Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has secured a contract modification worth $727.4m to continue procuring long-lead-time material for Virginia-class Block V submarines.
The latest award from General Dynamics Electric Boat is a modification to an existing contract for long-lead-time material to support the construction of the Virginia-class Block V submarines.
With the current contract, the overall contract value has increased to $1.04bn.
Newport News submarine construction vice-president Dave Bolcar said: “We are pleased to have received additional advanced procurement funds, which allows us to continue procuring long-lead-time materials and is important to our submarine industrial base of more than 5,000 companies across 48 states.
“The start of early manufactured material is already underway for Block V submarines, which will include enhanced technology for today’s warfighters.”
HII Newport News is General Dynamics Electric Boat’s partner on the construction of the Virginia-class submarines.
The new class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines are expected to replace the Los Angeles-class submarines, which are due to retire.
With the help of new technologies and innovations, the vessels will have increased firepower, manoeuvrability, stealth and warfighting capabilities.
The Block V submarines will have the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), an added section of the ship, which will extend the hull by 84ft and boost its strike capabilities. The VPM will increase the number of torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles the Virginia class can carry by 25.
According to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report, while a regular Virginia-class submarine will cost $2.7bn, the VPM-inclusive variant will cost up to $3.2bn.
The Virginia-class submarines are designed to support multiple mission packages. They have the ability to operate at submerged speeds of more than 25k for months at a time.
Last month, General Dynamics Electric Boat received a $2bn contract modification for long-lead-time material for the Virginia-class submarines.
To see how the US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine compares against the Royal Navy’s Astute class, read more here.