Having completed factory acceptance testing, Leonardo DRS has shipped the first production unit of the main propulsion motor to General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) for integration into the US Navy’s new Columbia-class submarine.
EB and the US Navy selected DRS to design and produce the Columbia electric drive propulsion system components, which also included the main propulsion electric motor.
Each prototype component created by DRS completed full power endurance testing and other testing programs at a US Navy land-based test facility in 2020, with further testing now being conducted. Other ship components are currently being produced by DRS before being shipped to EB.
The US Navy’s Columbia-class project aims to design and build a fleet of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) that will replace the currently used Ohio-class SSBNs. Upon completion, the Columbia-class submarines will be the largest submarines ever built by the US.
In addition to the electric propulsion system components, the DRS Naval Power Systems business was awarded contracts for the design, test, qualification and production of the components used at the land-based test facility and for the first two new-build vessels in the class.
“We are proud to play a key role in developing and providing this capability for the US Navy on this critical national defense asset,” said Jon Miller, senior vice president and general manager of the DRS Naval Power Systems business. “Our long history of providing innovative technology to the US Navy and continuing this work for Electric Boat ensures our sailors will be defending this country with the most advanced submarine in the world.”