Military Review

The task of the decade: construction of the head SSBN of the Columbia type has begun

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Project image of SSBN USS Columbia (SSBN-826). GDEB graphics


The US Navy placed an order for the construction of the lead and first serial nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine of the new Columbia project. The fulfillment of this contract has actually begun and will continue until the early thirties. The emergence of new Columbia-class ships will allow replacing the aging Ohio SSBNs and keeping the potential of the naval component of the strategic nuclear forces at the proper level.

Contract history


Research work on a promising SSBN to replace the Ohio started at the turn of the 2012s and 1,85s. In December XNUMX, General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) received a contract for the preliminary design of a new submarine. The cost of the work was estimated at $ XNUMX billion in prices of that time.

In September 2017, a new stage of the program was launched, the purpose of which was to develop a technical design and working documentation for subsequent construction. The cost of this contract was $ 5,1 billion.The set of documentation to start construction was supposed to appear in 2020.

On November 5, the Pentagon and the GDEB signed a new contract, this time for the construction and testing of the lead and first production submarine. The cost of the two ships is $ 9,474 billion. Work will start in 2021 f.y. and will continue until the early thirties. In the near future, new orders are expected for the next series of submarines. The current plans of the US Navy include the construction of 12 new type SSBNs by 2040-42.


"Columbia" in the context. Graphics US Naval Institute

The lead sub of the project, as it was already known, was named USS Columbia and tactical number SSBN-826. The first serial was named USS Wisconsin and assigned the number SSBN-827.

Features of construction


The construction of the new type of submarines will be carried out by GDEB in Groton (Connecticut), which is one of the main manufacturers of nuclear submarines for the American fleet... Part of the work will be entrusted to a subcontractor represented by Huntington Ingalls Industries - it will receive approx. 25% of the total order value.

Especially to fulfill new contracts for promising submarines, the South Yard Assembly Building (SYAB) with large boathouses is being built at the Groton plant. The construction of this facility will be completed in 2023 and shortly after that it will be connected to the works.

In recent months, GDEB has completed preparations for construction, and the first work on the lead ship started in early October. At the same time, the official bookmark has not yet been announced, it is likely that the ceremony will be held in the near future.

By 2023, the contractor company will have to manufacture all the main sections of the hull and carry out part of the work on the installation of the internal equipment. In 2024, after the SYAB complex is ready, the docking of finished blocks will begin. Subsequent work will take several more years. Ready "Columbia" will be withdrawn from the boathouse only in 2027. Sea trials are planned to be completed in 2030, and in 2031 the ship will enter the combat composition of the fleet and go on duty.

The task of the decade: construction of the head SSBN of the Columbia type has begun
Rocket launch from the Columbia boat. Graphics US Navy

The first serial SSBN of a new type will be laid down only in 2024, and it will be built according to the same principles. By the end of the decade, modular construction and docking of blocks will be completed, and the boat will be taken out of the workshop and launched. Sea trials will be carried out in the early thirties, and in 2032 Wisconsin will join the US Strategic Nuclear Forces.

In total, it is planned to build 12 promising Columbia-class SSBNs. In the future, the Pentagon will sign new contracts for 10 serial submarines. Their construction will be launched sequentially in the second half of the twenties. The exact timing and cost of building individual submarines of the series are still unknown. The delivery of the ships is scheduled for 2032-42. - one submarine per year.

As they enter service, the submarines will be distributed between the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. Most likely, they will be divided equally. The ships will serve on existing naval bases. So, SSBN "Ohio" is currently assigned to the bases Kitsap (Washington state) and Kings Bay (Georgia).

Perspective replacement


Currently, the naval component of the US strategic nuclear forces consists of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The oldest of them began service in 1984, and the newest entered the Navy in 1997. The average age of submarines is approaching 30 years, and they are already becoming obsolete morally and physically, which is why it is necessary to take measures to replace them.

According to the current plans of the Pentagon, the process of abandoning Ohio boats will begin in 2029. Every year the fleet will decommission one or two submarines, and in 2039 they will completely retire from service, giving way to modern Columbia. At the same time, by the time the last Ohio-class SSBN is decommissioned, the Navy will have no more than 9 new submarines - the remaining 3 will enter service after the complete write-off of their predecessors.


SSBN USS Tennessee (SSBN-734) Ohio-class - in service since 1988. Photo by US Navy

It should be noted that the planned replacement will not be equal in terms of quantity. 14 current submarines will replace only 12 promising ones. Such a reduction in the missile-carrying submarine fleet is associated with both an increase in the cost of new ships and an increase in their combat effectiveness. However, the Navy does not believe that the reduction in the number of SSBNs will negatively affect the overall capabilities of the strategic nuclear forces and, accordingly, on national security.

Benefits of progress


Columbia-class SSBNs will have a length of approx. 170 m and a displacement of more than 21,1 thousand tons. Through the introduction of new technologies and components, it was possible to improve the main characteristics, and the use of finished products made it possible to keep the cost at an acceptable level. A new nuclear power plant with a service life of 42 years (at least 140 trips) has been developed. Unlike ships of previous generations, the nuclear power plant will operate without replacing fuel.

Columbia will be armed with 5 Trident II D16 ballistic missiles. By the time the launching submarines begin service, these missiles will receive new combat equipment, expanding the range of combat missions to be solved. Replacement of the missile system is not yet planned.

In accordance with the plans of the Navy, the submarines of the new project will begin service in 2031-42. and each will serve at least 40 years. The lead ship will be written off no earlier than 2070, and the latter will leave service only in the eighties. Long service lives, combined with modern technology, are expected to reduce life cycle costs compared to current Ohio-class submarines.

Between two stages


All stages of the development of a promising strategic submarine project took more than 10 years and were successfully completed. Now the Columbia project is entering a new stage - the construction of the lead ship begins. American shipbuilders and the Navy are getting pride and optimism about the prospects for strategic nuclear forces.

At the same time, the starting stage of the program will also not be fast. SSBN USS Columbia (SSBN-826) will be handed over only after 10-11 years, and the next ships will begin service even later. However, the high priority of the project requires high responsibility. The work of the coming years will determine the shape of the strategic nuclear forces and affect national security for several decades. Therefore, shipbuilders will not and may not be able to rush.
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  1. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 16 November 2020 05: 36 New
    +8
    And I really liked this:
    the use of finished products allowed leaving the cost at an acceptable level ...
    the missiles will receive new combat equipment expanding the range of combat missions to be solved. The replacement of the missile system is not yet planned ...
    and compare with our "zoo".
    1. bayard
      bayard 16 November 2020 08: 13 New
      +4
      So after all, our zoo in the next decade will leave the same "Dolphins" and there will be only "Boreas" of 2 modifications.
      We have a zoo and an imbalance in the MAPL - that's where the zoo is, and when SSGNs are called MAPLs (about "Ash"), there are no multipurpose hunters other than the oldies at all.
      Well, yes, a lot has already been written / said about this ...
  2. Lech from Android.
    Lech from Android. 16 November 2020 05: 58 New
    -1
    Submarines are good from the point of view of using ballistic missiles from anywhere in the world, the world ocean is large and finding such a submarine in its depths is problematic for the enemy. Of course, progress does not stand still and the modernization of weapons is becoming more sophisticated and destructive, there is no end in sight to this.
  3. Sckepsis
    Sckepsis 16 November 2020 07: 59 New
    -1

    However, the Navy does not believe that the reduction in the number of SSBNs will negatively affect the overall capabilities of the strategic nuclear forces and, accordingly, on national security

    And they do not consider the drop of the total salvo to be such either?
    1. Professor
      Professor 16 November 2020 08: 21 New
      11
      Quote: Sckepsis

      However, the Navy does not believe that the reduction in the number of SSBNs will negatively affect the overall capabilities of the strategic nuclear forces and, accordingly, on national security

      And they do not consider the drop of the total salvo to be such either?

      And he was redundant and remained.
    2. Vale-90
      Vale-90 16 November 2020 09: 05 New
      +3
      They know how to count money. Fewer targets, more accuracy, less volley.
      1. Boa kaa
        Boa kaa 16 November 2020 15: 13 New
        0
        Quote: Vale-90
        Fewer targets to hit

        I do not think that with the intensifying confrontation with China, the Ams have "fewer targets for defeat."
        1. Vale-90
          Vale-90 16 November 2020 18: 37 New
          -1
          Do not prevent "not to think" laughing There is a list of objects and with China a little different from now with the Russian Federation. It is enough to compare turnover and finance.
    3. PSih2097
      PSih2097 16 November 2020 18: 00 New
      0
      Quote: Sckepsis
      And they do not consider the drop of the total salvo to be such either?

      Trident-2 houses up to eight W-88 warheads with a capacity of 475 Kt each, or up to 14 W-76 warheads with a yield of 100 Kt.
  4. Xnumx vis
    Xnumx vis 16 November 2020 08: 45 New
    15
    You can love or hate the United States! But! I pay tribute to the fact that the change in the political leadership of the United States will keep its strategic goals unchanged. Leadership and superiority! And in our country, unfortunately, when the country's leadership changes, everything is destroyed, the army, the navy, the state. I’m tired of all this dance in Russia. An unchanging, smooth, smooth policy is needed, without jumping left or right.
    1. Sailor
      Sailor 16 November 2020 08: 59 New
      0
      This is how we live in Russia, there are always extremes. It was a good time under the USSR, there were plans, goals, achievements, and now it's a complete mess.
      1. Xnumx vis
        Xnumx vis 16 November 2020 09: 14 New
        +5
        Quote: Sailor
        It was a good time under the USSR, there were plans, goals, achievements, and now it's a complete mess.

        The main goal of the collapse of the country -Great and mighty Russia was also achieved under the USSR!
        1. Sailor
          Sailor 16 November 2020 17: 36 New
          0
          No need to be ironic, the collapse began as traitors became at the helm! And now, is it not the treacherous position of the leadership, Ukraine was overshadowed, they were afraid of sanctions, and that as a result, both sanctions and a hostile fraternal people, it’s good at least Belarus was smart enough to save and mind any sanctions for supporting Lukashenka!
          1. Vale-90
            Vale-90 16 November 2020 18: 41 New
            -1
            Each time after new masters came to power, there were new enemies who needed to be put up against the wall ... And what about Ukraine? There are treaties that must be followed. I do not agree, do not sign that with regards to the Crimea.
          2. Bolt cutter
            Bolt cutter 16 November 2020 21: 16 New
            -3
            hostile fraternal people
            Ukrainians chtol laughing They are not brothers any, but "kents for bacon" (you have bacon, you give me a kent). Everyone is waiting for a charitable foundation called the European Union yes will benefit them.
      2. Serg65
        Serg65 16 November 2020 12: 56 New
        +2
        Quote: Sailor
        It was a good time under the USSR, there were plans, goals, achievements

        laughing Yeah ... the secretary general died. plans have changed and so on ad infinitum !!!
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. Vale-90
    Vale-90 16 November 2020 08: 55 New
    +1
    Quote: 30 vis
    And in our country, unfortunately, when the country's leadership changes, everything is destroyed, the army, the navy, the state

    It's simple. Politicians there do not go into the economy and vice versa. Trump tried it - it didn't work out very well.
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 16 November 2020 15: 19 New
      -1
      Quote: Vale-90
      Politicians there do not go into the economy and vice versa.

      Of course they don’t climb ... because they are the same individuals. The presidents in the States are nominal figures who carry out the instructions of the shadow government (Bilderberg Club).
      1. Vale-90
        Vale-90 16 November 2020 18: 42 New
        -2
        That is, "do not climb"? Did I understand correctly?
    2. Fan-fan
      Fan-fan 16 November 2020 15: 49 New
      +2
      They do not change the Constitution either, and they try to comply with the laws, and the presidents do not stay long with them. And here, as he sits down, you can't kick him out to death, and yet every president changes the Constitution for himself and adjusts the laws for himself, although maybe I got excited, probably not every president, but the latter is for sure. In general, I envy them, we cannot build so many submarines.
      1. Jacket in stock
        Jacket in stock 16 November 2020 16: 46 New
        +3
        Quote: Fan-Fan
        and every president also changes the Constitution for himself and adjusts the laws for himself, although maybe I got excited, probably not every president,

        Considering that while there were only two presidents in Russia, then each. And half of them are still shooting parliament with cannons.
      2. Orkraider
        Orkraider 16 November 2020 17: 11 New
        +1
        ... In general, I envy them, we cannot build so many submarines

        Welcome.
        And you, who is this?
        In Russia, according to the current plan, 10 RKPSN are planned, 3 - 955 projects, 7 - improved 955A.
        4 are already in the line-up, 1 (Prince Oleg) goes to the test.
        5 in construction, we will see Suvorov in 24 in the lineup.
      3. bk316
        bk316 17 November 2020 17: 13 New
        -1
        And here, as he sits down, you can't drive him out to death,

        And this is great because
        Yeah ... the secretary general died. plans have changed and so on ad infinitum !!!
      4. StarTroopers
        StarTroopers 17 November 2020 23: 15 New
        -1
        Quote: Fan-Fan
        They do not change the Constitution either, and they try to comply with the laws, and the presidents do not stay long with them. And here, as he sits down, you can't kick him out to death, and yet every president changes the Constitution for himself and adjusts the laws for himself, although maybe I got excited, probably not every president, but the latter is for sure. In general, I envy them, we cannot build so many submarines.

        And who do you want in the receiver? Some misbegotten. Anal? Sobchak? Oligarch? Clown Zhirik? Pseudo-communist Zyuganov and Potanin?
  7. Vale-90
    Vale-90 16 November 2020 09: 01 New
    -1
    The oldest of them began service in 1984.
    In October 1982. Since the summer, RZK have been on duty there, waiting. Well, Dudko then tried. The book "Heroes of Bangor".
  8. Vale-90
    Vale-90 16 November 2020 09: 16 New
    0
    Quote: Jacket in stock
    and compare with our "zoo".

    I express my opinion. There have always been problems with finding a promising direction. Savings on R&D. On trials. Starting with the lunar rocket and up to the Bulava (Outside bench tests, the Slingshot stand). Only copying or the chosen direction already tested by the same Americans gave a chance for correctness. Tu-4, R-3s, KAB ... It is no coincidence that the 667 was called "John Washington". Therefore, funds were thrown in several directions. As Stalin asked Beria after the first nuclear explosion, "And this is exactly like the Americans, Kurchatov is not deceiving you ..."
    This probably explains the number of projects.
    About household appliances, cars, toys ... copying ... everything is already in the know.
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 16 November 2020 15: 23 New
      +2
      Quote: Vale-90
      667 was called "John Washington".

      A little clarification: they were called "Ivan Washington ", or more simply -" azuha "(667A).
      1. Vale-90
        Vale-90 16 November 2020 18: 45 New
        -2
        Yes ... I got a little excited ... Although I heard "John" too ... I myself am an aviation anti-submarine ... However, here we have been talking to you for a long time. Department of PLB Pacific Fleet. Someone Semenov, author of the cycle "Non-Tradition".
  9. KOLORADO73
    KOLORADO73 16 November 2020 12: 17 New
    -5
    The Anglo-Saxons will not settle down with nuclear weapons: either the United States or Great Britain! Meanwhile, Islamic, Chinese and Brazilian extremists are not asleep and in the coming decade, their main target will continue to be the North Atlantic! There is no new James Bond, who will defend the North Atlantic from massive terrorist attacks?
    1. Fan-fan
      Fan-fan 16 November 2020 15: 53 New
      +1
      How is your soul worried about the North Atlantic? But I'm worried about my country.
  10. Ersh
    Ersh 16 November 2020 12: 20 New
    -2
    I like these authors! Madly in love! There is no steamer yet, but he already uses such words as "succeeded", "achieved", etc. Let the first ship be built first! And then you will write what you succeeded and what failed.
    At the same time, I am not going to blaspheme the Americans, I just know from my own practice what objective difficulties they will face. If you have been designing and building practically nothing for many, many years (23 years after the last SSB is completed is a lot), then you have retired or moved to another job, or the necessary specialists (of all levels) have simply died, technologies have been lost etc. etc. It will not be easy for the "partners".
    Neither the author nor most of the commentators seem to have served on nuclear submarines, I happened to. I did not serve in a 36-year old, but I have been repeatedly, for example, standing on duty for survivability. As I can see now what it was like. Nothing good. If someone claims that everything is wrong in the States, everything is in chocolate, then he will lie. Iron everywhere rots equally, no one canceled the obsolescence of the adopted design decisions.
    One more point. A boat is, first of all, a weapon carrier. It is needed for war. So why equip the newest steamer with old stuff? This is already old stuff. and what will happen in 10-15 years?
    Now about our "zoo". Do not be sad, gentlemen, it will soon be gone for natural reasons. There will be Ash trees and Boreas. And, perhaps, in 10 years something new. It has been designed for a long time.
    And last but not least, why are none of the "experts" outraged by the timing? How many screams there were about the timing of the construction of Ash! Nobody gave a damn about the fact that the entire shipbuilding industry in Russia was destroyed! Why not for 2-3 years ?! Why so long? And for some reason no one criticized the French for long-term construction! It's a shame, gentlemen!
    1. Boa kaa
      Boa kaa 16 November 2020 15: 44 New
      +1
      Quote: Ersh
      So why equip the latest steamer with old stuff?

      Colleague, reduce your agility, plz!
      Colombia will be equipped with modernized D-5LE vehicles. This is the first thing.
      Secondly, their combat equipment is constantly being improved. They will make something similar to 15Yu-71, put it on the carrier. By the way, they have an accuracy of 90m squared, which we should also strive for ...
    2. Fan-fan
      Fan-fan 16 November 2020 16: 03 New
      +1
      Quote: Ersh
      So why equip the latest steamer with old stuff?

      You are old, you are mistaken, because you do not know that this is the most accurate missile and has an excellent firing range of 11 300 km, which can only be compared with the most advanced Soviet / Russian liquid fuel missiles, more capricious and dangerous in operation, but we have they are not installed on new submarines. And the Mace is naturally worse than the Trident, even worse in reliability.
  11. bk0010
    bk0010 16 November 2020 14: 06 New
    -2
    And what is the difference between the new boat and Ohio? There are fewer missiles, the reactor can work its entire life without recharging, but what else? Why do these grandmas fight?
  12. Gregory Charnota
    Gregory Charnota 16 November 2020 18: 15 New
    +1
    humanity is armed against itself! spending billions of dollars! I understand this someone is just business!
    but stupidity and stupidity all this! stupidity and stupidity!
  13. Vale-90
    Vale-90 16 November 2020 20: 29 New
    -2
    Quote: Gregory Charnota
    but stupidity and stupidity all this! stupidity and stupidity!

    This is true. It is stupidity to give up the third nuclear potential in the world, believing the promises and treaties and to lose Crimea and part of the Donbass.
    It would be nuclear-figs would have poked.
    1. Bolt cutter
      Bolt cutter 16 November 2020 21: 07 New
      -2
      It would be foolish to leave nuclear weapons to the poorest country in Europe. Then some zinbabwa would buy a couple of bonbs for cheap from Ensign Shmatko wassat But seriously, no nuclear arsenals would have solved anything - Donetsk and Sevastopol would not have bombed them even by the right-wing people. And maintaining a nuclear arsenal (cleaning plutonium, filling with tritium, replacing batteries) would eat up the budget.
      It would be nuclear, who would stick it
      What, Moscow would be bombed wassat
    2. Zementbomber
      Zementbomber 16 November 2020 21: 14 New
      0
      Well ... This is a question, however. The Russians "successfully" almost failed ... - they lost CRI, having at that time the second strategic and the first operational-tactical nuclear potential in the World ...
  14. Zementbomber
    Zementbomber 16 November 2020 21: 19 New
    0
    Submarine Forces US Navy - Hurray !!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1TFtEDC48g
  15. Old26
    Old26 16 November 2020 22: 13 New
    +5
    Quote: Ersh
    I like these authors! Madly in love! There is no steamer yet, but he already uses such words as "succeeded", "achieved", etc. Let the first ship be built first! And then you will write what you succeeded and what failed.

    But we do exactly the same. "Sarmat" is not even close, but everyone says how much more powerful it will be "Voevoda", how much and for what range it will carry. There is no "Poseidon" (and it is not known whether there will be at all) - but the US is already regularly washing it into the ocean. The same is with the "Petrel", "Husky" ("Laika"), "Kalina" ... So the article about "Columbia" is just an informational article about the new boat.

    Quote: bk0010
    And what is the difference between the new boat and Ohio? There are fewer missiles, the reactor can work its entire life without recharging, but what else? Why do these grandmas fight?

    Most likely there will be electrical movement with a sufficiently high silent speed. In the future, they are still going to replace the "Tridents D-5" with newer ones (the conditional name is "Trident E-6"
  16. Lexus
    Lexus 17 November 2020 00: 13 New
    0
    We now have nothing to look for and drive Ohio, but they have already started a new project.
    The "Electric Boat" shipyard, at the same time, is about SIX times smaller than "Sevmash". what
  17. Vale-90
    Vale-90 17 November 2020 00: 56 New
    -2
    Quote: lexus
    The "Electric Boat" shipyard, at the same time, is about SIX times smaller than "Sevmash"

    Alternatively why.
    "Logistics is the management of commodity, financial and information flows. This is the true philosophy of a thriving business. The task of a logistician. The manufacturer (supplier) wants to organize the process of production, storage and delivery with the lowest cost and maximum profit."
    I did not "dig" in the shipyards, for illustration I found it in space. Maybe that's the case? Khrunicheva employs 40 thousand people. Space X-8.