Thursday, February 22, 2024

Leonardo DRS receives $3B for Columbia-class submarine program

Leonardo DRS, has been awarded contracts exceeding $3 billion to deliver integrated electric propulsion system products for the U.S. Navy’s prestigious Columbia-class submarines.

The contracts span chipset 12 for the Columbia-class program.

Chosen by General Dynamics Electric Boat and the U.S. Navy, Leonardo DRS will design and manufacture critical components, including the permanent magnet main propulsion electric motor, propulsion motor drives, switchgear, and propulsion controls. These components collectively form the heart of the Columbia Electric Drive Propulsion System, representing a significant leap in naval propulsion technology.

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CEO Bill Lynn expressed pride in Leonardo DRS’s recognition as an agile and trusted partner for the U.S. Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat. Lynn emphasized the company’s commitment, stating, “This award highlights Leonardo DRS as an agile and trusted partner for the U.S. Navy and General Dynamics Electric Boat, having now been awarded contracts to supply our state-of-the-art electric propulsion components through shipset 12 for the Columbia-class program,”

The Columbia-class submarine, designed to replace the Ohio-class submarines, stands as a top priority for the U.S. Navy. With dimensions of 560 feet in length and a displacement of nearly 21,000 tons, the Columbia-class submarines are poised to be the largest ever constructed by the United States.

Jon Miller, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Leonardo DRS Naval Power Systems, highlighted the company’s dedication to the partnership with Electric Boat and the U.S. Navy. He stated, “Their strategic mission is our purpose. Together, we develop innovative systems for critical next-generation national security platforms like the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine.”

The integrated electric propulsion components will be manufactured across multiple DRS facilities in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Danbury, Connecticut, and High Ridge, Missouri. Miller emphasized the significance of this award, attributing it to the talented workforce and world-class propulsion technology possessed by Leonardo DRS.

The first stern section, a massive propulsion component, has been delivered to General Dynamics Electric Boat, marking a milestone in the development of the USS District of Columbia, the lead submarine in the planned 12-boat Columbia-class fleet. This initiative is a pivotal element of the U.S. Navy’s top-priority acquisition program, aiming to replace the existing 14 Ohio-class boomers.

Images of the stern section, crafted by HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding Division, were unveiled on Wednesday. General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), responsible for constructing the Columbia-class submarines, is actively engaged in advancing the USS District of Columbia and subsequent vessels in the fleet.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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