USS Virginia (SSN 774)
GROTON, Conn. (December 22, 2008) – GROTON, Conn. - The U.S. Navy today reaffirmed the strategic need for a robust, adaptable submarine force by awarding General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract valued at $14 billion for the construction of eight Virginia-class submarines. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).
The multi-year contract allows Electric Boat and its teammate, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, to proceed with the construction of one ship per year in 2009 and 2010, and two ships per year from 2011 through 2013. The eighth ship to be procured under this contract is scheduled for delivery in 2019.
The Virginia-class submarine is the first U.S. Navy warship designed from the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War era, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; delivering special operation forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare.
The contract immediately provides $2.4 billion to fund construction of SSN-784, which has been named the "North Dakota"; advanced procurement for SSN-785; funding to purchase materials, parts and components for multiple ships at one time (SSN-785 through SSN-791, as yet unnamed), achieving significant economies of scale; and funding for additional cost-reduction design changes (known as Design For Affordability).
Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding already have delivered five Virginia-class submarines to the Navy: USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas (SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777) and USS New Hampshire (SSN-778). Five additional submarines are under construction.
The contract comes on the heels of the shipbuilding team’s delivery of USS New Hampshire in August eight months ahead of schedule and more than $60 million under target cost, performance that demonstrates the commitment to reduce the cost and shrink construction schedules during the term of the contract.
Virginia-class submarines displace 7,800 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk land attack missiles and unmanned underwater vehicles.
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