 2016 with another tranche of components anticipated to follow in 2017, providing work for our Melt Shop, Foundry and Machine Shops. These are complex components and require detailed modeling and manufacturing to highly specific tolerances,” Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters International, said.
“These orders provide a boost for our Brightside Lane operations as we work towards our business turnaround plan. We hope to build on the success of these orders as our teams search out greater opportunities for product diversification and services in a challenging global market,” Honeyman added.
The project has been granted full approval by the UK Government.