Tag Archives: Electric Boat (EB)

USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)

General Dynamics Electric Boat conducted a keel laying ceremony for the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, June 4.

USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)
USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)

Keel laying is an event in which the initials of the boat’s sponsor are welded onto a plate attached to the submarine, signifying a major milestone in the construction of a boat.

District of Columbia is the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine being constructed in the minimum 12-ship class, which will replace the existing 14 Ohio-class nuclear-ballistic submarine force due to begin retiring from service in 2027.

Admiral Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, highlighted the significance of ballistic missile submarines as the most survivable leg of the U.S. military’s nuclear triad.

«As every ballistic-missile submarine has since the keel laying of USS George Washington (SSBN-598) here at Electric Boat in November 1958 – the District of Columbia, and all those in its class will continue to serve as the most survivable leg of the nuclear triad – standing constant watch far beneath the waves, as we have done for over 63 years – a stalwart deterrent against those who would seek to do the unspeakable», said Caudle.

Caudle also spoke on the keel laying of District of Columbia as a historic occasion in ensuring American’s freedom and way of life for the foreseeable future.

«Laying the keel of the future USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) truly is a historic occasion – not only for the countless designers, welders, metal workers, electricians, and master craftsmen whose unmatched expertise, ingenuity, hard work, and dedication will bring this modern marvel to life – but for the future Sailors who will prowl the deep inside her hull, protecting our nation, deterring strategic attacks, and ensuring our freedom and way of life for decades to come», said Caudle.

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Carlos Del Toro, the event’s principal speaker, echoed Caudle’s sentiment on the importance of the Columbia-class being the largest, most capable and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. as an insurance policy.

«As Admiral Caudle detailed, the Columbia class will be the cornerstone of our strategic deterrence, the ultimate guarantor of our National Security», said Del Toro. «Our strategic submarines represent approximately 70 percent of America’s deployed nuclear arsenal».

Del Toro continued to speak on the need to modernize our Submarine Force to ensure the safety and security of the world.

«Potential adversaries know the silent service is on patrol at this very moment, but they don’t know where and that protects us all», said Del Toro. «The venerable Ohio-class that has guarded us for decades is nearing the end of its service life. For the safety of our Sailors, and the security of our world, we must modernize our fleet, and our nuclear command, control, and communications systems».

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), the boat’s sponsor and the delegate to the House of Representatives from the ship’s name, the USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826), attended the ceremony. Her initials were welded onto a plate by Electric Boat welder Maria Betance-Pizarro. «As a third-generation Washingtonian, I am excited and honored to be the sponsor of the future USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826)», said Norton. «I look forward to meeting and establishing relationships with the men and women who will serve aboard her».

The U.S. Navy, alongside Electric Boat, began the conceptual designs for Columbia in 2007 as a replacement for the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines. The Columbia-class will carry 16 missiles each, which in total represents approximately 70 percent of the U.S. nuclear triad.

The Columbia-class remains the U.S. Navy’s number one acquisition priority and is scheduled to see its first delivery in 2027. The transition from the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to the new Columbia-class will ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.

At a length of 560 feet/170.7 m and displacing 20,810 long tons/metric tons 21,144, the USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) will be the largest submarine ever built by the U.S. Its reactor will not require refueling during the lifetime of planned service making the ship more cost-effective to operate and maximizing its time in deployment. In addition to its complement of missiles, the submarine will be armed with Mk-48 torpedoes and will feature superior acoustic performance and state-of-the-art sensors to make it the most capable and quiet submarine ever built.

The Submarine Force executes the Department of the U.S. Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and the nation could not otherwise achieve.

The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the U.S. Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.

The Keel Laying Ceremony


Ship statistics

Type Ballistic missile submarine (SSBN)
Displacement (submerged) 20,810 long tons/metric tons 21,144
Length 560 feet/170.7 m
Hull Diameter 43 feet/13.1 m
Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37 km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Range Unlimited
Complement 155 (accommodation)
Propulsion Nuclear, Electric Drive
Missile Tubes 16
Weapons System Trident II D5 (LE)


Nuclear Submarine Lineup

Name Laid down Christened Commissioned Homeport
USS District of Columbia (SSBN-826) 06-04-2022
USS Wisconsin SSBN-827
Ballistic Missile Submarine
Keel Laying Ceremony Held for First Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine


Electric Boat (EB) delivered the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Oregon (SSN-793) to the U.S. Navy on February 26, 2022. Oregon is the 20th submarine of the Virginia Class, which provides the Navy with the capabilities required to retain undersea dominance well into the 21st century. With the other ships of the class, Oregon represents a revolution in submarine design, construction and mission capability. This versatile and powerful vessel – unobtrusive, non-provocative and connected with land, air, sea and space-based assets – will maximize the contribution the U.S. submarine force makes to national security.

USS Oregon (SSN-793)
Electric Boat delivers submarine USS Oregon (SSN-793)

«Today is a great day for the Oregon, a great day for the Navy and a great day for Electric Boat», said Pete DiNapoli, ship manager of USS Oregon (SSN-793) at her delivery ceremony on February 28. DiNapoli addressed the shipbuilders of Electric Boat, noting their excellent performance leading up to the significant achievement of delivering EB’s latest contribution to national security. «This journey was not easy, and each and every one of you rose up to the challenge and made it look easy. Shipbuilding is a big team sport, and I thank you all for your hard work».

Stan Gwudz, director of the Virginia program and ship’s management, also offered his acknowledgement of the EB team. «I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a team that makes our Navy the best in the world», said Gwudz.

Sea trials for Oregon, directed by U.S. Navy Admiral Frank Caldwell Jr., director – Naval Nuclear Propulsion, began in December 2021. The trials included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.

«I was on that boat, and I wish every one of you, and really every American, could see what I see on those boats», said Electric Boat President Kevin Graney following Oregon’s Alpha trials. «It is eye-watering, unsurpassed technology. It is sailors who are at the pointy end of the spear and are absolute masters at submarine warfare. It is EB people fiercely proud of what they’ve built».

The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) gave the Oregon a score of 95 following her final INSURV trial, continuing the trend of high performance on Virginia-class new construction. Oregon is commanded by Commander Lacy Lodmell.

Oregon is the second of the 10-ship group of Virginia-class submarines known as the Block IV series, continuing a whole new level of capability for the Virginia Class. Increased stealth, improved surveillance and design changes that increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine and reduce total ownership cost are the hallmarks of this newest attack submarine. By making these smaller-scale design changes to increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine, the Navy will increase the periodicity between depot maintenance abilities and increase the number of deployments. Blocks I-III of Virginia-class submarines are planned to undergo four depot maintenance availabilities and conduct 14 deployments, while Block IV design changes are intended to reduce these planned availabilities by one to three, increasing deployments to 15.

Virginia-class submarines displace 7,835 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet/114.8 m and a diameter of 34 feet/10.3632 m. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet/244 m, while carrying Mark-48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.


General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories


Nuclear Submarine Lineup


Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB 10-20-18 04-18-20 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-793 Oregon EB 10-05-19
SSN-794 Montana NNS 09-12-20
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB 07-31-21
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS 11-13-21
SSN-797 Iowa EB Under Construction
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS Under Construction
SSN-799 Idaho EB Under Construction
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS Under Construction
SSN-801 Utah EB Under Construction