General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., has been awarded a $434 million contract for lead yard support and development studies and design efforts related to U.S. Navy Virginia class fast attack submarines.
The contract, awarded by the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), provides lead yard support for Virginia class submarines that will maintain, update and support the Virginia class design and related drawings and data for each Virginia class submarine, including technology insertion, throughout its construction and post-shakedown availability period. The contractor will also provide all engineering and related lead yard support necessary for direct maintenance and support of Virginia class ship specifications.
In addition, the contract provides development studies and design efforts related to the Virginia class submarine design and design improvements; preliminary and detail component and system design; integration of system engineering, design engineering, test engineering, logistics engineering and production engineering. The contractor will continue development studies and design efforts related to components and systems to accomplish research and development tasks, and prototypes and engineering development models required to fully evaluate new technologies to be inserted in succeeding Virginia class submarines.
Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (94.1%); Newport News, Virginia (4.8%); and Newport and Quonset, Rhode Island (combined 1.1%), and is expected to be completed by September 2020.
The Virginia class, also known as the SSN-774 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (hull classification symbol SSN) in service with the U.S. Navy.
The Virginia class submarines are being built through an industrial arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), the only two U.S. shipyards capable of building nuclear-powered submarines.
The submarines are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, many of which have already been decommissioned. The larger Seawolf-class was originally intended as the successor to the Los Angeles class, but the production run was stopped after just three boats had been completed due to the end of the Cold War and budget constraints. The smaller Virginia class boats cost around 2.8 billion each versus the $5 billion (2018) each for the Seawolf-class boats.
Virginia-class submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and intelligence gathering operations.
Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service until at least 2060, with later submarines expected to remain into the 2070s.