Naval Warfare

GDEB receives Virginia Class submarine contract

5th December 2019 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) will build nine Virginia-class Block V submarines for the US Navy under a $22.2-billion fixed-price incentive fee, multi-year procurement contract for fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

Eight of the boats will have the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), and the contract includes an option for one additional submarine with VPM.

The Block V contract continues the Virginia class teaming arrangement between prime contractor GDEB and the major subcontractor, Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division (HII-NNS).

Block V submarines will incorporate acoustic design changes to maintain undersea dominance on all Block V hulls and the VPM, with four large payload tubes in a new hull section on eight submarines. This will increase Tomahawk strike capacity from 12 to 40 missiles per boat to maintain undersea strike capacity with the expected retirement of the navy's four guided-missile submarines and providing future payload flexibility.

Capt. Christopher Hanson, Virginia-class program manager, said: ‘The Block V contract balances the right mix of undersea quantity and capability with a profile that continues to stabilise the industrial base. This balance and stability will enable the success of submarine acquisitions across the enterprise.’

To date, the US Navy has taken delivery of 18 Virginia-class submarines, and all ten Block IV submarines are under construction. Contract delivery of the first Block V submarine is set for 2025.

Virginia-class submarines are designed to conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare and mine warfare missions.

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