The UK has contributed $2.1m to support the design, development and production of the common missile compartment.

Current US and UK plans call for the Columbia class and the Dreadnought class to use the missile compartment—the middle section of the boat with the SLBM launch tubes—of the same general design. The ‘Common Missile Compartment’ has been designed by the UK and US as a common system shared between both nations new missile submarine classes in order to cut costs.

The British government took the first steps in 2006 towards a joint US-UK missile compartment and the project was launched in 2008, initial gate approval for Britain’s ‘Successor’ project followed in 2011.

According to a contract award notice:

“Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. – Marine Systems, Sunnyvale, California, was awarded $10,779,692 for modification P00012 to a previously awarded cost-plus incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00030-16-C-0015) to provide support for technical engineering services, design and development engineering, component and full scale test and evaluation engineering, and tactical underwater launcher hardware production to support the development and production of the common missile compartment. 

Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California (55 percent); Ridgecrest, California (20 percent); Cape Canaveral, Florida (10 percent); Bangor, Washington (5 percent); Kings Bay, Georgia (5 percent); Barrow-In-Furness, England (2 percent); New London, Connecticut (1 percent); Quonset Point, Rhode Island (1 percent); and Arlington, Virginia (1 percent), and work is expected to be completed September 2020.  Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $8,000,000; United Kingdom funding in the amount of $2,164,692, and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $615,000 are being obligated on this award and funds in the amount of $615,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. 

Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.”

10 COMMENTS

  1. Will the compartment only house SLBMs? I’m hoping these boats will have a secondary conventional strike capability.

      • Not so long as you have two boats at sea, one on deterrence patrol, one carrying cruise missiles and swimmer vessels.

        • Maybe for the states as they may wish to retask, they will have a fair number of boats after all. But as we will only have four there is no chance we could have one doing more workerday (but potentially risky tasks).

          • For the Astute replacements though it might make sense so it would be good if the UK’s investments that by that time would have already been made and paid for on the joint development project delivers something that at least gave the next UK next generation SSN designers that option.

            I’ve read in a few places that this is likely to be the case, i.e. a CMC tube will be designed to be adapted to take multiple cruise missiles instead of a single Trident. As mentioned before, this is probably an important requirement for the USA but of no immediate use to us. It’s always good to think ahead if possible though.

  2. Someone in the MoD needs to check their numbers. We are funding over 20% of the overall contract value and over 25% of the 2018 value and yet only get 2% of the workshare? About time we grew some balls and said to the Yanks we need to get a fair share for our hard earned.

    We were likewise shafted over the F-35 European FAL (it went to Italy), F135 engine maintenance (it went to Turkey) and F-35 major airframe maintenance (it went to Italy as well). We, as the only Tier One Partner get some 15% of the total build, but are left with storing small bits and bobs at Marham …

    This is what happens when you hand over development and manufacturing capability to foreign countries in the false belief that ‘it costs less’. The same people who know the price of everything and the costs of nothing.

    • The words out of my mouth! Absolutely disgraceful arrangement that must have left the Yanks p***ing with laughter in the bar. Shafted time after time by these guys.

  3. Were not really in a position to complain – The US charged us virtually nothing for design and development of either Polaris OR Trident missile and their systems. Could we develop and produce our own national version? Very doubtful if we could ever afford to take it on from scratch. If not for the US we would either have NO deterrent or would have to approach the French, who are in no way so accommodating – they would wring every penny they could out of us!

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