General Dynamics Electric Boat receives contract for construction of one Block V Virginia-class submarine


According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense on March 19, 2021, General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $2,417,500,565 fixed-price incentive modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2100 to exercise an option for the construction of one Block V Virginia-class submarine with Virginia Payload Module for the U.S. Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The USS Oklahoma SSN-802 is the first Virginia-class Block V submarine. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The Virginia-class is a nuclear-powered cruise missile fast-attack submarines (NSSN New SSN), currently in service in the United States Navy. Designed by General Dynamics's Electric Boat (EB) and Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The U.S. Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) since FY1998, and a total of 34 have been procured through FY2021 (FY Fiscal Year). Since FY2011, Virginia-class boats have been procured at a rate of two per year.

The U.S. Navy operates three types of submarines including nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), nuclear-powered cruise missiles and special operations forces (SOF) submarines (SSGNs), and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). The SSNs are general-purpose submarines that can perform a variety of peacetime and wartime missions.

The U.S. Navy has been procuring Virginia-class SSNs since FY1998 and the first submarine entered in service with the U.S. Navy in October 2004. 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. The Seawolf design was intended to combat the threat of advanced Soviet ballistic missile submarines such as the Typhoon class, and attack submarines such as the Akula class in a deep-ocean environment.

The Virginia-class submarine is armed with VPM (Virginia Payload Module) with 28 Tomahawk BGM-109 long-range land-attack missiles, 12 VLS Vertical Launching System (Tomahawk BGM-109) tubes, and four 533 mm torpedo tubes able to launch Mk-48 heavyweight submarine-launched torpedoes and UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The Virginia Payload Module (VPM) gives the guided-missile capability to the submarine.  The Virginia-class Block V has an increased length, from 377 ft (115 m) to 460 ft (140 m), and displacement, from 7,800 tons to 10,200 tons.

It is planned that a total of 10 Virginia-class Block V will be built for the U.S. Navy, two of which have already been ordered. 


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