Navy's Virginia-class subs to get new payload tubes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. BAE Systems has won a contract to produce payload tubes for two of the U.S. Navy’s new Virginia-class (SSN 774) submarines to support increased firepower on the Block V version of the attack subs.

Under the terms of the contract BAE Systems signed with General Dynamics Electric Boat, a builder of the Virginia class, General Dynamics will deliver two sets, each consisting of four tubes, for the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) on the SSN 804 and SSN 805.

The VPM extends the length of the Block V submarines over previous versions of the Virginia-class subs by adding an additional mid-body section to create more payload space and thus greater firepower. Each large-diameter payload tube can store and launch up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPM is also designed for flexible use plus the integration of future payload types, such as unmanned systems or next-generation weapons.

Work under this most recent contract will be performed at the BAE Systems facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2020.