The Navy received its first Block V configured Tomahawk missile from Raytheon March 25, paving the way to provide the fleet with an upgraded warfighting capability.
These first Block V missiles are from the existing Tomahawk Block IV inventory, and have been recertified and modernized for fleet use.
«This is the next big advancement in Tomahawk capability, and a major achievement for the program», said Captain Red, program manager for the Tomahawk Weapons System program (PMA-280). «We’re focused now on delivering advanced capability to the fleet by recertifying and modernizing our Block IV inventory, and by contracting production Block V missiles».
Red spoke at a virtual ceremony March 25 to commemorate the event along with industry leaders. He noted over the last four decades the program has continued to upgrade Tomahawk’s capability and this marked the collaboration between Raytheon, supply chains, field activities and the program office.
Raytheon is conducting the mid-life recertification process at its Camden, Arkansas facility. The process replaces life-limited components in Block IV missiles to enable their remaining 15 years of service life, and provides the opportunity for the missiles to receive Block V modernizations. All Block IV missiles will undergo recertification and modernization.
Block V Tomahawk missiles feature a NAV/COMMs upgrade that maintains the capability for In-Flight Target Updates and Improved Navigation. Future Block V capabilities will add to the NAV/COMMs upgrade and include the Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) variant, designated as Block Va; and the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System (JMEWS), designated as Block Vb.
General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $2,417,500,565 fixed-price incentive modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2100 to exercise an option for the construction of a 10th Block V Virginia-class submarine with Virginia Payload Module.
On 2 December 2019, the Navy announced an order for nine new Virginia-class submarines – nine Block Vs – for a total contract price of $22 billion with an option for a tenth boat.
Electric Boat Corp. will continue to subcontract with Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding. Work will be performed in:
Newport News, Virginia (34%);
Quonset Point, Rhode Island (14%);
Sunnyvale, California (7%);
Groton, Connecticut (7%);
Annapolis, Maryland (1%);
Norfolk, Virginia (1%);
Tucson, Arizona (1%);
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (1%), with other efforts performed at various sites (each less than 1%) throughout the U.S. (33%) and other areas outside of the U.S. (1%).
Work is expected to be complete by February 2030:
fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,139,601,847 (79%);
fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $388,281,954 (14%);
fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $174,049,792 (6%);
fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $18,844,873 (1%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
These include funding for previously announced long lead time material and economic ordering quantity material. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
BAE Systems has received a contract to produce payload tubes for two of the U.S. Navy’s new Virginia-class (SSN-774) submarines to support increased firepower on the Block V version of the attack subs.
Under the contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat, a builder of the Virginia class, BAE Systems will deliver two sets, each consisting of four tubes, for the Virginia Payload Modules on the SSN-804 and SSN-805.
The Virginia Payload Module (VPM) extends the length of the Block V submarines over previous versions of the Virginia-class by adding an additional mid-body section to create more payload space for greater firepower. Each large-diameter payload tube can store and launch up to seven Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPM offers exceptional flexibility as well for the integration of future payload types, such as unmanned systems or next-generation weapons.
«The Virginia Payload Module is critical to the Navy’s undersea presence», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «With the VPM, the Navy is adding significant capability to the Virginia-class by increasing the firepower of these subs and tripling their payload capacity».
BAE Systems, which is also providing payload tubes for the SSN-803 under a previously awarded VPM contract, has a long history of supporting the Navy’s submarine fleet as the leading provider of propulsors and other submarine systems. The company was selected to provide propulsors, spare hardware, and tailcones for Block IV Virginia-class vessels and stands ready to provide the same support for the Block V subs.
Under this most recent contract, BAE Systems will also develop the processes and tooling necessary for the Block V payload tube production. Work will be performed at the company’s facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2020.