Nine new Virginia-class submarines to make up fifth block

GROTON, Conn. The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics' subsidiary Electric Boat a contract valued at $22.2 billion for the construction of nine new Virginia-class submarines. The contract also includes the option of a 10th ship to be constructed within the contract time frame, bringing the total potential contract value to approximately $24.1 billion.

The multi-year 'Block V' contract enables Electric Boat as prime contractor, along with Newport News Shipbuilding, to deliver Virginia-class fast-attack submarines with advanced capabilities and expanded capacity to the Navy.

Construction on Block V ships will begin this year, with deliveries scheduled from 2025 through 2029. Eight of the ships produced for Block V will include the Virginia Payload Module (VPM).

The VPM will comprise four additional large-diameter payload tubes located amidships, increasing the fixed strike capacity of the ship by more than 230 percent, according to the company. It's intended to enable enhanced use of Special Operating Forces and allow the Navy to bring aboard additional weapons, sensors, and other special payloads.