The Virginia-class submarine program is finalizing the Virginia Payload Module design and will start prototyping soon to reduce risk and cost as much as possible ahead of the 2019 construction start, according to a Navy report to Congress.
According to the “Virginia Class Submarine Cost Containment Strategy for Block V Virginia Payload Module Design” report, dated Aug. 31 but not received by the Senate until mid-October, the Navy says late Fiscal Year 2015 and early FY 2016 is a “critical” time period for the program.
“Since the previous report (in early 2015), the Design Agent (General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB)) finalized the concept design, reviewed and started updating the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), issued a prototype plan, commenced arrangement activities, and submitted all ship specification requirements and Key Decisions for approval,” the report states.
“In the remainder of FY15 and into FY16 GDEB will recommend a final module length, issue IMS Revision B, update cost estimates, complete payload tube arrangements, and begin prototyping efforts. The Navy will approve all Key Decisions and ship specification changes, commence module and host ship arrangement approvals, start approving design disclosures, and establish the module length.”