General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat has received a modification contract from the US Navy to provide lead-yard services in support of Virginia-class multi-mission nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Under the $152.4m deal, which follows a previously awarded contract, GD will maintain and update design drawings and data such as technology insertions for each Virginia-class submarine throughout its construction and post-shakedown availability periods.
General Dynamics Electric Boat and HII-built Virginia-class submarines can cruise at a submerged speed of 25k with a beam of 34ft and carry a crew of 134.
The submarines feature AN/WLY-1 acoustic countermeasures system and mast-mounted AN/BLQ-10 electronic support measures (ESM) systems to provide full-spectrum radar processing, automatic threat warning and situation assessment.
Designed as an advanced stealth multi-mission nuclear-powered boat, it can conduct missions that include anti-submarine, anti-surface ship, strike, special operation forces, irregular and mine warfare, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
In addition, the submarine features a fly-by-wire ship control system to enhance ship handling in shallow water, as well as larger lock-in / lock-out chamber and a reconfigurable torpedo room to support special operations forces and their equipment.
The submarines can operate without refuelling during their planned life with the help of a nuclear reactor power source, which reduces lifecycle costs and increases underway time.
At its completion in 2014, the cumulative value of the contract will be $921.4m, while work under the contract will be performed in Groton, Quonset Point, Newport and Newport News, US.
The US Naval Sea Systems Command will serve as the contracting activity.
Image: US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine, Texas (SSN 775) at a shipyard. Photo: file image.