The US Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract valued at US$14 billion for the construction of eight Virginia-class submarines.
‘ The multi-year contract allows Electric Boat and its teammate, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, to proceed with the construction of one ship per year in 2009 and 2010, and two ships per year from 2011 through 2013. The eighth ship to be procured under this contract is scheduled for delivery in 2019. The Virginia-class submarine is the first US Navy warship designed from the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War era, including anti-submarine and surface ship warfare; delivering special operation forces; strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare. The contract immediately provides US$2.4 billion to fund construction of SSN-784, which has been named the ‘North Dakota’; advanced procurement for SSN-785; funding to purchase materials, parts and components for multiple ships at one time (SSN-785 through SSN-791, as yet unnamed), achieving significant economies of scale; and funding for additional cost-reduction design changes (known as Design For Affordability).