The US Department of Defense is requesting congressional authorization to strike a potential $17.7 billion deal with General Dynamics for two nuclear-powered, Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.
Amid lawmakers’ drafting of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon has requested Congress grant the department permission to secure two of the US Navy’s new Columbia-class subs via an estimated $17.7 billion deal with General Dynamics.
The sub deal has been in the negotiating stage for quite some time, but the current COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic does present an advantage to the Pentagon, which was only able to get the estimate lowered to $17.7 billion in the tentative deal after guaranteeing General Dynamics a consistent stream of work.
According to the timeline provided in the Congressional Research Service’s “Navy Columbia Class (Ohio Replacement) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program” report, the service intends to procure its first of 12 new nuclear submarines some time in fiscal year 2021, which begins on October 1 of this year. The second sub, however, is not estimated for procurement until fiscal year 2024. The final 10 Columbia-class subs would then be slated for procurement in fiscal years 2026 through 2035 – adding a single sub to the service each year.
Defense News noted that the Navy has around $8.2 billion remaining in payments for the first sub, as the service has already pumped some $6.2 billion into the efforts for…