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UK orders missiles tubes for Dreadnought class nuclear submarines

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General Dynamics has received a $269.2m contract to provide 42 missile tubes and outfitting material for the US Navy’s Columbia class and the Royal Navy’s Dreadnought class nuclear submarines.

The programme faced some issues last year after faulty welding was identified on missile tube systems, the issue was later resolved and is understood not to have impacted on the Dreadnought programme.

A Common Missile Compartment in build.

The recent contract notice states:

“General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $269,264,180 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-17-C-2117 for the manufacturing of 42 missile tubes and missile tube outfitting material in support of the Columbia class fleet ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and the United Kingdom (UK) Dreadnought.  Work will be performed in Quonset Point, Rhode Island (71 percent); and York, Pennsylvania (29 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2028.  This is a joint U.S.-UK Common Missile Compartment program, and this modification includes UK foreign military sales funding. 

Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and foreign military funds (UK) funding in the amount of $49,500,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.”

Recently, the US State Department approved the purchase of Dreadnought trainer upgrades and training for strategic systems programmes for the UK.

According to a contract notice posted last year, General Dynamics Electric Boat was awarded a $7,658,054 contract to provide various labour and material items in support of the US Strategic Weapons Systems Ashore system, US Navy SSGN Repair efforts and importantly, Dreadnought trainer upgrades and training for ‘Strategic Systems Programmes’ for the United Kingdom.

HM Treasury last year approved the Initial Gate Business Case for the new submarine school to be built at Scotland’s largest military establishment, Faslane.

The new school will provide academic and technical training for all Royal Naval personnel entering the submarine service from 2022.

The Dreadnought class will replace the Vanguard class submarines from 2028 onwards and will host the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent.

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