The US Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding a record $17.6 billion contract to build 10 new Virinia-class submarines. The contract guarantees submarine orders through 2018.
According to Defense News, two submarines will be constructed per year over a five-year period, and each defense contractor will deliver one sub per year. The two companies will collaborate on building the subs, and both will work on certain parts of each hull.
“The Block IV award is the largest shipbuilding contract in US Navy history in terms of total dollar value,” said Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, program executive officer for submarines at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The contract “builds upon the Virginia-class program’s successful Navy and industry relationship,” Johnson added. He also said the program was “a model of acquisition excellence.”
“This is the largest number of boats ordered to date in a single contract block, which is great news — particularly in light of today’s challenging economic and political environments,” said Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin.
“This award has great significance for the US Navy, our company and the entire submarine industrial base,” Jeffrey Geiger, president of Electric Boat, said in the statement. “By continuing to produce two ships per year, the Navy and industry team retains the stability required to achieve increased efficiencies, providing the fleet with the submarines it needs to sustain the nation’s undersea dominance.”
As Defense News reports, the contract covers hull numbers SSN 792 through SSN 801. Construction of SSN 792 will begin on May 1.