Saturday, 29 October 2016

BAE to increase Virginia-class submarine launch tube production

Work comes as BAE receives contract from General Dynamics Electric Boat.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz   |   Oct. 28, 2016 at 11:57 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- BAE Systems has signed a contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat for the production of Virginia Payload Module, or VPM, Tubes for Virginia-class submarines, BAE announced.

The deal, for an undisclosed amount, will cover Block V boats and will involve certification, special tooling and other items, the company said in a statement.

The VPM is a mid-body section being integrated into Virginia-class submarines.
It includes four large-diameter payload tubes, each of which can store and launch up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles.

VPMs will also offer flexibility when integrating future payloads.

BAE officials said the system is a cost-effective way to maintain strike capability as four SSGN guided-missile submarines retire.

The launch tubes are expected to be delivered starting in 2019.

BAE announced earlier this year that it would provide propulsors, hardware and tail cones for Block IV Virginia-class boats.

Original post:

Virginia Payload module will increase cruise missiles on Virginia Submarines by 76%

The US Navy plans to build one of the two Virginia-class boats procured in FY2019, and all Virginia class boats procured in FY2020 and subsequent years, with an additional mid-body section, called the Virginia Payload Module (VPM). The VPM, reportedly about 70 feet in length (earlier design concepts for the VPM were reportedly about 94 feet in length), contains four large diameter, vertical launch tubes that would be used to store and fire additional Tomahawk cruise missiles or other payloads, such as large-diameter unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

The four additional launch tubes in the VPM could carry a total of 28 additional Tomahawk cruise missiles (7 per tube), which would increase the total number of torpedo-sized weapons (such as Tomahawks) carried by the Virginia class design from about 37 to about 65—an increase of about 76%. The Navy wants to start building Virginia-class boats with the VPM in FY2019. Building Virginia-class boats with the VPM would compensate for a sharp loss in submarine force weapon-carrying capacity that will occur with the retirement in FY2026-FY2028 of the Navy’s four Ohio-class cruise missile/special operations forces support submarines (SSGNs).

Tomahawk launcher assembly 

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