Newport News Shipbuilding held a first-cut-of-steel ceremony earlier today to mark the start of advance construction for the Columbia-Class Submarine Program. With the press of a button, a plasma-bursting machine cut the first steel plate that will be used to build Columbia (SSBN 826), the lead ballistic missile submarine. As Newport News continues its digital transformation, the event also marked the first class of submarines that will be built using full digital blueprints.
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