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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Navy will consider accelerating Virginia-class sub enhancement

Virginia class SSNNavy officials have said they will consider moving up the date for the start of a new Virginia-class submarine program that would allow the boats to carry more firepower.

About 20 Virginia-class submarines, built jointly by Electric Boat in Groton and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, would have their hulls lengthened by about 70 feet to accommodate the so-called Virginia Payload Module, allowing the subs to carry 28 more Tomahawk cruise missiles than the Virginia class subs under construction now.

Right now the Navy has planned construction of the first Virginia Payload Module for 2019. The new design is needed to provide more undersea strike capability as the Navy prepares to retire Ohio-class guided missile submarines in the mid-2020s.

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