Ohio nuclear subs cost $2 billion a piece and Navy will be happy if replacement is not 4 times as expensive

The next generation Columbia nuclear submarine program was giving a $8-billion affordability cap, and the program was sitting at about $7.3 billion for the average procurement unit cost (APUC) across all 12 planned submarines.

They have reduced cost by $80 million per hull, to bring APUC down to $7.21 billion.

The “stretch goal” is to get costs below $7 billion per submarine.

The Columbia Submarine replaces the Ohio submarines which cost $2 billion a piece.

The US Navy has a total of 18 Ohio-class submarines which consist of 14 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and four cruise missile submarines (SSGNs). The SSBN submarines are also known as “Trident” submarines, and provide the sea-based leg of the U.S. nuclear triad.

The first of the current Ohio SSBNs are expected to be retired by 2029. It was originally expected that the replacements would be $4 billion per unit compared to Ohio’s $2 billion. Now they are congratulating themselves if they can keep the doubled cost from doubling again.

Although still evolving, the following are some of the ship characteristics for the SSBN(X) design:
* Expected 42-year service life (it is planned that each submarine will carry out 124 deterrent patrols during its service life)
* Life-of-the-ship nuclear fuel core that is sufficient to power the ship for its entire expected service life, unlike the Ohio-class submarines, which require a mid-life nuclear refueling
* Missile launch tubes that are the same size as those of the Ohio class, with a diameter of 87 inches (2,200 mm) and a length sufficient to accommodate a D-5 Trident II missile
* Ship beam at least as great as the 42-foot (13 m) beam of the Ohio-class submarines
* 16 missile launch tubes instead of 24 missile launch tubes on Ohio-class submarines.
* Although the SSBN(X) is to have fewer launch tubes than the Ohio-class submarine, SSBN(X) is expected to have a submerged displacement about the same as that of Ohio-class submarines

6 thoughts on “Ohio nuclear subs cost $2 billion a piece and Navy will be happy if replacement is not 4 times as expensive”

  1. Incredible that this will take about 60 months to build! It took the Russians 20 years to build their latest nuke boat.

  2. So 8x the price, 66% of the payload, and the only improvement is they don’t need refueling. Ripoff I think I will go buy some General Dynamics stock then the ripoff won’t annoy me so much. Lets hope we never have to face an adversary with a semi-honest MIC.

  3. Great when will they all be ready? I like the best, most powerful ability, and all the extra’s. Park anywhere, anytime, all the time. Simple, expensive as are many of my weapons on a personal level. A killer pure and simple!

    • Umm, why? You think an SSBN would have made a difference in the Korean conflict by giving the USA an offshore nuclear capability?

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