The 12 submarines of Strategic missiles of the new Columbia class will replace the 14 Ohio class intercontinental missile submarines between 2030 and 2040, and will have a service life of about 60 years, being the main element of the US nuclear triad.
The American shipping company General Dynamics Electric Boat laid the keel of the submarine District of Columbia (SSBN 826) in a solemn ceremony held at its facilities in Quonset Point (Rhode Island), thus marking the official start of the construction of its future most powerful component of the US nuclear triad ., the first element of which entered service in 2027.
Despite the fact that the construction of the Columbia-class submersibles began in October 2020, on June 4 they performed the welding of a plate to the keel with theinitials of the ‘patrons’ of the ship, the congresswoman of the District of Columbia, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and the mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, according to a company statement.
Keel Laying Ceremony Held for First Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile SubmarineGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat conducted a keel laying ceremony for the 1st Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, USS District of Columbia (SSBN 826) @ Quonset Point, RI, June 4. (1/3)@NAVSEApic.twitter.com/UzPgUVzjmz
— NSWC Crane (@NAVSEACrane) June 8, 2022
The ambitious project of new carriers of 70% of the nuclear deterrence force (the North American nuclear triad is made up of strategic bombers, intercontinental missiles in silos and strategic submarines) includes 12 submersibles that will replace, between 2030 and 2040, the 14 submarines of the existing Ohio-class submarines, and will have a 60-year service life.
Each of the new submarines is expected to operate for 42 years without the need for nuclear recharging of its useful life, a characteristic that none of the nuclear-powered submarines existing in the world today possess. According to the shipping company, this will make the ship less expensive to maintain.
@gdelectricboat welder Maria Betance-Pizarro welded Ship Sponsor Eleanor Holmes Norton’s initials onto a plate that will be installed on District of Columbia, which will remain throughout the ship’s service life. pic.twitter.com/BSxjgOg66q
— GD Electric Boat (@GDElectricBoat) June 4, 2022
The new submarines will include a series of improvements with respect to their predecessors; among them, ‘X’-shaped stabilizers that will offer superior maneuverability, improved acoustic stealth, and a reduction in the load of ballistic missiles -from 24 to 16-, which will provide submersibles with additional space for high-tech equipment. .
“While this is not the first time a US Navy ship has been named Columbia, it is the first time the name is used to specifically commemorate the District of Columbia. The Columbia-class will be the largest, most capable and advanced submarine produced by our nation,” said Congresswoman Norton during the ceremony.
District of Columbia-class submersibles (which is different from the current attack submarine USS Columbia, SSN 771) will carry “70% of the nuclear arsenal deployed by the United States,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, who also participated in the ceremony.
At 170 meters long and with a displacement of nearly 21,000 tons, the Columbia-class submarines will be the largest ever built by the United States.
In addition to its main loadout of nuclear ballistic missiles, the submarine will be armed with Mk 48 torpedoes.
The District of Columbia has the design for the construction modular tion, and the first modules are already under construction at Quonset Point with the support of more than 3,000 suppliers throughout the country.
Once ready, the Fully outfitted hull modules will be transported by barge to Electric Boat’s shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, where they will be hull assembled and tested prior to delivery to the Navy.