Huntington Ingalls Industries has started construction work on the U.S. Navy's lead Columbia-class (SSBN 826) ballistic missile submarine through a cut-of-steel ceremony at the firm's Newport News Shipbuilding facility.
HII said Thursday it secured a contract from General Dynamics' Electric Boat subsidiary to perform advance construction efforts for the vessels, which will developed using digital blueprints and replace the service's fleet of Ohio-class submarines.
"Today, we celebrate the decade-plus effort spent working with Electric Boat on the design of this new class of submarine as we formally transition from design to material procurement and now to construction execution," said Jason Ward, vice president for the Columbia-class program at HII's Newport News Shipbuilding division.
General Dynamics Electric Boat will assemble and deliver the lead submarine to the Navy in 2027. Construction work on 12 submarines will occur in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia.