Keel laid for USS Tang
The USS Tang (SSN 805) is the third to be fitted with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), four vertical payload tubes which extend the hull by 84ft, increasing length from 377ft to 460ft, and allows for improved weapons and deployment of UUVs.
VPMs increase Tomahawk strike capacity from 12 to 40 missiles per boat to maintain USN's undersea strike capacity with the expected retirement of the navy's four guided-missile submarines and provide future payload flexibility.
Construction started on the second Block V, USS Arizona (SSN 803), in December 2022 and the first Block V, USS Oklahoma (SSN 802), earlier this month. The keel for the third Block V, USN Barb (SSN 804), has yet to be laid down.
The commissioning of USS Tang is likely to be in 2026-27.
The first of the previous boats with the name served in World War II, where it achieved one of the highest success rates in the USN, and the second served during the Vietnam War before joining the Turkish Navy.
The Virginia-class has a submerged displacement of 10,200t and measures 140m in length, with a beam of 10.36m and draft of 9.3m. Powered by a GE PWR S9G nuclear reactor and two 40,000hp (29.84MW) turbines, the submarines have an unlimited range and a maximum speed of at least 25kts.
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