General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $346.5 million contract modification by the U.S. Navy to provide research and development and lead-yard services for Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).
Under the contract modification, Electric Boat will undertake development studies and other work related to Virginia-class submarine design improvements. Additionally, Electric Boat will perform research and development work required to evaluate new technologies to be inserted in newly built Virginia-class ships, including the Virginia Payload Module.
Initially awarded in 2016, the contract has a potential value of $1.3 billion through September 2019.
This work will engage Electric Boat’s engineering and design organization, which comprises more than 5,000 employees. Possessing proven technical capabilities, these employees work on all facets of the submarine life cycle from concept formulation and design through construction, maintenance and modernization, and eventually to inactivation and disposal.
Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines have the capability to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea-based forces. Other missions include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare; mine delivery and minefield mapping; and special forces delivery and support.
Submarines of this class weigh 7,800 tons, is 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged. Their reactor plant will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.
These next-generation attack submarines provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.