Electric Boat Corp, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has secured a USD 520 million worth contract action under the existing contract for future U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarines to be built under block IV.
The contract provides for additional long lead time material associated with the two fiscal 2015 Virginia-class submarines (SSN 794 and SSN 795) and the two fiscal 2016 Virginia-class submarines (SSN 796 and SSN 797).
The additional long lead time material is intended for steam and electric plant components, the main propulsion unit efforts and ship service turbine generator efforts, steel and miscellaneous hull, mechanical and electrical system components.
Designed by Electric Boat from the keel up, the Virginia class is optimized for maximum technological and operational flexibility.
Under the $4.2 billion contract awarded by the Navy in 1998, followed by a $8.4 billion contract in 2004 and a $14 billion multiyear contract award in 2008, Electric Boat, together with Huntington Ingalls-Newport News Shipbuilding were assigned with the construction of the first 18 ships of the class in five blocks.
The class holds the status of the most capable, quiet, and effective nuclear attack submarines in the world, thought the United Kingdom Astute Class SSNs are not lagging behind. Virginia-class submarines are armed with Tomahawk missiles, torpedoes and other weapons. The design of the Virginia-class submarines integrates a “fly-by-wire” capability which allows the ship to quietly stay in shallow waters without having to surface.
Blocks I and II, totaling 10 ships, have already been handed over to the Navy. The construction of Block III subs, under way at the moment, will include installation of a new Virginia Payload Tubes, aimed at cutting costs.
Block IV will consist of 9-10 submarines, scheduled for construction in 2014. The first Block V submarine is slated to begin construction in fiscal 2019, according to Navy officials.
With respect to Block V construction, the subs from Block V will have increased capability, including a new “module” which will boost its Tomahawk missile firing capability from 12 to 40.
Majority of the work stipulated by the contract action will take place in Sunnyvale, Calif. (30 percent); Coatesville, Pa. (10 percent); Phillipsburg, N.J. (10 percent); Groton, Conn. (7 percent); Newport News, Va. (7 percent); and various other sites throughout the United States where the remainder of the work will be staged.
The completion of the work is set for January 2015.
|VIRGINIA-CLASS SUBMARINES SPECIFICATIONS|
|Displacement||7,900 metric t|
|Speed||In excess of 25 knots|
|Endurance||unlimited except by food supplies|
|Status||10 completed, remaining 8 to be built|
Naval Today Staff, February 5, 2014; Image: HHI