General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) is awarded a contract modification for fiscal 2019 lead yard support and development studies and design efforts for U.S. Navy Virginia-class nuclear fast attack submarines (SSN).
The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, worth around $346.5 million, was awarded by the U.S. Department of Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Fiscal 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of around $120 million will be obligated at time of award.
This lead yard support 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, this contract modification 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 (91 percent), Newport News, Virginia (8 percent); and at other various sites throughout the U.S. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2019.
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 attack submarine is the Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology. Attack submarines are designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships as well as project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and Special Operation Forces (SOF), carry out Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions; support carrier battle group operations; and engage in naval mine warfare.
Virginia-class submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral (shallow coastal water) missions. They are replacing older Los Angeles-class submarines, many of which have already been decommissioned. The Seawolf-class attack submarine was originally intended to succeed the Los Angeles class, but production was canceled after only three submarines were produced due to budgeting restraints at the end of the Cold War, and the final submarine was manufactured in 1995.
A total of 28 Virginia-class submarines have been delivered, are under construction or under contract. Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service past 2060. Based on recent updates to the designs, some of the Virginia-class submarines are expected to still be in service in 2070.
The Navy commissioned its 16th Virginia-class fast attack submarine (and the sixth Virginia-class Block III submarine), the USS Indiana (SSN 789), in September this year.