Future US SSBNs cleared to proceed with detailed design phase

Key Points

  • The Columbia-class SSBN has been established as a programme of record that can begin development
  • Funds to procure the future Columbia class are available for the first time

The US Navy’s (USN’s) Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) replacement programme (ORP) has been approved to begin development, US officials said on 4 January 2017.

The future Columbia-class is intended to replace the US's ageing Ohio-class SSBNs (pictured). (USN)The future Columbia-class is intended to replace the US’s ageing Ohio-class SSBNs (pictured). (USN)

Pentagon acquisition executive Frank Kendall signed a ‘Milestone B’ acquisition decision memorandum, which indicates that the potential USD128 billion ORP has entered the engineering and manufacturing development phase, making it officially a programme of record with an approved baseline for cost, performance, and schedule.

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