General Dynamics Electric Boat has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding division a $197 million contract modification for long-lead-time material and advance construction activities on the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine.
The advance procurement funds will be used to purchase major components and commodity material and to begin advance construction on Columbia (SSBN 826).
Newport News is a major subcontractor for the construction of the new class of ballistic-missile submarines, which are being designed to replace the Ohio-class submarines.
In December 2017, GDEB as prime contractor awarded NNS a $468 million contract to begin work on integrated product and process development for the submarines.
The 12-ship Columbia-class will replace the existing Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarine force. The navy expects to spend $128 billion to acquire the 12 boats.
According to the navy, the first patrol of the lead ship, SSBN 826, is scheduled for fiscal year 2031 as the Ohio-class boats begin retiring in 2027.
Construction of the 12-submarine Columbia class is expected to begin in Fiscal Year 2021 with the first delivery to the Navy in 2028.