Submarine Industrial  Base Council

Virginia Class

General Characteristics: Virginia-class
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding.
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor, one shaft
Length: 377 feet
Beam: 33 feet
Displacement: Approximately 7,800 tons submerged
Speed: 25+ knots (28+ miles per hour)
Crew: 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted.
Armament: Tomahawk missiles, twelve VLS tubes, MK48 ADCAP torpedoes, four torpedo tubes.

The Virginia-class is the latest class of advanced capability nuclear powered fast attack submarines. It helps ensure our future national security by providing theater commanders with an affordable and flexible multi-mission stealth platform that replaces the aging fleet of Los Angeles-class attack submarines. Specifically designed for the post-Cold War threat environment, the Virginia-class is tailored to excel in a wide range of warfighting missions.

The Virginia-class has several innovations that significantly enhance its warfighting capabilities with an emphasis on littoral operations. Virginia-class SSNs have a fly-by-wire ship control system that provides improved shallow-water ship handling. The class has special features to support special operation forces. The torpedo room can be reconfigured to house a large number of special operation forces and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. The class also has large lock-in / lock-out chamber for divers. In Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been supplanted by two Photonics Masts that house color, high-resolution black and white, and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms. With the removal of the barrel periscopes, the ship’s control room has been moved down one deck and away from the hull’s curvature, affording it more room and an improved layout that provides the commanding officer with enhanced situational awareness. Additionally, through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia-class is designed to remain state of the practice for its entire operational life through the rapid introduction of new systems and payloads.

Together, the shipbuilders, industry suppliers and the Navy consistently deliver Virginia-class submarines under budget and ahead of schedule.