Ducommun Incorporated has just announced that it has been awarded a new multi-year contract from Boeing to manufacture position sensors for both the US Navy and the UK Navy’s Trident Navigation system. These new position sensors, otherwise known as resolvers, will be augmented to US Ohio-class and UK Vanguard-class submarines. Ducommun produced the original resolvers for Polaris and Poseidon class submarines, and this deal only further strengthens their relationship with the US Navy. The resolvers will be manufactured and tested at Ducommun’s Carson-based facility through 2017.
Produced between 1981 and 1997, Ohio-class submarines are nuclear subs carrying intercontinental missiles that are virtually undetectable and ideal for launching covert strikes. The US Navy has 18 Ohio-class submarines, 4 of which have been modified into SSGN-class subs to be capable of launching up to 154 Tomahawk missiles. All 18 of these submarines were originally equipped with intercontinental weapons, but a 1992 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) limited the number of strategic missile submarines to 14. The 4 SSGN-class submarines have also been modified to perform NAVY Seal operations, with the ability to covertly accommodate up to 66 Navy Seals.
As for the UK-based Vanguard submarines, they were produced between 1993 and 1999 and are the largest subs in the Royal Navy. The new Ducommun position sensors will be installed as a part of a going overhaul of the Vanguard submarine fleet. With four Vanguard-class submarines currently in service, the UK Navy uses them as a strategic nuclear deterrent. However, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown had told the UN that Britain will disarm one of the four Vanguard subs in an effort to encourage other countries to move towards a nuclear-free world.
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