Home » Budget Industry » Electric Boat Awards Newport News Shipbuilding $468M for Columbia-Class Integrated Product and Process Development

Electric Boat Awards Newport News Shipbuilding $468M for Columbia-Class Integrated Product and Process Development

An undated artist’s rendering of the planned Columbia-class submarine. Naval Sea Systems Command Image

General Dynamics Electric Boat awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding a contract worth up to $468 million to begin work on integrated product and process development for the upcoming Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine, according to an HII news release this week.

Electric Boat serves as the lead shipyard on the program and Newport News Shipbuilding as a subcontractor. As is the case with the Virginia-class attack submarine program, each yard will design and build separate portions of the SSBN.

The Navy awarded Electric Boat a $5.1-billion integrated product and process development contract on Sept. 21 for design completion, engineering analysis, component development, detail planning and more, according to the HII release. That work began Oct. 1, according to the HII news release.

“This contract leverages the productive partnership we’ve built with Electric Boat in the construction of Virginia-class submarines,” Dave Bolcar, vice president of submarine programs at Newport News Shipbuilding, said in the news release.
“We are excited and ready to do our part to support EB and deliver these submarines to the Navy in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin told USNI News in an Oct. 27 shipyard visit that her yard would be designing the portion of the submarine it would eventually build – a construct that has “really allowed that team to bring innovation into the design. They’ve come up with a lot of ideas that were presented to the lead design yard, Electric Boat, that’s just made so much sense in terms of designing in opportunities to take cost out.”

Boykin said the Columbia-class design team at the Virginia shipyard has design experience ranging from the old Seawolf-class submarine to the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. The yard is leveraging that design experience, as well as about $1.5 billion in shipyard investments and a move to digital shipbuilding, to bring efficiency to the Columbia program.

Construction on the lead ship, Columbia (SSBN-826), will begin in Fiscal Year 2021, with delivery to the Navy in 2029 to support a 2031 maiden deployment.

Also this month, Electric Boat was awarded a $432-million contract modification by the Navy to “undertake development studies and other work related to Virginia-class submarine design improvements” and “perform research and development work required to evaluate new technologies to be inserted in newly built Virginia-class ships, including the Virginia Payload Module,” according to a company news release.


    Based on recent precedent with the City of Bismarck, shouldn’t the sub be called the District of Columbia? After all we wouldn’t want someone to think it was named after a river since everyone calls the District of Columbia Washington anyway. Hey, for that matter we better rename the Washington the State of Washington so no one thinks it is named after DC.

    • Ctrot

      I suspect a large part of the reason for “The City Of” being tacked onto the name of “USNS City of Bismarck” has to do with another rather well known naval vessel that carried the name “Bismarck”.

    • NavySubNuke

      The democrats named it Columbia in support of DC’s statehood.
      I’m hoping the Republicans are going to turn that on its head and name them all after major tragedies. Next one could be USS Challenger for example.
      Naming them after major rivers or other natural landmarks would also be acceptable though. Especially since they are using state names for the SSNs.

      • cricha43

        Actually, naming ships after rivers and mountains sounds rather good.

        • USNVO

          Especially if they were Oilers, Ammunition Ships, or Replenishment Ships. Which there has already been a transport oiler AOT-184.

          However, Columbia, besides being the name of a river, is also a capital city and already had one protected cruiser, one light cruiser, and one submarine (SSN-771) named for it. The sub is still in active service.

          Calling the SSBN District of Columbia avoids confusion all around.

        • Sean

          The US’s two command ships are the Blue Ridge and Mt. Whitney.

    • Sean

      Is it not also meant to invoke ‘Columbia’, the female avatar of North America?

  • Ed L

    More work for my Brother at the Newport News facility