General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) has delivered the Virginia-class attack submarine (SSN), USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795), to the US Navy on 11 October 2023.

Hyman G. Rickover is the 22nd submarine of the stealthy Virginia class, measuring 377ft long with a beam of 34ft and the displacement of 7,300t dived, which is smaller than its more expensive predecessor, the Seawolf SSN, with a displacement of 9,137t dived.

The US Navy equips its Virginia class fleet with 12 vertical missile launch tubes and four 533mm torpedo tubes. The vertical launching system has the capacity to launch 16 Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles in a single salvo.

The US Navy can hold up to 26 Mk48 ADCAP Mod 6 heavyweight torpedoes and sub harpoon anti-ship missiles to fire from the boat’s torpedo tubes.

Christened Hyman G. Rickover in January 2015; SSN 795 is the fourth vessel of the Block IV programme, which comprises ten boats as part of a multi-year procurement programme. These ships embody a Navy and industry commitment to deliver new submarines to the fleet with advantageous stealth and strike capacity.

“The shipbuilders of Electric Boat are proud to deliver Hyman G. Rickover, the second submarine to be named for the father of the United States Nuclear Navy,” said Kevin Graney, President of GDBE. “Admiral Rickover set excellence as the standard for the United States’ nuclear fleet, and we wish the Hyman G. Rickover and her crew a long and distinguished career that honors Admiral Rickover’s legacy.”

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By GlobalData

According to the Selected Acquisition Report, published on 9 May this year, two new construction deliveries are planned in 2023: Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795) and New Jersey (SSN 796) in September 2023. Additionally, Vermont (SSN 792) and Montana (SSN 794) are projected to complete their post-shakedown availabilities and re-deliver to the fleet this year.

While FY2024 will procure two additional Virginia SSNs, these boats will be a standalone purchase, cut off from the multi-year procurement programmes of 2019-2023 and the new programme due to begin in FY2025-2029.

The Navy states that treating the two boats requested for procurement in FY2024 in this manner would put the next Virginia-class multi-year contract – the one that is to cover boats procured in FY2025-FY2029—into better schedule alignment with contracts for procuring Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines, which would maximise efficiency and supplier-firm stability in those years for both the Virginia and Columbia-class programmes.