Groton — John Pavlos, the program manager at Electric Boat for the Block V Virginia Payload Module concept study, gave a presentation to members of the Naval Submarine League Nautilus Chapter Friday, Feb. 22, about where the Virginia-class program is headed.
Even in this fiscal climate, Pavlos said "it's a great time to be in the submarine business" because EB has a lot of new design work ahead, probably more than it has ever had.
EB has been working on a concept for module with missile tubes that could be added to Virginia-class submarines to boost firepower because four guided-missile submarines will retire between 2025 and 2027, Pavlos said. The plan is to lengthen the subs by about 90 feet to accommodate triple the number of Tomahawk missiles they now carry, and to launch the weapons of the future, including unmanned undersea vehicles, he added.
Pavlos stressed that the module is still a concept and not the program of record. Funding for it was included in the president's budget, but Congress has not yet approved a new budget.