April 22 (UPI) -- General Dynamics' Electric Board has been awarded a $269.2 million contract to provide 42 missile tubes and outfitting material for the U.S. Navy's new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and the British navy's Dreadnought-class subs.
The United States and Britain jointly participate in the Common Missile Compartment program.
Naval fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion and foreign military funds from Britain in the amount of $49.5 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year, the Defense Department announced Friday.
Work is expected to be completed by May 2028. Seventy-one percent will be done in Quonset Point, R.I., and the rest in York, Pa.
In September 2017, the Groton, Conn.-based submarine builder received a potential $5 billion contract for design work on the project.
The Navy's proposed fiscal year 2020 budget requests $1.7 billion in advance procurement funding and $533 million in research and development funding for the Columbia class of submarines.
General Dynamics is scheduled to begin construction of the first Columbia-class submarine in the fall of 2020. The first ship will be named USS Columbia in honor of the District of Columbia.
In all the 12-vessel class will cost the Navy about $109 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The Columbia-class subs will replace Ohio-class boomers. There are four guided-missile subs in the class with the first one, the Ohio, which was commissioned in 1981. Rather than being decommissioned in the early 2000s, the first four of the class now carry Tomahawks or other payloads in lieu of ballistic missiles.
The other 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines contain Trident II D-5 missiles.
The new missiles will feature a new life-of-boat reactor, an electric drive and field 16 Trident II D5 ballistic nuclear missiles.