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Contract for BAE Systems to provide engineering and support for US Navy Virginia-class submarine propulsors


According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense on December 18, 2020, BAE Systems Platforms & Services, Minneapolis, Minnesota, is awarded an $18,000,057 fixed-price contract action for the U.S. Navy Virginia class submarine propulsors. The services under this contract include the engineering and support for the construction of fixed assemblies for the Virginia class propulsor.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Virginia-class attack submarine USS Vermont (SSN 792) makes its way up the Thames River and past the City of New London as it returns home after conducting routine operations to Submarine Base New London, Oct. 26, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The U.S. Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) since Fiscal Year (FY) 1998. The three Virginia-class boats that the US. Navy has requested for procurement in FY2020 would be the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd boats in the class. Virginia-class submarines are being procured under a multiyear procurement (MYP) contract covering at least 10 boats to be procured in FY2019-FY2023.

The Virginia class, also known as the SSN-774 class, is a class of nuclear-powered cruise missile fast-attack submarines, currently in military service in the United States Navy. Designed by General Dynamics's Electric Boat (EB) and Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Virginia-class submarines are the United States Navy's latest undersea warfare platform which incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology.

The Virginia-class attack submarine, also known as the SSN-774 class, was designed to be less expensive and better optimized for post-Cold War submarine missions than the Seawolf-class design. The Virginia-class design is slightly larger than the Los Angeles-class design but incorporates newer technologies. 

Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service until at least 2060, with later submarines expected to remain into the 2070s.

Since 1989, BAE Systems has manufactured propulsors that significantly contribute to the overall stealth and effectiveness of a submarine. Initially delivering this key technology for the Seawolf class, the company continues to successfully manufacture propulsors for Virginia class subs as well. The propulsor is used to improve the propeller’s efficiency and help lower its sonar signature.

BAE Systems has already delivered more than 20 propulsors to the Navy for both Seawolf-class (SSN 21) and Virginia-class submarines. The Virginia-class attack submarines represent a shift in undersea warfare. They are designed to maintain their effectiveness in the deep ocean while incorporating new technology and features specifically for use in shallower coastal regions.