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HII breaks ground on new Newport News Shipbuilding Submarine Facility

HII broke ground on a new submarine-construction facility at the Newport News Shipbuilding yard in Virginia. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) broke ground on a new project that will support nuclear submarine construction at its Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) yard in Virginia, the company confirmed on 9 February.

The Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is one of three new facilities, enabling NNS to further support the construction and delivery of Columbia- and Virginia-class submarines.

Brandi Smith, NNS vice-president of Columbia-class submarine construction, said in a statement, β€œThe Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is an intentional investment to accelerate our efforts to deliver the highest-quality submarines.”

The groundbreaking on 8 February marked the first phase of construction, HII said in a statement. Work on two additional facilities is expected to begin later in 2023. The Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is designed to be adaptable, allowing NNS to support construction of both the Columbia strategic vessels and Virginia attack submarines.

The Multi-Class Submarine Production Facility is jointly funded by the navy and HII, and is part of USD1.9 billion in capital investments HII is making at NNS between 2016 and 2025, HII said.

The navy has identified the Columbia class as its top acquisition priority. Twelve Columbia-class boats will replace the fleet of Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarines and take over the role of the country's sea-based strategic deterrent; these submarines will provide the most survivable leg of the country's strategic triad.

NNS is a major contractor and shipbuilding partner in the Columbia-class programme, designing, constructing, and delivering six module sections per submarine under contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Under a separate teaming agreement with Electric Boat, NNS is also building Virginia-class submarines for the navy.

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