The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $432 million contract modification to provide research and development and lead-yard services for Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Under the contract, Electric Boat will undertake development studies and other work related to Virginia-class submarine design improvements.
Virginia-class submarines are built in blocks, or series of boats, and each new batch of submarines incorporates new technologies and looks to maximize saving in the construction process. Shipbuilders GDEB and Huntington Ingalls Industries are currently constructing Block III and Block IV submarines.
The latest contract modification will see Electric Boat perform research and development work required to evaluate new technologies to be inserted in newly built Virginia-class ships, including the Virginia Payload Module.
Initially awarded in August 2016, the contract has a potential value of $900 million through November 2018.