(NewsReady.com) – The US Navy is in the process of upgrading its fleet. With all of the threats facing the country and the global tensions, this is more important than ever. A new class of submarines is particularly special.
In 2021, The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded a $2.4-billion contract to General Dynamics’ Electric Boat subsidiary. The contract was to be used to build a Block V Virginia-class submarine that will be equipped with a Virginia Payload Module (VPM). Electric Boat is already contracted to make nine other submarines.
Two years later, the first of the Block V submarines is under construction in Groton, Connecticut. The VPM feature of the new boats is a “hull plug” that allows it to carry three times more Tomahawk missiles than the previous versions of the sub. It can also be reconfigured if it needs to accommodate new technology. For that reason, the Navy could use these submarines for half a century.
The submarines are being described as the “most advanced in existence.”
The US Navy is reportedly planning to build up to 78 new attack submarines. Ten of them will be the Block Vs. Of those, eight of them will carry the larger payloads at first. However, eventually, more than 30 of them will be outfitted with VPM.
The new submarines are more advanced but cheaper to build. The Seawolf-class submarines, which were canceled after just three were completed, cost $2.8 billion each. The Virginia class is just $1.8 billion, resulting in massive savings.
As China builds its military in one of its largest military build-ups ever, the US is looking to keep pace. The Chinese government has created the largest Navy in the world, and it has more missiles. The size of its navy is especially concerning when one considers the nation’s desire to “unite” with Taiwan. The construction of the Virginia submarines with the unexpectedly large payloads is a step in the right direction for the US.
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