GD Electric Boat to Build Submarine Missile Tubes

The U.S. Navy awarded a contract modification to General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. to fund joint United States and United Kingdom Common Missile Compartment (CMC) missile tube manufacturing, Oct. 29.

The $84 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification contract authorizes the start of tactical missile tube manufacturing. In total, 17 missile tubes will be manufactured; 12 for the U.K. Successor lead ship, four for the OR First Article Quad Pack and one for the Strategic Weapons System – Ashore (SWSA) test facility.

At about 45 feet tall and just over 50 tons, one CMC missile tube is equal to the height of a four-story office building and about two-thirds the weight of the space shuttle.

This contract modification represents over five years of design and prototyping efforts between the U.S. and U.K. governments and their respective industry partners, and marks a key transition point for the joint CMC effort. To support construction of OR and U.K. Successor ships, a total of 241 missile tubes will be manufactured; 192 for OR’s 12 ships, 48 for Successor’s four ships, and one for the SWSA. The SWSA, located in Cape Canaveral, Fla., is an integration and test facility that validates Strategic Weapons Support Systems (SWSS) performance, validates installation and test procedures, and provides operational documentation prior to on-hull testing.

The OR program will provide the nation with its most survivable leg of the strategic deterrence triad. The program is harnessing 50-plus years of SSBN design and operational experience with the cost-control and production lessons of the Virginia class attack submarine program, thereby providing the nation and its allies with an assured sea-based strategic deterrent at the best possible cost.

Press release, Image: US Navy