The US Navy will spend $1.07 billion for a long lead time for servicing two of its advanced nuclear-powered, Virginia-class cruise missile submarines (SSN).
The Department of Defense (better known as the DoD) of the US rewarded the sole-source modified contract to the firm named General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB), the OEM of the SSNs. Work is expected to be done in 2033.
EB is currently building SSNs in Block V of the class. The funds will facilitate the General Dynamics subsidiary to buy major components and materials for hulls 812 and 813.
Virginia-class SSNs have a complete range of advanced mission requirements: including surface ship and anti-submarine warfare.
The class also embodies the commitment of the industry and the navy to lower costs without compromising on capabilities via a multiyear procurement strategy.
Kevin Graney, EB’s president, suggests that the US Navy has been prodding the industry to deliver the coveted capabilities needed by an advanced force.
The contract modification sends o critical demand signal to the submarine industrial base, compelling suppliers to invest in the capacity and materials required to boost production volume, per Graney.
The DoD also stresses the need to keep up with the advancing military capabilities of China. An arms race ensued, which, in turn, spurred growing investments in the defence industrial base of the US.
The President increased the navy budget by $11.1 billion, or 4.5%, compared to the 2023 budget. More research and development into newer capabilities has swelled by $1 billion.
The submarine fleet is at the forefront of the aggressive posture – at least in the maritime world, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, where China has been the most predatory.
The Biden administration aims at strengthening domestic supply chains for critical systems and weapons. The DoD bolstered firms within the hypersonics industry, especially firms that generate thermal-resistant materials.
Graney’s assertion indicates that submarine production is part of the huge military-industrial expansion.
The North American region, aided by the US Navy’s multiyear procurement programs, is expected to maintain its leading position with a compound annual growth rate of 3.7%, per data shared by GlobalData intelligence.
The procurement of Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines and Virginia-class attack SSNs are boosting the increasing growth of the US submarine market.
With the robust ability for anti-submarine warfare, the Virginia-class vessels include specialized weapons, advanced sensors, and other next-gen equipment that empower them to execute land attacks, gain intelligence, carry out mine reconnaissance, and support the Special Forces.
Additionally, the Virginia class can also use midget submarines for infiltration as well as shallow-water operations. 2016 USSOCOM offered a $236 million contract to Submergence Group for the three much-awaited submersibles, with the first one delivered back in 2019.
References: Naval Technology, Investing.com
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