General Dynamics to Support Future Submarine Design

by: Matthew Potter
January 25, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, General Dynamics, production program, Services, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

Due to the amount of new warships being built every year the number of suppliers is fairly limited. The U.S. Navy relies on two companies to build large warships, General Dynamics’ (GD) Bath Iron Works, and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), which formerly was part of Northop Grumman (NOC). GD is the only builder of submarines at their Electric Boat Division. The requirements are not enough to support any more companies.

The smaller ships like the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) are being built by smaller contractors as they need less intensive facilities but for any ships bigger the Navy must rely on these defense contractors.

This is not only for future production but also for the design and development of new ships and submarines. That is why GD’s Electric Boat Division received a contract to continue work on developing the new “Common Missile Compartment” for potentially both the U.S. and the United Kingdom’s future ballistic missile submarines. The contract is worth about $190 million but has the potential to be over $700 million if all options are exercised.

Even though the U.S. defense budget is supposed to decline in the next few years the services must maintain some investment in future systems. That means that work like this must be done even if the new submarine is not ordered anytime soon. The U.S. needs to built a certain number of new ships and submarines each year to maintain their fleet and keep it reasonably modern.

While ships may be upgraded and have service lives of 25 or more years new technological developments mean that there has to be some new construction. GD and HII will be relying on this to keep their facilities and workforce employed.

Photo from Official Navy Imagery’s Flickr photostream.

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