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US Navy places order for 9 nuclear subs worth $22bn

The US Navy has signed a $22 billion contract for the building and delivery of nine nuclear-powered attack submarines.

America’s largest military shipbuilding company, Huntington Ingalls Industries, announced on Monday that its Newport News Shipbuilding division and teaming partner General Dynamics Electric Boat had been awarded their biggest contract to date.

“Today’s contract maintains the Virginia-class build rate that provides continued stability to our workforce and to the 5,000 suppliers that will support submarines for the next decade,” said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction.

Bolcar claimed the new contract would ensure America’s “national security and the Navy’s continued undersea superiority.”

The contract time period lasted five years with construction starting in 2019 and deliveries scheduled from 2025 through 2029.

Under the contract, eight of the nine boats will be built with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), an 84-foot section that provides more than three times the missile strike capacity of the current Virginia-class submarines.The contract also includes an option for a 10th boat with VPM.

Newport News and its teaming partner Electric Boat have already built and delivered 18 Virginia-class submarines and have 10 boats under construction.

Virginia-class submarines, which are being built to replace the expired Los Angeles-class submarines are said to incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations to host a variety of payloads that increase firepower and maneuverability, as well as stealth.

The Virginia-class submarines are designed to support multiple mission packages.

The submerged speed of these vessels are more than 25 knots for months at a time.