Virginia Class Submarine

attack submarine, most advanced submarine, Virginia Class Submarine
GROTON, Conn. (July 30, 2004) ñ PCU Virginia (SSN-774), the nationís newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine and the lead ship of its class, returns to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn., July 30, following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas ñ called "alpha" sea trials. Virginia is the Navyís only major combatant ready to join the fleet that was designed with the post-Cold War security environment in mind and embodies the warfighting and operational capabilities required to dominate the littorals while maintaining undersea dominance in the open ocean. ìNuclear submarines provide a unique contribution to our nationís security and will be increasingly important in the decades ahead,î said Electric Boat President John Casey. ìThe Virginia and the rest of the ships of its class are designed specifically to incorporate emergent technologies that will provide new capabilities to meet new threats.î Virginia will be delivered to the U.S. Navy this fall. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. ..(Photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat Public Affairs)

Virginia class, also known as the SSN-774 class, is a class of nuclear-powered cruise missile fast-attack submarines, currently in service in the United States Navy. Designed by General Dynamics’s Electric Boat (EB) and Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Virginia-class submarines are the United States Navy’s latest undersea warfare platform which incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology.

Virginia-class submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions, including anti-submarine warfare and intelligence gathering operations. They are scheduled to replace older Los Angeles-class submarines, many of which have already been decommissioned. Virginia-class submarines will be acquired through 2043, and are expected to remain in service until at least 2060, with later submarines expected to remain into the 2070s.

 The Virginia-class submarine was the first US Navy warship with its development coordinated using such 3D visualization technology as CATÍA, which comprises computer-aided engineering (CAE), design (CAD), manufacturing (CAM), and product lifecycle management (PLM). Design problems for Electric Boat – and maintenance problems for the Navy – ensued nonetheless.

The Virginia class incorporates several innovations not found in previous US submarine classes.

The Virginia class is the first to utilize photonic sensors instead of a traditional periscope. The class is equipped with high-resolution cameras, along with light-intensification and infrared sensors, an infrared laser rangefinder, and an integrated Electronic Support Measures (ESM) array. Two redundant sets of these sensors are mounted on two AN/BVS-1 photonics masts located outside the pressure hull. Signals from the masts’ sensors are transmitted through optical fiber data lines through signal processors to the control center. Visual feeds from the masts are displayed on liquid-crystal display interfaces in the command center.

In the future, a non-rotational Affordable Modular Panoramic Photonics Mast may be fitted, enabling the submarine to obtain a simultaneous 360° view of the sea surface.

According to open-source budget documents, Virginia-class submarines are planned to be equipped with a high-energy laser weapon likely to be incorporated into the photonics mast and have a power output of 300–500 kilowatts, based on the submarine’s 30 megawatts reactor capacity.

Navy submarine, USS North Dakota , bravo sea trials
The U.S. Navy submarine USS North Dakota (SSN-784) underway during bravo sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S. Navy combatants designed for the post-Cold War era., 18 August 2014, U.S. Navy Photo/Released
Virginia class attack submarine, conceptual drawing, submarine construction
This conceptual drawing shows the new Virginia-class attack submarine now under construction at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. The first ship of this class, USS Virginia (SSN 774) is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2004. U.S. D.O.D. graphic by Ron Stern. (RELEASED)
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SSN774 Virginia Class Profile , 17 December 2008, Mike1979 Russia.