- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The U.S. Navy plans to build 10 new SSN 774 Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines over the next five years. Price tag: $17.6 billion.

A contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat and chief subcontractor Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding was announced Monday, the Navy Times reported.

“The Block IV award is the largest shipbuilding contract in U.S. Navy history in terms of total dollar value,” said Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, program executive officer for submarines at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the Navy Times reported. It “builds upon the Virginia-class program’s successful Navy and industry relationship,” he added.

The Navy contract calls for two new ships per year over the next five years.

General Dynamics bills the Virginia-class submarine as “the first U.S. Navy warship designed from the keel up for the full range of mission requirements in the post-Cold War era.” Its website says the ships are “optimized for maximum technological and operational flexibility,” to play “a key role in the nation’s defense with their stealth, firepower and unlimited endurance.”

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