Armed Forces News

General Dynamics Electric Boat welder Maria Betance-Pizarro welds the initials of the sponsor of the future U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine District of Columbia, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), onto a metal plate at a ceremony at the Electric Boat facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, on June 4, 2022. (Photo: General Dynamics Electric Boat)

The Navy conducted a keel-laying ceremony June 4 for the ballistic missile submarine District of Columbia at General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Quonset Point, Rhode Island, facility. Once operational, new Columbia-class subs will replace the 14 Ohio-class submarines as they retire from service in 2027.

Design for the District of Columbia began in 2007. The Navy intends to procure 12 of these Columbia-class vessels, each of which would be able to carry 16 missiles. The new submarines will be 560 feet long and displace 20,810 tons, making them the largest such vessels ever constructed for the Navy.

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Their nuclear reactors will not require refueling during their lifetime of planned service. They also will carry Mk 48 torpedoes, with acoustic signatures and sensors that make them the “quietest and most capable” ever built, according to General Dynamics’ Electric Boat subsidiary – GDEB.

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