The Program Executive Office for Submarines would like to see the Virginia Payload Module built into all its Block V subs from a warfighting perspective but will have to verify that doing so will not hurt ongoing Virginia sub construction or upcoming Ohio Replacement Program construction..
PEO Subs executive director George Drakeley said last week at the annual Naval Submarine League symposium that the Virginia Payload Module would help the Virginia-class attack subs (SSN-774) replace the SSGN guided missile subs.
“The warfighters have come to love that platform,” Drakeley said of the SSGNs.
“Those ships are getting used and used hard,” with parts wearing out earlier than expected due to heavy use in the fleet.
“The VPM is the follow-on basically for SSGNs, and with the kind of support it has, the program is actually probably in pretty good shape,” he said.
“Right now the plan of record is to build one VPM a year starting in [Fiscal Year 2019] through the shipbuilding plan. There is now kind of support for the possibility of, after we start building Virginia VPM … to make all of the Virginias VPM-Virginias. I think that makes sense from a shipbuilding point of view, and from a capability for the Navy” point of view, he said.