U.S. Navy Taps General Dynamics for 9 New Nuclear-Powered Fast Attack Submarines

 In GDI, USA, Land, Defense, Sea

General Dynamics Electric Boat, whol­ly owned sub­sidiary of General Dynamics, is award­ed a mul­ti-year mod­i­fi­ca­tion to pre­vi­ous­ly-award­ed con­tract for con­struc­tion of nine new Virginia-class sub­marines, eight with Virginia Payload Module (VPM), accord­ing to a recent Department of Defense news release.

The Virginia-class attack submarine is the U.S. Navy’s latest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology.

The Department of Defense and General Dynamics announced on Monday an agree­ment worth about for $22,2 mil­lion for the con­struc­tion of new nuclear-pow­ered fast attack sub­marines. The con­tract also includes the option of a tenth ship to be con­struct­ed with­in the con­tract time frame, bring­ing the total poten­tial con­tract val­ue to approx­i­mate­ly $24.1 bil­lion.

“This con­tract mod­i­fi­ca­tion is for the con­struc­tion of the fifth block of Virginia-class sub­marines by GDEB and major sub­con­trac­tor Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding divi­sion, inclu­sive of design sup­port and all efforts nec­es­sary to test and deliv­er each sub­ma­rine,” the Department of Defense mes­sage states.

The mul­ti-year ‘Block V’ con­tract enables Electric Boat as prime con­trac­tor, along with its team­mate, Newport News Shipbuilding, to deliv­er Virginia-class fast-attack sub­marines with advanced capa­bil­i­ties and expand­ed capac­i­ty to the Navy. Construction on Block V ships will begin this year, with deliv­er­ies sched­uled from 2025 through 2029.

“This con­tract allows for our ship­build­ing team, our sup­pli­ers and our employ­ees to plan ahead so that we can con­tin­ue to deliv­er sub­marines of unmatched qual­i­ty, stealth and lethal­i­ty,” said Kevin M. Graney, President, General Dynamics Electric Boat. “Increasing the cadence of our pro­duc­tion from one per year to two, cou­pled with the start of full pro­duc­tion of the Columbia-class bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­ma­rine, rep­re­sents a gen­er­a­tional increase in sub­ma­rine pro­duc­tion for our nation.”

“We are pre­pared to meet the chal­lenge,” said Graney.

Ships of the Virginia class exem­pli­fy the com­mit­ment by the Navy and indus­try to reduce costs through a mul­ti-year pro­cure­ment strat­e­gy, con­tin­u­ous improve­ments in con­struc­tion prac­tices and cost-reduc­tion design changes.

Over the life of the Virginia pro­gram, ship­builders have dri­ven deliv­ery time­lines from 88 months in Block I to a cur­rent aver­age rate of 68 months, while dou­bling the build rate of sub­marines to two ships per year and con­sis­tent­ly increas­ing ship capa­bil­i­ty.

Eight of the ships pro­duced for Block V will include the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), which Electric Boat will build at a recent­ly-con­struct­ed facil­i­ty at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The VPM will com­prise four addi­tion­al large-diam­e­ter pay­load tubes locat­ed amid­ships, increas­ing the fixed strike capac­i­ty of the ship by more than 230 per­cent. VPM, which was designed by Electric Boat, will enable enhanced use of Special Operating Forces and allow the Navy to bring aboard addi­tion­al weapons, sen­sors and oth­er spe­cial pay­loads.

Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding already have deliv­ered 18 Virginia-class sub­marines to the Navy and all 10 Block IV sub­marines are cur­rent­ly under con­struc­tion. Virginia-class sub­marines dis­place 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diam­e­ter of 34 feet. With VPM, the sub­marines will dis­place 10,200 tons and have a length of 460 feet. They are capa­ble of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while car­ry­ing Mark 48 advanced capa­bil­i­ty tor­pe­does, Tomahawk land-attack mis­siles and unmanned under­wa­ter vehi­cles.

This past sum­mer, a General Dynamics sub­sidiary received a $2 bil­lion con­tract mod­i­fi­ca­tion for long lead time mate­r­i­al to sup­port con­struc­tion of Block V Virginia-class sub­marines.

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Source: Defence Blog

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