Our Bureau
11:12 AM, March 20, 2019
Virginia-class submarine (image: US Naval Institute)

The United States (US) is likely to sign a deal for 10 Virginia-class submarines next month with General Dynamics Electric Boat and subcontractor Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The 10-ship contract will include nine 84-foot Block V Virginia Payload Module (VPM) subs, according to budget documents submitted to Congress this week.

The VPM is designed to triple the Tomahawk cruise missile capacity of the Virginia-class subs, a move designed to offset the pending retirement of the Ohio-class guided-missile subs, which have a 154-Tomahawk capacity. Each VPM sub will have a 40-Tomahawk loadout.

SSN-803 (the first VPM sub) will be delivered in 2025 as a part of the block buy, Defense News reported Wednesday.

The US Navy has also added a third SSN to this year's budget to start the construction of LPD Flight II, expecting a dip in the number of attack boats from 52 to 42.

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