NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Newport News Shipbuilding has opened a new facility for use in building large modules for U.S. Navy Virginia class submarines.
The Supplemental Module Outfitting Facility is 65,000-square-feet and includes four main bays for construction, 17 specialized work spaces and offices.
"In 2011, congressional approval to move forward with the two-submarines-per-year build plan was achieved," said Chris Miner, NNS VCS Program director. "This facility is a reflection that we've arrived and we look forward to working with our partner, General Dynamics Electric Boat, to improve upon and increase the pace by which we equip our Navy with Virginia lass submarines."
Huntington Ingalls Industries, parent company of Newport News Shipbuilding, said the new facility has two cranes that can move the entire length of the facility. One can lift as much as 22 tons; the other as much as 132 tons.
The SMOF is also equipped with fixed and re-configurable staging that can be easily positioned to the submarine modules.