Dec. 14 (UPI) — General Dynamics has been awarded $35 million for research, development and logistics for the U.S. SSBN Fire Control Sub-system, the U.K. FCS and the U.S. SSGN Attack Weapon Control System.
The contract, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, includes training, support equipment and the U.S./UK Shipboard data system. The work is expected to be completed by September 2019.
The U.S. Ohio-class and U.K. Vanguard-class are the ballistic missile submarine component of the two navies. Both are armed with the Trident II D5 nuclear ballistic missile, with the Trident being the U.K.’s only deployed nuclear weapon.
The Ohio and Vanguard classes are expected to be gradually replaced by the Columbia and Dreadnought SSBNs over the next several decades.
The two classes will share a Common Missile Compartment for the Trident II and other weapons such as cruise missiles. The Columbias and Dreadnoughts are projected to start entering service in the late 2020s and phase out the older models.
Four of the Ohio-class have been converted into SSGN cruise missile platforms in lieu of their Tridents. The class is designed to field up to 154 Tomahawks for land attack missions, similar to other submarines like the Russian Oscar.