US Navy Columbia-class submarine passes construction milestone
General Dynamics Electric Boat hosted the keel laying ceremony for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, USS District of Columbia, on 4 June.
District of Columbia is the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine being constructed in the minimum 12-ship class, which will replace the existing 14 Ohio-class nuclear-ballistic submarine that is due to begin to retire from 2027.
Adm Daryl Caudle, commander, US Fleet Forces Command, commented at the ceremony: ‘the District of Columbia, and all those in its class, will continue to serve as the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad’.
The nuclear triad refers to the nuclear strategy that consists of land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-missile-armed submarines and strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs and missiles.
The Columbia class will carry 16 missiles each, which represents approximately 70% of the US nuclear triad.
The Columbia will be the largest submarine ever built by the US, with a length of 560ft and a displacement of 20,810t. Its reactor will not require refuelling during the lifetime of planned service.
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