The U.S. Navy has awarded Electric Boat, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, a 5-year, $443 million contract for the design of the Trident SSGN, a multimission submarine optimized for covert strike and special operations support. Under the terms of the contract, Electric Boat will
begin detail design and related support work to convert the first four Ohio-class ballistic- missile submarines (also known as Tridents) to an SSGN configuration. The submarines to be converted, coincident with their mid-life refuelings, are USS Ohio (SSBN-726), USS Michigan (SSBN-727), USS Florida (SSBN-728) and USS Georgia (SSBN-729). Electric Boat designed and built all 18 ships of the Ohio class
. Considered an example of military transformation initiatives, SSGNs will carry up to 154 Tomahawk missiles and 102 Special Operations troops. SSGNs also will serve as platforms to develop and test new weapons systems, sensors and operational concepts that could further transform naval warfare, including large unmanned undersea vehicles and off-board sensors.
In addition to the design work, Electric Boat will procure long-lead time material and assemble manufacturing kits for delivery to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington, the conversion yard for USS Ohio, the lead SSGN. USS Ohio is expected to rejoin the operational fleet as an SSGN in 2007.