$129 billion Columbia class ballistic missile submarine program begins detail design and engineering development

The Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program passed its Milestone B decision review and can move into detail design, an official told USNI News. The potential USD128 billion ORP has entered the engineering and manufacturing development phase.

These SSBNs should cost about $8 billion apiece, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), whose district includes the prime contractor, told USNI News today after reading the acquisition review documents. That figure that is higher than the Navy’s previously cost estimate but is calculated differently. Most recently the Navy said it expected the lead ship to cost $10.4 billion – including $4.2 billion in detail design and non-recurring engineering work, as well as $6.2 billion for ship construction – and follow-on ships to cost $5.2 billion, all in 2010 dollars. The $8 billion per boat figure spreads the design and engineering cost evenly across the 12 boats in the class instead of consolidating it in the cost of the lead ship, and it is also calculated in 2017 dollars, which complicates the comparison.

It is a future United States Navy nuclear submarine class designed to replace the Trident missile-armed Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. The first submarine is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and enter service in 2031 (some 50 years after its immediate predecessor, the Ohio class, entered service). From there, the submarine class will serve through 2085

Electric Boat is designing the Ohio replacement submarines with assistance from Newport News Shipbuilding. A total of 12 boats are planned to be built, with construction of the first boat planned to begin in 2021. Each submarine will have 16 missile tubes and each tube will be capable of carrying a Trident II D5LE missile. The submarines will be 560 feet long and 43 feet in diameter. That is the same length as the Ohio-class submarine design, and one foot larger in diameter

In April 2014, the Navy completed ship specification documents for the Ohio Replacement Program submarines. The technical details consist of three 100-page volumes of documents detailing its configuration, design, and technical requirements. There are 159 ship specifications including weapons systems, escape routes, fluid systems, hatches, doors, sea water systems, and a set ship length of 560 feet, partly to allow for more volume inside the pressure hull

Electric drive is a propulsion system that uses an electric motor which turns the propeller of a ship/submarine. It is part of a wider (Integrated electric power) concept whose aim is to create an “all electric ship”. Electric drive should reduce the life cycle cost of submarines while at the same time improving acoustic performance