BAE contracted for Virginia-class submarine hardware

Sept. 10 (UPI) — BAE Systems Platforms & Services in Minneapolis, Minn., has received a $37.6 million contract modification for long-lead-time material procurement and manufacturing of propulsors and tailcones for Virginia-class submarines SSN 800 through SSN 803.

The contract, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, provides for the manufacture and assembly of four ship sets of propulsors, tailcones and other equipment. Work will be performed in Louisville, Ky., Minneapolis, Minn., and Jacksonville, Fla., and is expected to be completed by October 2022.

Navy fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion funding in the amount of $37.6 million will be obligated at time of award.

The contract covers four Virginia-class submarines, two from Block IV — the USS Arkansas and USS Utah — as well as two from Block V, neither of which have been named yet.

The Virginia-class is a nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine built for anti-sub and anti-surface operations. It is armed with torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles and is capable of mine-laying operations. It can also deliver special forces teams as it has the ability to operate in shallow or littoral waters.

The Virginia-class is expected to gradually replace the Los Angeles-class attack submarine whose design dates back to the 1970s. The submarine has faced a number of redesigns and upgrades to simplify construction and reduce operating costs.

Further expected modifications will include the Virginia Payload Module, which the Navy says will be incorporated in the second Block V submarine. The VPM will triple the Virginia-class Tomahawk capacity and allow greater flexibility for installing other vertical launch weapons systems.

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