The US Navy has awarded a $327.8m contract to General Dynamics (GD) Electric Boat for Virginia-class submarine design work and fleet maintenance.

As per the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, the company will carry out the lead yard support and development studies.

It will also perform other works related to the design improvements of the Virginia-class submarine.

The engineering and design organisation of the Electric Boat, which has over 5,000 employees, will be involved in the work.

They will deliver support services covering the different aspects of the submarine life cycle, such as concept formulation, design, as well as construction, maintenance and modernisation.

General Dynamics Electric Boat president Kevin Graney said: “Over the life of the Virginia programme, the shipbuilders of Electric Boat have made improvements to the design of each ship.

“This lead yard services contract will fund critical research and development work to further advance the stealth, capability and superiority of the Virginia-class, providing our sailors with a greater advantage in the undersea domain.”

The majority of the work under the contract will be conducted in Groton, Connecticut, while the company will also carry out tasks in Newport News, Virginia, and Newport and Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

It is expected to be completed by April next year.

In July last year, General Dynamics Electric Boat awarded a contract to BAE Systems to produce 28 additional payload tubes for the US Navy’s Block V Virginia-class attack submarines.

Delivery of the first Block V submarine is scheduled to take place in the FY 2025.

The navy’s Virginia-class submarines are designed to perform a range of missions, such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface-ship warfare and strike warfare, as well as provide special operations forces support and more.

In December 2018, General Dynamics Electric Boat was awarded a contract to provide support services at the US Navy’s Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.