New US navy Block 5 Virginia-class submarine will be named USS Barb SSN 804


According to a press release published by the U.S. Navy on October 13, 2020, U.S. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Kenneth J. Braithwaite announced that the new Block 5 Virginia-class also called SSN-774 class attack submarine will be named USS Barb (SSN 804).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Virginia-class submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788) makes its way under the Gold Star Bridge and past the city of New London traveling down the Thames River as she departs Submarine Base New London on September 8, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


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. 

According to the U.S. Congress report, the U.S. Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) since FY1998. The one Virginia-class submarine that the Navy is requesting for procurement in FY2021 would be the 33rd submarine in the class. The Navy’s FY2020 budget submission had projected that the U.S. Navy would request two Virginia-class submarines in FY2021.

The U.S. Navy has been procuring Virginia-class SSNs (see Figure 1) since FY1998; the first entered service in October 2004. The Virginia-class design was developed to be less expensive and better optimized for post-Cold War submarine missions than the Seawolf-class design. The baseline Virginia-class design is slightly larger than the Los Angeles class design but incorporates newer technologies, including technologies used in the Seawolf-class design.

In December 2019, the U.S. Navy awarded a multiyear contract valued at approximately $22 billion for the construction of nine VCS Block V submarines, with options for three more. The U.S. Navy plans for all of Block V to include acoustic superiority improvements, and VPM (Virginia Payload Module) will be added starting with the second Block V sub. Program officials said that the Block V design will differ from Block IV by approximately 20 percent. 

Virginia class Block V involves 10 submarines and will incorporate the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), which would give guided-missile capability when the SSGNs are retired from service. The Block V submarines are expected to triple the capacity of shore targets for each submarine.

The Virginia-Class attack submarine is equipped with 12 vertical missile launch tubes able to launch Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and four 533mm torpedo tubes. According to open-source information, Virginia-class submarines are planned to be equipped with a high-energy laser weapon likely to be incorporated into the photonics mast and have a power output of 300–500 kilowatts, based on the submarine's 30 megawatts reactor capacity.


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