Premier propulsor and payload tube provider for the U.S. Navy
BAE Systems provides critical submarine products and technology to the U.S. Navy for its undersea fleet. We are the premier provider of propulsors and Virginia Payload Module payload tubes, produced at our Naval Center of Excellence in Louisville, KY.
Since 1989, BAE Systems has manufactured propulsors that significantly contribute to the overall stealth and effectiveness of a submarine. Initially delivering this key technology for the Seawolf class, we continue to successfully manufacture propulsors for Virginia class subs as well. The propulsor is used to improve the propeller’s efficiency and help lower its sonar signature.
As of 2020, BAE Systems has provided propulsors for more than 20 U.S. Navy submarines.
VPM Payload Tubes
BAE Systems is currently producing a total of 37 payload tubes for the latest Virginia-class submarines. The Navy is adding significant capability to Block V boats by increasing the firepower and payload capacity with the Virginia Payload Module (VPM). The VPM extends the length of Block V subs over previous versions of the Virginia class by adding a mid-body section to create more payload space.
Each large-diameter VPM payload tube can store and launch up to seven Tomahawk and future guided cruise missiles. The VPM is critical to the Virginia class because it offers not only additional strike capacity, but the flexibility to integrate future payload types, as threats evolve. The company has invested heavily in the people, processes, and tools required to successfully deliver these payload tubes to help ensure the Navy’s undersea fleet remains a dominant global force in the years to come.