Stealth, Endurance, and Agility Under the Sea
Designed by Electric Boat, the Virginia-class is being built jointly under a teaming arrangement between Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Newport News in Virginia.
In 1998, the U.S. Navy awarded a $4.2 billion contract for the construction of the first four ships of the class. Virginia is the first of these. Weighing in at approximately 7,800 tons with a length of 370 feet, Virginia is longer but lighter than the previous Seawolf-class of submarines.
The 132-member crew can launch Tomahawk land-attack missiles from 12 vertical launch system tubes and Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes from four 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Virginia will be able to attack targets ashore with highly accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and conduct covert long-term surveillance of land areas, littoral waters or other sea forces. Other missions Virginia will conduct include anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare, special forces delivery and support, and mine delivery and minefield mapping. With enhanced communications connectivity, Virginia also will provide important battle group and joint task force support, with full integration into carrier battle group operations.
The Virginia-class of attack submarines surpasses the performance of any current projected threat submarine, ensuring U.S. undersea dominance well into the next century.