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NSSN Virginia-class - current status and future

bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navy-we-can-build-more-nuclear-attack-submarines-faster-17501
 

bobbymike

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http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2016/08/28/navy_gets_27b_attack_submarine_sponsored_by_michelle_obama_109762.html
 

bring_it_on

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US Navy Industry Day - Vertically Launched Payloads
https://www.scribd.com/document/322476423/Vertical-Launched-Payloads
 

bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-simple-reason-why-americas-virginia-class-submarines-are-17835
 

bobbymike

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http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1676543-navy-new-missions-for-undersea-attack-drones
 

bobbymike

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http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-the-us-navys-nuclear-powered-submarines-will-stay-ahead-18044
 

bring_it_on

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Navy adds 18 attack subs, $68 billion in future spending to Virginia-class program of record


With the stroke of a pen, the Navy's acquisition executive has increased the size of the Virginia-class submarine program, expanding the official acquisition target from 30 to 48 boats, adding a $68 billion obligation to future Pentagon budgets and making the total cost of the nuclear-powered attack submarine project second only to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

On Feb. 13, acting Navy acquisition executive Allison Stiller approved an update to the Virginia-class submarine acquisition baseline program, "extending the program of record from 30 to 48," according to the Navy's fiscal year 2018 budget request. The change, which hasn't been previously reported, marks a 60 percent increase in the program's formal acquisition objective.

That change lifts the total cost of the SSN-774 program to about $162 billion, up from $104 billion last year, according to Navy documents. Last year, the Navy was planning to buy 33 boats, operating under a provisional extension of the 30-boat program that tacked $11 billion on to the total program cost. The Navy's March 2016 estimate before that change was $93.2 billion.

The service's FY-18 budget request indicates a revised total procurement cost of $155.3 billion; the service has previously reported $6.6 billion in sunk research and development costs.

This addition of 18 Virginia-class submarines would fulfill a target the Navy set in 2012, but would only get the service halfway to a more ambitious goal recently advanced by the chief of naval operations.

The Navy's 2012 force structure assessment called for the service to procure 48 attack submarines as part of a 308-ship fleet; by contrast, the service's 30-year shipbuilding plan sent to Congress in 2016 envisioned procuring a total of 44 attack boats.

Meanwhile, in December, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson advanced findings of a 2016 fleet structure assessment that called for 66 attack submarines, another 18 boats.

In June, the industry team building the Virginia-class boats -- Electric Boat of Groton, CT, and Newport News Shipbuilding of Virginia -- launched the Indiana (SSN 789), the 16th boat in the class, into the James River in Virginia to begin final outfitting, testing and crew certification.

The first 28 Virginia-class boats are currently either purchased or under contract, including 10 boats being procured as part of a five-year acquisition deal that began in FY-14 and concludes in FY-18. The Navy has been buying Virginia-class boats since 1998.

By expanding the program of record well beyond 30 boats, the Navy paved the way for what it hopes will be a fourth multiyear procurement of the Virginia-class submarine beginning in FY-19. The service last month submitted an FY-18 legislative proposal to Congress seeking permission to begin negotiating another multiyear deal beginning in FY-19 for 10 boats worth a potential $32.6 billion.

Lawmakers have drafted legislation approving such negotiations, and authorized the Navy to enter into multiyear contracts for even more boats -- as many as 13.

The Navy's FY-18 budget request seeks $5.2 billion for the last two submarines of the current multiyear contract. The request forecasts buying two Virginia-class submarines annually through FY-22, allocating $5.3 billion for the program in FY-18, $7.3 billion in FY-19, $7.3 billion in FY-20, $6.7 billion in FY-21 and $5.4 billion in FY-22.
https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/navy-adds-18-attack-subs-68-billion-future-spending-virginia-class-program-record
 

Moose

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The expansion of the class has been an open secret for some time, even before the target was set in 2012. Nonetheless, encouraging to see it make another step to reality.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/07/18/Navy-test-fires-Tomahawk-from-new-Virginia-class-launch-system/3011500389763/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=4
 

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https://news.usni.org/2017/07/18/navy-report-submarine-industrial-base-can-maintain-2-ssn-construction-rate-bolstering-lawmakers-plans
 

bobbymike

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http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2017/8/1/navy-report-shipyards-could-boost-submarine-production

https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/RTC%20VIRGINIA-Class%20Industrial%20Base%20Capacity.pdf
 

bobbymike

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https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2017/09/22/Navy-takes-delivery-of-new-attack-submarine/4371506091468/
 

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HASC and SASC have inserted language in 2018 budget that would allow for 13 VCS in next 5 year MYP. Question seems to be whether industry can adjust to 3rd VCS in 2020. Also seems to be questions about delaying VPM integration in to '19 boat #2 to reduce complexity in schedule for 3rd boat in '20. Any info available concerning these possibilities?

It's been reported that labor requirements for CCS build is 2x VCS. But with CCS not scheduled for its first patrol until 2030 the issue sounds more about room to keep all these sections of boats in various stages of construction.
 

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NeilChapman said:
HASC and SASC have inserted language in 2018 budget that would allow for 13 VCS in next 5 year MYP. Question seems to be whether industry can adjust to 3rd VCS in 2020. Also seems to be questions about delaying VPM integration in to '19 boat #2 to reduce complexity in schedule for 3rd boat in '20. Any info available concerning these possibilities?

It's been reported that labor requirements for CCS build is 2x VCS. But with CCS not scheduled for its first patrol until 2030 the issue sounds more about room to keep all these sections of boats in various stages of construction.
One of the keys to keeping costs and quality under control is to plan the build schedule in such a way that the sub workforce fluctuates as little as practical.
 

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Has there been any published information on the weight rating of the Virginia Payload Tubes? VPM vpt's are capable of carrying 7 Tomohawk's so that's ~24-25k lbs. I'm wondering how heavy a device could be launched from them.
 

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I may be mistaken but I think the payload tubes only carry 6 Tomahawks per tube.
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
I may be mistaken but I think the payload tubes only carry 6 Tomahawks per tube.
I'm not sure of why it is this way but my understanding is the VPT's up front carry six whereas the VPT's designed for the VPM will carry 7. Go figure.

If anyone knows why I'd be interested in the poop.
 

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The VPTs are in the forward ballast tank and cannot be accessed from within the pressure hull, which is a problem due to the way the MACs "plug in" to the tubes, and thus the sub's combat system. So the VPT MAC has an access shaft down the center which allows access while in port. The VPM tubes will be accessible from within the pressure hull vua hatches like on a Boomer. So that space reserved for an access shaft is filled by another missile instead.
 

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Moose said:
The VPTs are in the forward ballast tank and cannot be accessed from within the pressure hull, which is a problem due to the way the MACs "plug in" to the tubes, and thus the sub's combat system. So the VPT MAC has an access shaft down the center which allows access while in port. The VPM tubes will be accessible from within the pressure hull vua hatches like on a Boomer. So that space reserved for an access shaft is filled by another missile instead.
Ask an ye shall receive. Thanks M.

Have you seen any public information on the weight rating of the tubes?
 

Moose

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NeilChapman said:
Moose said:
The VPTs are in the forward ballast tank and cannot be accessed from within the pressure hull, which is a problem due to the way the MACs "plug in" to the tubes, and thus the sub's combat system. So the VPT MAC has an access shaft down the center which allows access while in port. The VPM tubes will be accessible from within the pressure hull vua hatches like on a Boomer. So that space reserved for an access shaft is filled by another missile instead.
Ask an ye shall receive. Thanks M.

Have you seen any public information on the weight rating of the tubes?
Nope, sorry. However, the VPT constraints have more to do with the trim of the boat than the limits of the tubes themselves.
 

NeilChapman

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Moose said:
NeilChapman said:
Moose said:
The VPTs are in the forward ballast tank and cannot be accessed from within the pressure hull, which is a problem due to the way the MACs "plug in" to the tubes, and thus the sub's combat system. So the VPT MAC has an access shaft down the center which allows access while in port. The VPM tubes will be accessible from within the pressure hull vua hatches like on a Boomer. So that space reserved for an access shaft is filled by another missile instead.
Ask an ye shall receive. Thanks M.

Have you seen any public information on the weight rating of the tubes?
Nope, sorry. However, the VPT constraints have more to do with the trim of the boat than the limits of the tubes themselves.
I was thinking about that - hence having the VPM basically in the middle. So adding 4-70k lb missiles, in the VPM, instead of 28 missiles weighing 100k lbs might be feasible?
 

Moose

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NeilChapman said:
I was thinking about that - hence having the VPM basically in the middle. So adding 4-70k lb missiles, in the VPM, instead of 28 missiles weighing 100k lbs might be feasible?
Really don't want to get ahead of the Navy when talking numbers, but the VPM is being built with "future payloads" in mind.
 

NeilChapman

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Moose said:
NeilChapman said:
I was thinking about that - hence having the VPM basically in the middle. So adding 4-70k lb missiles, in the VPM, instead of 28 missiles weighing 100k lbs might be feasible?
Really don't want to get ahead of the Navy when talking numbers, but the VPM is being built with "future payloads" in mind.

I was reading about the "future payloads" and it seemed like those listed were, relatively, lightweight items. Guess we'll have to just wait and see how it progresses.

Thanks!
 

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https://scout.com/military/warrior/Article/Navy-Launches-Most-High-Tech-Stealthy-Attack-Sub-Ever-109006807
 

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https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/10/us-virginia-and-columbia-submarines-from-now-to-2030.html
 

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https://news.usni.org/2017/11/02/navy-considering-mid-block-virginia-class-upgrades-ssgn-construction-late-2030s

To address that firepower gap, the TSEP looks at the possibility of using the Columbia-class SSBN design and production line to flow into an SSGN production line in the mid-2030s.
With a sub-launched LRSO or better yet an hypersonic BGV on a IRBM.
 

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marauder2048 said:
Navy reveals plans to put hypersonic strike weapon on subs if DOD elects to acquire capability

November 03, 2017 | Jason Sherman Bookmark and Share

A senior Navy official said this week the service plans to arm its Ohio-class submarines and Virginia-class attack subs with a hypersonic boost-glide weapon, in the event Defense Department leaders elect to acquire such a capability, a significant revelation about U.S. military planning for a Conventional Prompt Strike capability. Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, director of the Navy Strategic Systems Program (SSP) office, made explicit for the first time what many analysts have presumed, that the U.S. military is eyeing a..

my emphasis

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/navy-reveals-plans-put-hypersonic-strike-weapon-subs-if-dod-elects-acquire-capability

Image is from Nelson's SMDC presentation from April 2017
marauder2048 said:
 

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"in the event Defense Department leaders elect to acquire such a capability"

if
 

bobbymike

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https://news.usni.org/2017/11/07/vadm-johnson-navy-must-reliably-execute-60-month-attack-sub-construction-upping-build-rates
 

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https://news.usni.org/2017/11/16/hasc-rep-courtney-pushing-mores-aggressive-attack-submarine-procurement-schedule
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/01/26/general-dynamics-to-pump-nearly-2-billion-into-their-shipyards/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow
 

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https://news.usni.org/2018/03/13/general-dynamics-awarded-long-lead-contract-for-virginia-class-block-v-submarines

Sub builder General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $696.2 million contract modification for long-lead materials for the next for Virginia-class submarines – the first of the Block V attack boats.

The Virginia-class Block V submarines will be longer than previously built Virginia-class subs, to accommodate four Virginia Payload Module tubes, which will each contain seven Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs).
 

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Submarine Industrial Base: Options for Construction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLsaNLFpEc&feature=youtu.be&t=3319
 

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I know it could be 20 years from now but looking beyond the Virginia class I wonder if we will return to a larger SSN along the lines of the Seawolf class in response to Chinese SSN developments?
 

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Colonial-Marine said:
I know it could be 20 years from now but looking beyond the Virginia class I wonder if we will return to a larger SSN along the lines of the Seawolf class in response to Chinese SSN developments?
A larger diameter is very possible. Not so much in response to PLAN, but because SSNs are going to be asked to carry a lot more. We're already seeing this with Bock V, which has been stretched (a lot by SSN standards) to fit more payload tubes.
 

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Moose said:
Colonial-Marine said:
I know it could be 20 years from now but looking beyond the Virginia class I wonder if we will return to a larger SSN along the lines of the Seawolf class in response to Chinese SSN developments?
A larger diameter is very possible. Not so much in response to PLAN, but because SSNs are going to be asked to carry a lot more. We're already seeing this with Bock V, which has been stretched (a lot by SSN standards) to fit more payload tubes.
It's been reported that Virginia-class, even with the VPM, is already running out of room for Block VI and VII improvements. In addition, there's talk about about extending the Columbia production for SSGN's.

It's not much of a stretch to start wondering if we can we leverage this hot Columbia boat production line for SSN(X).

https://news.usni.org/2017/11/02/navy-considering-mid-block-virginia-class-upgrades-ssgn-construction-late-2030s#more-29201
 

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https://news.usni.org/2018/05/07/33420

General Dynamics Electric Boat is spending about half of its previously announced $1.7 billion multi-year capital expenditure plan on upgrading its Groton, Conn. manufacturing facility to accommodate building the new Columbia-class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine.

Last week, Electric Boat officials and Connecticut’s governor announced an economic development plan including $852 million on upgrades to the Groton facility, and corporate spending in-state potentially worth billions more during the life of the program.

New machinery is being purchased and the company plans to build a third dry dock and manufacturing superstructure to house construction of the new Columbia-class. Electric Boat is also pledging to increase annual spending to more than $500 million on parts and material from some 700 Connecticut-based suppliers, said Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, in a statement released last week.
 

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https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/05/12/future-attack-sub-rickover-hits-milestone-as-us-navy-churns-through-virginia-block-iv/

WASHINGTON — The Navy marked a milestone Friday for the ship named after the famously ornery and uncompromising father of the nuclear-powered Navy, Hyman G. Rickover, as the Navy burns its way through the latest iteration of the Virginia-class attack submarine.

At a ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Connecticut, the Navy celebrated the laying down of Rickover's keel.

"Adm. Rickover’s gift to our Nation’s defense — safe, reliable, and militarily superior naval nuclear propulsion — is as vital to our warfighting edge today as it was at the beginning of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program 70 years ago," said Naval Reactors head Adm. Frank Caldwell, who now holds Rickover's old job. "The U.S. Navy and our nation are proud to honor his achievements and legacy with this submarine."

Rickover is the fourth boat in the 10-ship Virginia-class Block IV, which is primarily designed to reduce by one the number of major overhauls the ship needs in it's lifetime, adding a deployment in the process. The first boat of Block IV, the Vermont, is headed towards it's christening later this fall, according to a release from Naval Sea Systems Command.
 
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