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Report: Navy Plans to Block Buy Five Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile Submarines

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U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, program executive officer for strategic submarines, said the service branch aims to purchase five Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines through a potential block-buy deal, Defense Daily reported Tuesday.

Speaking at the annual Naval Submarine League symposium, Pappano said the plan would enable the Navy to stick to the program’s schedule and send a “positive demand signal” to the defense industrial base.

The official said that the Columbia-class program has an internal six-month schedule margin to reduce potential gaps in the transition from the legacy Ohio-class SSBNs in fiscal year 2030.

According to Pappano, the future USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826), the first submarine of the class, is down to only about one month of the planned margin.

General Dynamics‘ Electric Boat facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, commenced the full-rate production of SSBN-826 during a keel laying ceremony in June.

The Columbia-class program will include 12 new SSBNs that will replace the 14 aging Ohio-class submarines that the Navy expects to retire beginning in 2027.

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