General Dynamics is being contracted to continue US, UK submarine fire control systems work. The cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract
is valued at $18.5 million and covers research and development, and sustainment efforts for the US, UK SSBN Fire Control Sub-system (FCS) and the US SSGN Attack Weapon Control System (AWCS). The new SSBNs
will start to replace the current Ohio-class by 2027. The FCS is part of the vessel's strategic weapons system (SWS) that further includes the Trident II D5 Life Extension missile, launcher, navigation systems, and associated support systems. The SSGN AWCS
consists of an integrated Launch Control System interfaced with the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System and the Captain’s Information and Control Station, having the capability to launch up to 154 missiles from a maximum of 22 missile tubes. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Kings Bay, Georgia and Dahlgren, Virginia.
The US Navy needs new SSBN nuclear missile submarines. Their existing Ohio Class boats will begin to retire at a rate of 1 hull per year, beginning in 2027, as they reach the end of their 42-year operational lifetimes. Hence SSBN-X, also known as the Ohio Replacement Program for now.
The first step toward recapitalization involved a new Common Missile Compartment and Advanced Launcher for current and future nuclear missiles. The next step involves finalizing a design that can serve effectively to 2080, without destroying the US Navy’s shipbuilding budget in the process. Good luck with that one, but they have to to try. The maintenance of the USA’s nuclear deterrent is too important, in a world where nuclear weapons are proliferating.