The US Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract modification worth up to $1.076 billion, allowing for the acquisition of long lead time materials for the construction of two new Virginia-class fast-attack submarines.
In a collaborative partnership with Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of HII, Electric Boat is responsible for the construction of Virginia class submarines, SSN 812 and SSN 813, for the US Navy.
“This contract modification sends a crucial demand signal to the submarine industrial base, enabling our suppliers to invest in the capacity and materials needed to increase production volume,” said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics Electric Boat.
The construction of the Virginia-class submarines is anticipated to reach completion by September 2033.
The Virginia-class submarines have been specifically engineered to undertake a wide range of missions, both in open-ocean and littoral environments. Originally developed as a more cost-effective option compared to the Cold War-era Seawolf-class attack submarines, they now serve as replacements for the aging Los Angeles-class submarines.
They are powered by a single nuclear reactor and feature one shaft. With a length of 377 feet (114.8 meters), they have a beam of 34 feet (10.36 meters). When submerged, they displace approximately 7,800 tons (7,925 metric tons).
These submarines can achieve speeds of 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour, 46.3+ kph). Armament includes Tomahawk missiles, twelve VLS tubes (for SSNs 774-783), two Virginia Payload Tubes (for SSNs 784 and beyond), and four additional payload tubes (for SSNs 803 and beyond). Additionally, they are equipped with Mk 48 ADCAP torpedoes and four torpedo tubes.