The Virginia Payload Module will add a mid-body section to a Virginia-class submarine to extend payload space and augment firepower capabilities, BAE said Thursday.
Contract work will take place in Louisville, Ky. and delivery of payload tubes is scheduled for 2021.
BAE is slated to manufacture nine additional VPM tubes under separate contracts. The company will also deliver spare parts, propulsors and tailcones for Block IV of Virginia-class ships.
“The VPM is critical to the Virginia class because it offers not only additional strike capacity, but the flexibility to integrate future payload types, such as unmanned systems and next-generation weapons, as threats evolve,” said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of weapon systems at BAE.