Columbia Class


The Department of Defense’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review calls for recapitalization of the nation’s sea-based deterrent. In order to meet this requirement the U.S. must begin construction of the lead ship of the Columbia Class (formerly Ohio Replacement) program in FY2021. Because these submarines will remain in service until 2080, they must provide cost-effective, state-of-the-art design and technology to ensure survivability. Efforts to reduce the design, construction and life cycle costs are a primary focus of the program.

Development of the Common Missile Compartment, a joint development effort between the U.S. and U.K. for replacement SSBNs, is on track to support the construction schedules of both countries.

SSBNs Provide a Critical and Cost Effective U.S. Nuclear Deterrence

SSBNs are the most secure and survivable of our nation’s nuclear deterrent triad. Columbia SSBN’s will carry approximately 70 percent of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The cost of maintaining the U.S. triad is three percent of the DoD budget. The cost to maintain the SSBN leg of the triad is one percent of the DoD budget.

Ship statistics

20,810 long tons (submerged)
560 feet
Hull Diameter:
43 feet
20+ knots
Diving Depth:
800+ feet
Missile Tubes:
Weapons System:
Trident II D5 (LE)
Nuclear, Electric Drive


  • Maintain Design/Construction/Lifecycle Cost Targets
  • Leverage VIRGINIA technology, Supplier base, Lessons learned
  • Leverage Virginia-class technology, the submarine supplier base and lessons learned

New QUAD Pack Modular Construction Technique

Our new modular construction technique outfits four missile tubes in factory environment to increase missile compartment modular construction from 2% during OHIO SSBN construction in the 1970’s to more than 85% on the Columbia SSBN. Once the four-tube section is assembled, this quad pack is completed with a hull section, joined with additional quad packs, and then outfitted as a complete missile compartment with decks, systems and other equipment.