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Northrop Grumman Launch Systems for COLUMBIA and DREADNOUGHT Programmes

Common Missile Compartment for US and UK SSBN Fleets

Northrop Grumman is continuing production of Launcher Subsystem hardware in support of the COLUMBIA and DREADNOUGHT common missile compartment (CMC) programme, the company announced on 30 July: it was awarded an additional $69 million (€58.1 million) contract modification in support of the programme in March.

CMC is a joint US/UK investment and design, developed to produce a common missile compartment, representing significant cost savings for each navy’s SSBN fleet. As the original and only designer and manufacturer for the USN’s Strategic Systems Program’s (SSP) submarine ballistic missile launch system since its inception in 1956, Northrop Grumman remains at the forefront of the technologies related to this capability.

We are using agile manufacturing processes to design and build launcher systems for the US Navy’s COLUMBIA and the Royal Navy’s DREADNOUGHT-class SSBNs,” said Joe Mulloy, VP Marine Systems. “Building on our legacy, sharing a common missile compartment with the UK, greatly streamlines production and deepens our collective strength.”

Both COLUMBIA and DREADNOUGHT class SSBNs will feature the CMS, greatly enhancing interoperability and joint operations. (Image: US Naval Sea Systems Command)

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