June 26, 2019

First Cut of Steel: The Navys New Ballistic Missile Submarine Is Coming Soon
Using first-of-its-kind digital modeling techniques, and advanced training, the Navy has been making rapid progress staying ahead of the original construction schedule. The ship specs are 100-percent complete, the arrangements are 97.5 percent complete and the ship disclosures are already 43-percent complete.Almost nobody knows where they are at any given time, yet nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines quietly patrol dark domains of the undersea realm in strategically vital waters around the globe, bringing the prospect of unprecedented destruction upon potential enemies -- all as a way to keep peace.It would not be an exaggeration to call the first “cut of steel” for the lead ship in a class of new nuclear-armed Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines an historic ocassion, as the boat is intended to usher in a new era in firepower-reliant strategic deterrence.A “cut-of-steel” for advanced construction of the first boat took place at Newport News Shipbuilding June 17 -- three weeks early -- marking the formal beginning of a long and carefully labored process of building the most technically advanced ballistic missile submarine ever to exist.The submarine's mission is clear: ensure total destruction against anyone launching a first-strike nuclear attack upon the US.“We have to have that first boat out on patrol no later than October, 2030. I can tell you today, we are planning to beat that,” Capt. John Rucker, Columbia-class program manager, said at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space symposium in May.Using first-of-its-kind digital modeling techniques, and advanced training, the Navy has been making rapid progress staying ahead of the original construction schedule. The ship specs are 100-percent complete, the arrangements are 97.5 percent complete and the ship disclosures are already 43-percent complete.“The lead ship Virginia had about one percent of the ship done in advanced construction. We are doing 11-percent of advanced construction to get ahead of the curve. We are trying to de-risk this program to get ahead,” Rucker explained.



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