US Navy Virginia class, designed for a broad spectrum of missions
The Virginia class of attack submarines are U.S. subs designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions. They were designed as a less expensive alternative to the Cold War era designed Seawolf class attack submarines, and they are slated to replace the aging Los Angeles class subs.
The Virginias incorporate several innovations. Instead of periscopes, the subs have a pair of extendable photonics masts outside the pressure hull. Each contains several high-resolution cameras with light-intensification and infrared sensors, an infrared laser rangefinder, and an integrated Electronic Support Measures (ESM) array. Signals from the masts` sensors are transmitted through fiber optic data lines through signal processors to the control center. The subs also make use of jetpump propulsors for quieter operations.
The Virginias were intended, in part, as a cheaper alternative to the Seawolf class, whose production run was stopped after just three boats. To reduce costs, the Virginia class uses many "commercial-off-the-shelf" (or COTS) components, especially in their computers and data networks.
Specifications, USS Virginia SSN-774, Virginia class:
The Virginia-class is built through an industrial arrangement designed to keep both General Dynamics/Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman/Newport News (the only two U.S. shipyards capable of building nuclear-powered vessels) in the submarine-building business. Under the present arrangement, the Newport News facility builds the stern, habitability & machinery spaces, torpedo room, sail and bow, while Electric Boat builds the engine room and control room. The facilities alternate work on the reactor plant as well as the final assembly, test, outfit and delivery.
In December 2008, the US Navy signed a $14 billion contract with General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman, to supply eight submarines. The contractors will deliver one submarine in each of fiscal 2009 and 2010, and two submarines on each of fiscal 2011, 2012 and 2013. This contract will bring the Navy`s Virginia-class fleet to 18 submarines.
Displacement (srf/sub tons): -/7,800
Dimensions (L*B*D feet/meter): 377’0*34’0*30’5/114.9*10.4*9.3
Propulsion: 1*General Electric S9G Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) 40,000hp, 2*geared steam turbine, 1*pumpjet propulsor, one screw
Speed (sub knots): 34
Range (srf/sub miles@knots): not relevant
Diving depth (feet/meter): grater then 800/250 (1600/490)
Complement: 14 officers 120 enlisted
Missile: 12*VTL (Vertical Tube Launcher) capable of launching Mc Donnell Douglas Sub Harpoon, SSM sub-launched anti-ship missiles or General Dynamics/Hughes Tomahawk cruise missiles TLAM for land attack or TASM for anti ship.
Torpedo: 4*21" (533 mm) torpedo tubes amidship aft of bow sonar, total of 38 torpedoes or missiles Harpoon or UUV’s (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles) reloads.
Mines: can lay 100 MK67 Mobile and MK 60 Captor-in place of torpedo (2 mines for 1 torpedo)
A total of up to 30 hulls are planed to be built in few batches:
Block I- USS Virginia (SSN-774), USS Texas (SSN-775), USS Hawaii (SSN-776), USS North Carolina (SSN-777)- all 4 boats commissioned and in service.
Block II- USS New Hampshire (SSN-778), New Mexico (SSN-779)- both commissioned and in service, Missouri (SSN-780) expected to be delivered in 2011, California (SSN-781) expected to be delivered in 2013, Mississippi (SSN-782) expected to be delivered in 2013, Minnesota (SSN-783) expected to be delivered in 2014
Block III- North Dakota (SSN-784), expected to be delivered in 2014, John Warner (SSN-785), expected to be delivered 2015, SSN-784 through approximately SSN-791 are planned to begin construction in 2009. Block III subs will feature a revised bow, including some technology from Ohio class.
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||USS Virginia (SSN-774), Ohio class, Typhoon class, Yuan class in margin of ss
||USS Virginia (SSN-774), nuclear attack submarine Virginia class
||USS Hawaii (SSN- 776), Virginia class, SSN