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June 4, 2015

GD Electric Boat to support Virginia Payload Module project

General Dynamics' (GD) subsidiary Electric Boat has received a $6.5m contract from the US Navy to develop the Virginia Payload Module (VPM).

By Samseer M

Virginia class

General Dynamics’ (GD) subsidiary Electric Boat has received a $6.5m contract from the US Navy to develop the Virginia Payload Module (VPM).

The new deal is part of an overall engineering contract worth $965m, which was awarded in 2010, to support the Virginia-class submarine programme.

The VPM includes four large-diameter payload tubes in a new hull section, which will be inserted in Virginia-class submarines.

With the new section, the hull will be extended by up to 80ft and strike capacity will improve by 230%, with a cost increase of less than 15%.

Approximately 28 Virginia-class submarines have been either delivered, are in construction, or are under contract for the US Navy.

"The VPM includes four large-diameter payload tubes in a new hull section, which will be inserted in Virginia-class submarines."

The submarines feature improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities, and special warfare enhancements. They have a displacement of 7,800t, a 377ft hull, and can cruise at speeds of over 25k, while diving to more than 800ft deep.

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The submarines can be equipped with Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land-attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.The vessels can also accommodate advanced mission requirements, including anti-submarine, surface-ship warfare, and special operations support.

In addition, Electric Boat has received a $46.4m contract from the US Navy for planning efforts in support of maintenance and modernisation work on the Los Angeles-Improved class attack submarine, USS Montpelier.

Under this contract, Electric Boat will perform planning activities to conduct an interim dry-docking period for the submarine.


Image: The Virginia Class is designed for the mission requirements of the post-Cold War era. Photo: courtesy of US Navy Photo / Released.

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