Stars and Stripes – Bollinger Shipyards names ocean barge that will help build Navy submarines

Representatives of the US Navy, Bollinger Shipyards, General Dynamics Electric Boat and Bristol Harbor Group in front of Holland. (Derick Hingle)

(Tribune News Service) – Bollinger Shipyards, based in Lockport, Louisiana, have named a sea transport barge that will be used to build the US Navy’s newest class of submarines.

The Holland, a 400-by-100-foot barge named Saturday at the company’s Amelia shipyard, will support the construction and maintenance of the Navy’s Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.

Bollinger will deliver the barge to General Dynamics Electric Boat, the New England-based company that contracted with the local shipyard in late 2019 to build the vessel. The cost of the contract was not disclosed.

“Bollinger Shipyards is pleased to partner with General Dynamics Electric Boat to help meet the growing needs of the US Navy,” Bollinger Chairman and CEO Ben Bordelon said in a press release Monday. “We believe that building 21st century American ships requires 21st century American tools and equipment made right here in the United States. Bollinger’s management team and our skilled workforce are proud and look forward to continuing to support our country’s fleet modernization efforts.

General Dynamics Electric Boat is the prime contractor for the design and construction of the Columbia nuclear-powered submarines, which will replace the aging Ohio class. Construction of the first submarine is expected to begin this year, with delivery to the Navy scheduled for 2027.

The Columbia-class submarines, 560 feet long with a displacement of nearly 21,000 tons, will be the largest ever built by the United States, according to the company. Each submarine has tubes to launch 16 nuclear missiles.

The Navy estimates that the main submarine, the first of 12 planned, will cost $ 15 billion, including $ 6.5 billion for design, planning and engineering and $ 8.5 billion for construction, the Congressional Research Service said in a June 24 report on the program. Costs will decrease for subsequent submarines, and the Navy estimates that the 12 will cost a total of $ 109 billion.

“The Columbia-class is the highest acquisition priority for our Navy,” said Captain Jon Rucker, Columbia-class submarine program manager, in the Bollinger statement. “The Holland is an essential tool in supporting the on-time construction and delivery of the Columbia-class to maintain the nation’s strategic deterrence capability. We recognize and appreciate the efforts of Team Bollinger to build and deliver the Holland to support the Navy.

General Dynamics Electric Boats announces that it will build the submarine in giant sections, called modules, at its facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The Holland, built by Bollinger, will transport these sections to the General Dynamics Electric Boats assembly site in Groton, Connecticut.

The Holland will perform similar tasks for the construction of the Navy’s Virginia-class attack submarines, Bollinger said.

The concept and design of the Holland was carried out by the Bristol Harbor Group in Rhode Island. Bollinger has completed the detailed design and engineering of its Lockport shipyard and construction of its marine manufacturing plant in Amelia.

Bollinger landed a separate contract with General Dynamics Electric Boats in September to build a floating dry dock that will be used to build and maintain the Columbia submarines at the Groton site.

In June, the local shipbuilder was awarded a contract to perform preliminary design work on an amphibious vessel for the Navy. The Light Amphibious Warship, or LAW, is a new class of ships that the Navy hopes to start building in 2023.

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