In a recent development, the US Navy has given a contract for making Virginia-class attack submarines to the company General Dynamics Electric Boat. It is the most significant order even provided by the US Navy in a move to boost its marine prowess. Eight of these submarines will get an 84-foot section for better strike missile capacity. The contract is pegged at a staggering $22.2 billion, and that can go up by $2 billion more if the Navy considers adding one more submarine to its fleet. These advanced category attack submarines will be nuclear powered.
This order is quite significant for the US Navy. The top acquisition official James Geurts said in a statement that- “the contract has to be executed in such a manner that both the govt and the builder agency benefits from the deal.”
He added in case the agency meets the delivery timeline for the attack submarines, the Navy will be able to save around $4.4 billion. The Virginia Block V is a major Navy contract. The cost will reach $35 billion if the government-furnished equipment is added to the contract. The first of the submarines codenamed SSN 802, is now being made, but it lacks the Payload Module. The next one, codenamed 803, will have it. All of these submarines will be equipped with enhanced acoustics suite. The Navy officials added six such boats would be made at Huntington Ingalls Newport News. The remaining three will be made at the Electric Boat.
The political experts think the US Navy move is a strategic decision to thwart growing Chinese presence in the Pacific region. China is reportedly going to enhance its naval appearance in the area with advanced submarines and naval ships in the next few years. The Virginia class submarines are significant for the US Navy, and the upcoming lot is said to be way more potent than the existing ones. These submarines can be used to combat other submarines, ships, and mid range land targets too. An upcoming lot of Virginia class submarines are longer and more substantial than the existing ones, as well.