General Dynamics Electric Boat held a keel-laying ceremony for the Virginia-class submarine Tang (SSN 805).

The Tang (SSN 805) is named after a lineage of naval vessels, with this being the third boat in the US Navy to bear the name. The first USS Tang, a WWII-era submarine, earned its place in history by sinking 33 enemy ships during five war patrols.

Kevin Graney, President of General Dynamics Electric Boat, emphasised the profound significance of this achievement: “This ship represents our ongoing commitment to provide the Navy with the most capable and lethal submarines it needs to ensure our country’s freedom in an increasingly contested undersea arena.

It takes a diverse team of talented and dedicated professionals to design, engineer, and build these remarkable machines, and each one of us comes to work every day knowing the safety of our sailors depends on the work we do.”

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Submarine Market 2023-2033” report, the US Navy plans to acquire up to 66 Virginia-class submarines, with the most recent contract awarding ten more.

Vice Admiral William Houston, Commander of Submarine Forces, delivered a keynote address that recognised the role of the shipbuilders. “All of you have made direct contributions towards protecting our nation,” said Houston.

“You have designed and built a fleet of Virginia-class submarines that are at the cutting edge of technology and craftsmanship. Because of you, our nation’s submariners stand ready to compete and win in all domains when called upon.”

The US Navy is currently building Virginia-class submarines with enhanced warfighting capabilities, particularly emphasising littoral operations.

Having a robust capability for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), Virginia-class vessels are also equipped with specialised weapons, sensors, and other equipment that enable them to perform land attacks, gather intelligence, conduct mine reconnaissance, and support special forces, according to GlobalData’s report.

With a focus on advanced capabilities, Tang (SSN 805) features the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), which provides the host submarine the ability to embark the latest kinetic munitions.

The VPM integrates four large-diameter, vertical payload tubes into the submarine’s design, enabling it to deploy various resources, including weaponry, unmanned undersea vehicles, and other essential payloads.

In collaboration with Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, General Dynamics Electric Boat forms a partnership responsible for constructing the Virginia-class submarines.