Columbia headed to realty, in just 12 short years
Huntington Ingalls showed off footage of cutting the first steel plate of the new Columbia-class (SSBN 826) ballistic missile submarine at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia last week.
The 12 Columbias will replace the 14 Trident II Ohio-class SSBNs, the newest of which, USS Louisiana (SSBN-743), is pushing into her 22nd year on active duty.
The Navy’s proposed FY2020 budget asks for $1.7 billion in advance funding and $533.1 million in R&D funding for the program, which will cost many times that amount.
Columbia, with a planned 50-year service life, is expected to enter service in 2031.