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HII delivers Virginia class submarine USS New Jersey to Navy.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a PR published by HII on April 25, 2024, the company confirmed that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has officially handed over the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine, named New Jersey (SSN 796), to the U.S. Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Virginia class submarine USS New Jersey. (Picture source: HII)

This latest delivery marks the 11th Virginia-class vessel that Newport News has provided to the Navy, and it is the 23rd submarine constructed under a collaborative agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat.

Virginia class submarines

Strategically, the Virginia-class submarines are designed for precision and versatility in combat. They can operate in both deep ocean and shallow littoral waters, crucial for today’s naval missions that require flexibility across a wide spectrum of environments.

They are equipped to handle anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and deliver Special Operations forces, as well as carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

The addition of the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) in later blocks significantly enhances their strike capabilities, allowing them to carry more Tomahawk cruise missiles and future payloads like unmanned vehicles.

Economically, the Virginia-class was initially conceived as a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive Seawolf-class submarines. To manage costs while maintaining capabilities, the design incorporates commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, particularly in the submarine's computing and data networks. This approach not only helps in keeping the production costs lower but also ensures easier upgrades in technology over time.

The strategic placement of Virginia-class submarines in the Indo-Pacific region, where more than half of the U.S. submarine force is based, underscores their importance in maintaining regional stability and deterring potential threats from near-peer competitors like China and Russia.

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