Main Propulsion Electric Motor

Leonardo DRS, Inc.
Arlington, VA

Leonardo DRS, Inc. (“DRS”) announced recently that it successfully completed factory acceptance testing and shipment of the first production unit of the main propulsion motor for the U.S. Navy’s new Columbia Class submarine. The motor was recently shipped to General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) for integration into the lead ship of the class.

DRS was chosen by EB and the U.S. Navy to design and manufacture the major Columbia Electric Drive Propulsion system components including the main propulsion electric motor. All prototype components of this system successfully completed full power endurance and other testing at the Navy’s land-based test facility in 2020, where operational testing continues. In addition to the main propulsion motor, other lead ship components are being manufactured and prepared to ship to EB.

The Columbia class program goal is to design and build a class of 12 new ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the U.S. Navy’s current force of Ohio class SSBNs. The Navy has identified the Columbia class program as its top priority program. The Columbia class submarines will be larger than the current class in terms of submerged displacement and will become the largest submarine ever built by the United States.

The DRS Naval Power Systems business was awarded contracts for the electric propulsion system components which included design, test, qualification, and production of the full-scale components for both a land-based test facility and first two ships of the class. Over the past several years, the Navy has completed successful land-based tests of DRS’ electric propulsion components. With significant testing completed, the program is transitioning to production with DRS presently manufacturing the components for the first two ships of the Columbia class.

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