The US Navy commissions the last Block III Virginia submarine
WASHINGTON – The last of Navy’s eight Block III Virginia-class submarines has joined the fleet, according to a Navy press release.
The attack submarine Delaware didn’t have its formal commissioning ceremony because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, but it will nonetheless start getting ready to enter the deploy rotation.
The Block III replaced 12 vertical launch tubes for Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles with two larger 87-inch diameter tubes able to fire larger payloads, each housing six TLAMs.
The first Block IV, the attack submarine Vermont, is slated to be commissioned later this month. The Block IVs primarily add reliability features to the boat that remove a major yards availability over the life of the hull and give it an extra deployment.
The Block V, which was awarded last year, adds acoustics upgrades and eight of the boats will have the Virginia Payload Module. The VPM is designed to triple the Tomahawk cruise missile capacity of the Virginia-class subs, a move designed to offset the pending retirement of the Ohio-class guided-missile subs, which have a 154-Tomahawk capacity. Each Virginia Payload Module sub will have a 40-Tomahawk loadout.
Source : David Larter Link