General Dynamics won a $22.2 modification
for construction of nine Virginia Class submarines, eight with Virginia Payload Module (VPM), from fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023. The contract modification includes spare material and an option for one additional submarine with VPM. The deal is for the construction of the fifth block of Virginia Class
submarines by General Dynamics Electric Boat and major subcontractor Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division, inclusive of design support and all efforts necessary to test and deliver each submarine. The Block V submarines built from 2019 onward will have an additional Virginia Payload Module. mid-body section, increasing their overall length. The VPM will add four more VPTs of the same diameter and greater height, located on the centerline, carrying up to seven Tomahawk missiles apiece, that would replace some of the capabilities lost when the SSGN
conversion Ohio Class subs are retired from the fleet. Work under the modification will take place in Virginia, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Work is scheduled to be complete by August 2029.
The bow changes cover the FY 2009-2013 ships, referred to as Block III. SSN 774 Virginia – SSN 777 North Carolina are Block I, and SSNs 778-783 will be Block II. Block III begins with the 11th ship of class, SSN 784. Long lead time component orders began May 22/08, and the submarine is expected to be ready for delivery around 2015. A fuller explanation of Block III’s extensive bow changes, and an accompanying graphic, may be found below – along with contract updates that include additional improvements and sonar development.