Although the Seawolf submarine was developed to provide an eventual replacement for the US Navy Los Angeles Class submarines in combating the Soviet forces, only three were built. The prohibitive unit cost and changing strategic requirements led to the US Navy defining a smaller new-generation attack submarine.
The Electric Boat division of General Dynamics, Connecticut, is the lead design authority for the Virginia Class. General Dynamics Electric Boat has built the first of class, the Virginia (SSN 774), and Northrop Grumman Newport News, the second, the Texas (SSN 775).
The subsequent vessels will be: Hawaii (SSN 776), New Hampshire (SSN 778), Missouri (SSN 780) and Mississippi (SSN 782) being built by Electric Boat, and North Carolina (SSN 777), New Mexico (779) and California (SSN 781) being built by Newport News.
The US Navy’s total requirement is for 30 of the class. It placed a bulk-buy contract for the first five ships and, in January 2004, placed a multi-year contract for another five.
Virginia was laid down in September 1999, launched in August 2003 and commissioned in October 2004. It underwent a three-year operational evaluation before deployment. Texas was launched in April 2005, delivered in June 2006 and commissioned in September 2006. The keel for Hawaii was laid in August 2004, launched in June 2006 and commissioned in May 2007.
North Carolina was launched in May 2007, delivered in December 2007, and commissioned in May 2008. New Hampshire will be delivered in 2010 and New Mexico in 2011. Missouri (SSN 780) began construction in December 2004.
Although the Seawolf submarine was developed to provide an eventual replacement for the US Navy…
by Chris Edwards / Oct 1, 2009