General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp is being awarded a $126,194,750 contract for the purchase of missile tube long-lead-time material in support of the Columbia class and Dreadnought class fleet ballistic missile submarines.  

The contract is in aid of the joint US/UK Common Missile Compartment programme, and this modification combines purchases for the Navy (72 percent); and the government of the UK (28 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program.

According to a contract notice:

“Work will be performed in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and is expected to be completed by December 2023. Fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and U.K. funding in the amount of $79,664,255 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.”

While details remain sketchy at best regarding the Dreadnought class, one of the key features the new boats will have is a Common Missile Compartment (CMC). CMC aims to define the missile tubes and accompanying systems that would be used to launch new ballistic missiles, successors to the current Trident II/ D5 missile fleet used by the USA and Britain.

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.

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Colombia is a country. The US’s new Trident submarines are the Columbia Class, after the District of Columbia. But then the headline writers are products of the British educational system.


I’m sure ‘Columbia’ in the context of the Columbia class SSBNs refers to the name given to the personification of the United States:

Bloke down the pub

Wiki has this to say about the etymology.
Interesting too that when the ssbn enters service, there could be two USS Columbias as there is already a Los Angeles class ssn with that name.


Indeed this does appear to be correct – I was sure it was as I had stated. The District of Columbia itself was named after the same US personification of Columbia so its more or less the same thing.

There’s also two SSBNs named Vigilant currently operating – one with UK and one with France.


Furthermore, the US usage of ‘Columbia’ is the equivalent of the UK’s ‘Britannia’ – a nation personified. I’m not sure there’s been a Britannia class warship however.


A Britiania class would be an awsome name.


Actually, current USN SSBN subs are named after the various states in the US. Attack or SSN subs are named after cities in USA. So, SSBN-826 is named after the District of Columbia, and the attack sub SSN-771 is named after cities named Columbia in the US.


There’s an Albion if that counts


There be a troll among us


(Chris H) PKCasimir – I take it therefore you are not a product of our Education System (while I am) which explains why you make such a bellend of yourself with such a pointless and factually incorrect statement. We refer to our Destroyers as ‘Type 45’ not ‘Type 45 Class’. The Americans refer to theirs as ‘Arleigh Burkes’ not ‘Arleigh Burke Class’. Generally we refer to our SSBNs as ‘Trident subs’ with no name at all. In grammatical terms therefore the word ‘Class’ is redundant. So I suspect you are either a wind up merchant or trying to be too… Read more »


Or maybe just some spelling Nazi who failed to read further down the piece where the word is spelt correctly.


what education system did you go through?

Peter Crisp

The Dreadnought class seems to be going along fine so far and I remain hopeful that such a large and costly program can be managed half decently. I have faith (that maybe misplaced but only time will tell) that the rather outlandishly pessimistic cost forecasts will not be seen.


That all depends on how stable and consistent the orders are made. For instance adjusted for inflation and if they were built to modern standards the most cost effective build of missile subs the US had were the 41 for Freedom they were really 5 different classes but built from the same program in less than 10 years. The odd side effect was building so many missile boats in so short a time was the USN really started to reach for names. For examples: Tecumseh, Kamehameha, Will Rogers, Daniel Boone, Casimir Pulaski. It is possible for all the “good” names… Read more »


USS Donald Trumpet


The SSBN “USS Dolly Parton”.


What happened to the promised order for Astute #7? Promised before the end of the financial year.