US Naval Sea Systems Command
Mon, 17 Oct 2005, 08:47
The Navy today has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) a cost reimbursement modification, valued at $162,359,000 for the conversion of the USS Georgia from an Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN 729) to Ohio Class guided missile submarine (SSGN 729).
“This contract modification represents the final contractual step in transforming the first four Ohio Class SSBNs into the most capable strike and Special Forces platform in the Navy," said Capt. David Norris, who is the Program Executive Officer, Submarine’s SSGN Program Manager (PMS 398). “USS Georgia is the last of four ships to enter the conversion phase,” Norris continued, “and it comes almost one month to the day before Ohio returns to the Fleet as an SSGN.”
The USS Georgia's conversion will be conducted concurrently with its Engineered Refueling Overhaul (ERO) work already being performed at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY). Seventy-seven percent of the ship's conversion work will also be performed at NNSY, with 16 percent of work at Quonset Point, Rhode Island and seven percent in Groton, Connecticut.
USS Georgia began its ERO at NNSY in March 2005, and is expected to complete conversion in September 2007.
The SSGN program leverages the expertise of private and public shipyards. General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) is responsible for the ship design and conducts and manages the conversions. The Naval Shipyards are conducting the refueling overhauls, providing government furnished services to GDEB, and providing some conversion labor under Centers of Industrial and Technical Excellence agreements with GDEB.
Under the direction of PMS 398, the first four Ohio Class submarines, USS Ohio (SSGN 726), USS Michigan (SSGN 727), USS Florida (SSGN 728), and USS Georgia (SSGN 729) are being converted into the new SSGN class. All four submarines in the program are in Naval Shipyards now for overhaul and conversion; specifically, Ohio and Michigan are at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and Florida and Georgia are at NNSY.
The SSGN program oversees the development and installation of the modifications to the four Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines to provide a conventional strike capability using Tomahawk cruise missiles, as well as the SOF capability. These modifications include integration of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System and conversion of the existing strategic fire control system to support the launch of Tomahawk Block III and IV missiles. The missiles are housed in a modular Multiple All Up Round Canister subsystem within the submarine missile tubes.
The SSGN program is producing important capability on a time-compressed schedule, at about $1 billion per ship. The cost is significantly less than the cost of a new submarine platform.
The primary missions of the SSGN will be land attack and Special Operations Forces (SOF) insertion and support. Each of the converted submarines will have the capability to launch up to 154 Tomahawk or Tactical Tomahawk land attack missiles, as well as support enhanced Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and joint special operations. The space capacity of the SSGN provides the room needed for several SOF platoons to train and maintain physical conditioning for a sustained deployment. Clandestine insertion and retrieval of SOF operators via lockout chambers will be enhanced by the ability of the SSGN to host dual Dry Deck Shelters with SEAL Delivery Vehicles and/or the Advanced SEAL Delivery System.
"With our rapid design and construction cycle, intelligent use of existing ships and support infrastructure, and unequalled land attack and special operations capabilities, the Ohio Class SSGN program is a major submarine transformation success story. SSGN provides an exceptional capability in the near term for the Global War on Terrorism at an affordable cost," said Norris.