SSN 774 Virginia Class Submarine

Product Type:

Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine

Using Service (US):

Navy

Program Status:

In Production (FRP)

Prime Contractors:

General Dynamics (Electric Boat)
Huntington Ingalls (Newport News)

The SSN 774 Virginia Class nuclear-powered attack submarine

About the Virginia Class:





The Virginia Class Submarine (SSN 774 Class) is a nuclear-powered multi mission attack submarine that provides the U.S. Navy with the capabilities to maintain undersea supremacy in the 21st century. The Virginia Class submarine is intended to replace the fleet of Los Angeles Class submarines (SSN 688 Class) - the backbone of the U.S. submarine force (39 in service - 23 retired). The Virginia Class is designed to meet U.S. Navy requirements for undersea warfare in the post-Cold War era. As of August 2015, 12 submarines have entered service with the U.S. Navy (SSNs 774 to 785).

Virginia Class submarines employ advanced technologies to increase fire power, maneuverability, and stealth. The 377 feet (115 m) long submarine is capable of submerged speeds of more than 25 knots/29 mph (46 km/h) and can stay submerged for up to three months at a time.

SSN 774 submarines are built by General Dynamics-Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. The latter builds the stern, habitability and machinery spaces, torpedo room, sail and bow. Electric Boat builds the engine room and control room. Both contractors perform work on the reactor plant and alternate on the final assembly, test, outfitting and delivery.

Virginia Class submarines have a 33-year service life and are designed to perform a wide range of missions. They have several innovations that significantly improve their warfighting capabilities - with an emphasis on littoral (close-to-shore) operations. Virginia Class attack submarines are equipped with a fly-by-wire ship control system, which provides improved shallow-water control. The SSN 774 Class has features that support special operation forces such as the torpedo room, which can be reconfigured to house a large number of special operation forces, including all their equipment. The submarine also features a large lock-in/lock-out chamber for divers. In Virginia Class submarines, traditional periscopes have been displaced by two photonics masts that house color, high-resolution black and white, and infrared digital cameras on top of telescoping arms. With the removal of conventional periscopes, the control room has been moved down one deck and away from the hull's curvature. This provides more room and an improved layout that provides commanding officerd with enhanced situational awareness. Additionally, through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia Class is designed to remain state-of-the-art for its entire operational life. The submarine will constantly be updated with new systems and payloads as they become available.

As part of the Virginia Class Block III contract, the Navy redesigned approximately 20% of the submarine to reduce the acquisition cost. Most of these changes are found in the bow where the air-backed sonar sphere has been replaced with a water-backed Large Aperture Bow array. The new bow also replaces the 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large diameter 87-inch Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching six UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPTs simplify construction, reduce acquisition costs and, due to their added volume, provide for more payload flexibility than the smaller VLS tubes. Block III submarines include SSNs 784-791.

Block IV submarines (SSNs 792-801) incorporate design changes focused on reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). By making smaller-scale design changes to increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine, the time between depot maintenance availabilities is increased as are the number of deployments. During their service life, Block I-III submarines will undergo four depot maintenance availabilities and conduct 14 deployments. Block IV design changes will reduce the planned depot maintenance availabilities to three and increase deployments to 15.

The next major change is the incorporation of the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) in Block V submarines. VPM, currently in development, will insert four additional payload tubes each capable of carrying seven UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles into the Virginia Class design. The VPM tubes will be very similar to the VPTs integrated on Block III and later ships.

Under the terms of a $4.2 billion U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract awarded by the Navy in 1998, a $8.4 billion contract awarded in January 2004, and a $14 billion contract awarded in December 2008, General Dynamics-Electric Boat will construct the first 18 Virginia Class SSNs in cooperation with co-contractor Huntington Ingalls-Newport News Shipbuilding. SSN 774 USS Virginia (the lead ship) was delivered on October 4, 2004 and commissioned into the fleet on the 23rd that same month. On February 5, 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $520 million contract modification to buy long lead-time materials for four Virginia-class submarines: SSN-794, SSN-795, SSN-796 and SSN-797.

On April 28, 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $17.6 billion contract for the construction of 10 Block IV Virginia Class submarines. Construction of the first Block IV submarine, the SSN-792 commenced in May 2014. The 10th ship to be procured under this contract (SSN 801) is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

The Navy plans to purchase a total of 32 Virginia Class submarines for the Navy of which 22 have been purchased through FY 2015. The last 2 submarines will be purchased in FY 2020.



Armament:

The Virginia Class is equipped with twelve Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes and four torpedo tubes (starting with SSN 784 North Dakota [Block II], the 12 VLS tubes are replaced by 2 large diameter payload tubes). The submarines also carries Mk 48 ADCAP Torpedoes, UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, Mk 60 CAPTOR mines, advanced mobile mines, and unmanned underwater vehicles.



Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of a Virginia Class Submarine is $2.63 billion (FY 2015 end cost).



Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the SSN 774 program is estimated at $85.82 billion + $6.73 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $92.55 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).



Mission/Role:

The Virginia Class Submarine seeks and destroys enemy ships across a wide spectrum of scenarios, working independently and in consort with a battle group and other ships, providing commanders with early and accurate knowledge of the battlefield.



FY 2015 DoD Program:

Funds two submarines as part of a multi-year procurement contract. Also continues funding the development of the Virginia Payload Module and technology, prototype components, and systems engineering needed for design and construction. Procurement funds in the amount of $6,025.8 million have been provided for the Virginia Class Program + $208.3 million in RDT&E funding.



FY 2016 DoD Program:

Funds two ships as part of a multiyear procurement contract and advance procurement for two ships beginning construction in FY 2017 and two ships beginning construction in FY 2018. Continues funding the development of the Virginia Payload Module and technology, prototype components, and systems engineering needed for design and construction. Procurement funds in the amount of $5,492.5 million have been provided for the Virginia Class Program + $290.3 million in RDT&E funding.

For more information, click to view the Navy FY 2016 Virginia Class procurement.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), General Dynamics-Electric Boat,
and Huntington Ingalls-Newport News.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: September 20, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



General Dynamics: SSN 774 Virginia Class Submarine
Huntington Ingalls: SSN 774 Virginia Class Submarine

YouTube: Virginia Class Submarine | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Virginia Class Submarine

Total SSN 774 Program Cost:

 $92.55 billion  ($85.82B procurement + $6.73B RDT&E)

SSN 774 Procurement Objective:

  32 submarines

SSN 774 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the SSN-774 Virginia Class Submarine in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of SSN-774 Virginia Class Submarines in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the SSN-774 Virginia Class Submarine

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Shipbuilding | SSN 774 Virginia Class RDT&E: SSN 774 Virginia Class RDT&E: Virginia Payload Module (VPM)
Specifications

Specifications: SSN 74 Virginia Class Attack Submarine

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Primary Function: To seek and destroy enemy ships
Prime Contractor: General Dynamics-Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls-Newport News Shipbuilding
Propulsion: 1x S9G nuclear reactor - one shaft
Length: 377 ft (114.91 m)
Beam: 34 ft (10.36 m)
Displacement: 7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed: 25+ kts/28+ mph (46+ km/h)
Diving Depth: 800+ ft (244 m)
Endurance: Can remain submerged for up to 3 months
Armament: 12x vertical missile launch tubes (VLS) and 4x torpedo tubes;
Carries Mk 48 ADCAP Torpedoes; UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles;
Mk 60 CAPTOR mines; advanced mobile mines; and unmanned underwater vehicles
Crew: 135 (15 officers and 120 enlisted men)
Price/Unit Cost: $2.63 billion end cost (in FY 2015)
Deployed: Initial Operational Capability (IOC): March 2007

Ships:


Block I
USS Virginia (SSN 774) - Portsmouth, NH: Commissioned + in service
USS Texas (SSN 775) - Pearl Harbor, HI: Commissioned + in service
USS Hawaii (SSN 776) - Pearl Harbor, HI: Commissioned + in service
USS North Carolina (SSN 777) - Pearl Harbor, HI: Commissioned + in service

Block II
USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) - Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service
USS New Mexico (SSN 779) - Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service
USS Missouri (SSN 780) - Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service
USS California (SSN 781) - Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service
USS Mississippi (SSN 782) - Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service
USS Minnesota (SSN 783): - Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service

Block III
USS North Dakota (SSN 784): Keel laid down May 11, 2012. Delivered in August 2014 /// Groton, CT: Commissioned + in service
USS John Warner (SSN 785): Keel laid down March 16, 2013. Delivered in August 2015 /// Norfolk, VA: Commissioned + in service
PCU Illinois (SSN 786): Keel laid down June 2, 2014. To be delivered in August 2016.
PCU Washington (SSN 787): Keel laid down November 22, 2014. To be delivered in February 2017.
PCU Colorado (SSN 788): Keel laid down March 7, 2015. To be delivered in August 2017.
PCU Indiana (SSN 789): Keel laid down May 16, 2015. To be delivered in February 2018.
PCU South Dakota (SSN 790): To be delivered in August 2018.
PCU Delaware (SSN 791): To be delivered in February 2019.

Block IV
PCU Vermont (SSN 792): To be delivered in March 2019.
PCU Oregon (SSN 793): To be delivered in September 2019.
PCU Montana (SSN 794): To be delivered in March 2020.
PCU Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 795): To be delivered in September 2020.
PCU New Jersey (SSN 796)
PCU Iowa (SSN 797)
PCU (SSN 798)
PCU Idaho (SSN 799)
PCU (SSN 800)
PCU (SSN 801)

Block V
PCU (SSN 802)
PCU (SSN 803)
PCU (SSN 804)
PCU (SSN 805)

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