US Navy contracts BAE Systems for submarine propulsor delivery

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $72 million contract to produce and deliver propulsor systems for Block IV Virginia-class (SSN 774) submarines.

The contract’s value could eventually amount to $162.9 million if all options are exercised.

“The propulsor contributes significantly to the overall stealth and effectiveness of a submarine,” said Joe Sentfle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “This award demonstrates the Navy’s confidence in our high standards and ability to deliver this vital technology to the Virginia class, a national security asset.”

In addition to the propulsors, the contract includes funding for the manufacture of associated spare hardware and tailcones. Production of these units will begin in 2016, with deliveries scheduled through 2022. The work will be performed at BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

The company has delivered more than 20 propulsors to the Navy for both Seawolf-class (SSN 21) and Virginia-class submarines. The Virginia-class attack submarines represent a shift in undersea warfare. They are designed to maintain their effectiveness in the deep ocean while incorporating new technology and features specifically for use in shallower coastal regions.