Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of manufacturing, broke ground on a new facility that will support nuclear submarine construction at its Newport News Shipbuilding division.
As noted by the company, the Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is one of three new facilities, enabling NNS to further support the construction and delivery of Columbia– and Virginia-class submarines.
“The Navy has made it clear how important both the Columbia- and Virginia-class submarine programs are to our nation’s defense,” said Brandi Smith, NNS vice president of Columbia-class submarine construction. “The Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is an intentional investment to accelerate our efforts to deliver the highest quality submarines our Navy needs.”
Groundbreaking marked the first phase of construction. Work on two additional facilities is expected to begin later this year. The Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is designed to be adaptable, allowing NNS to support both Columbia- and Virginia-class construction.
The Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is funded jointly by the Navy and HII, and is part of $1.9 billion in capital investments HII is making at NNS between 2016 and 2025. NNS is one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines for the U.S. Navy.
The Navy has identified the Columbia-class as its top acquisition priority. Twelve Columbia-class boats will replace the fleet of Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarines and take over the role of the nation’s sea-based strategic deterrent; these submarines will provide the most survivable leg of the nation’s strategic triad.
NNS is a major contractor and shipbuilding partner in the Columbia-class program, designing, constructing and delivering six module sections per submarine under contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat.
Under a separate teaming agreement with Electric Boat, NNS is also building Virginia-class submarines for the Navy. The advanced capabilities of Virginia-class submarines increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth.
In November, NNS celebrated the keel authentication for Arkansas (SSN 800), the 27th Virginia-class fast attack submarine, as the shipyard continues to invest in its workforce and facilities to make steady progress on delivering these important assets to the Navy.