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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Navy Wants 28 More Tomahawks on Virginia-Class Submarines Sooner

USS New Hampshire (SSN-778)The Navy is evaluating whether it can add 28 more Tomahawk missiles to each Virginia-class submarine sooner than expected, service leaders said.

The service plans to begin production of what's called Virginia Payload Modules, or VPM, onto Block V submarines by 2019 -- a move which would add a new section of missile tubes to the ship and increase its ability to fire Tomahawk missiles from 12 up to 40, said Navy Capt. David Goggins, Virginia-class submarine program manager.

An evaluation is currently underway to assess the feasibility of adding VPM ahead of the current schedule and engineering them onto Block IV Virginia-class submarines being built earlier than 2019. A decision is expected by next month or May, Goggins said.

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