The Columbia-class submarines will serve more than 40 years and carry hundreds of nuclear warheads to sea at a time.
“A U.S. shipyard has cut first steel for the first in a new class of nuclear-powered ballistic missiles submarines. Huntington Ingalls Industries has begun construction of USS Columbia, lead ship of the class set to enter service in 2031. Columbia (illustrated in the above image)and her sister ships will form the seaborne leg of the so-called U.S. nuclear triad, sailing the oceans of the world undetected for months at a time to form a powerful deterrent against surprise nuclear attack.
The steel cutting ceremony took place on May 23rd, when a plasma-burning machine cut the first steel plate to be used in Columbia herself. According HII, the work is being started three weeks ahead of schedule. The submarine will mark the first time the shipyard is using all-digital blueprints to aid in construction…”