Defense Maritime Solutions, Inc., based in Chesapeake, Virginia, has been awarded a significant contract to supply essential components for Virginia-class submarines, with production taking place in the United Kingdom.

The $14,699,232 firm-fixed-priced stand-alone contract is for the procurement of 12 main shaft seal assemblies, crucial for the submarines’ main propulsion systems, according to a notice from the U.S. Department of Defense.

“All work will be performed in Havant, Hampshire, United Kingdom, and is expected to be completed by March 2026,” the notice states.

This international collaboration underscores the interconnected nature of defence manufacturing and supply chains.

The contract specifies that “working capital funds (Navy) in the full amount of $14,699,232 will be obligated at time of award, and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.”

The contract was awarded as a sole-source requirement under the authority of 10 U.S. Code 3204(a)(1), with Defense Maritime Solutions being the only company solicited.

“One company was solicited for this sole-source requirement under the authority of 10 U.S. Code 3204(a)(1) with one offer received,” the notice elaborates.

The Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is overseeing the contracting activity, designated under contract number N00104-24-F-ZL02.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824115)
1 month ago

In plain English “interconnected nature of defence manufacturing and supply chains” means a US Subsidiary of Warsila (Defence Maritime Solutions Inc) has been awarded a contract. And it will be built by another subsidiary of Wartsila, Shaft Line Solutions Ltd at Havant.
Good business for Wartsila and good business for U.K. PLC, extra orders in our supply chain help to maintain and expand capability and secures jobs.
And let’s face it given the dire state the US Nuclear Submarine Industry and supply chain is in, it can lead to more orders.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_824128)
1 month ago

Excellent job, I know the USA are fiercely loyal to having most of its kit built in the states but hopefully they will allow us more work in the future to benefit both countries defence industries.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824146)
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

It probably isn’t out of choice but sheer necessity, if you think we took the foot of the gas post Cold War it’s nothing compared to US. In the 00’s they were only producing 1 SSN pa and their supply chain was decimated. Now to try and replace the old Cold War Los Angeles and Ohio boats they need to produce 2 SSN and 2 SSBN pa, and they aren’t managing to do it. At present they are decommissioning Subs faster than they can replace them so by 2029 they will be down to only 46 SSN and want a… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824305)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thought the USN baseline build schedule would be 2 SSNs and 1 SSBN per annum?🤔

Agree that the AUK components of AUKUS should/will have a golden opportunity to participate in USN supply chain for SSNs, principally because of their collective experience/expertise building SSN(A), which will serve the departure point for the design of SSN(X). 🤔

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_825265)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Hi M8 yes it is and that’s what congress is authorising so 2 SSN in each FY and has been since FY2011. Background issue is the massive building strength of US Nuclear Submarine industry in the Cold War, it literally broke the USSR. Between 1972 and 1996 they built 66 Los Angeles boats plus 18 Ohio SSBN between 1976 and 1997. So you built a fleet of 84 Boats built in just 25 years that’s 3.36 pa. And then 2 things happened which when combined pretty well hammered the US submarine building industry and its supply chain. Due to the… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_825595)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Agree w/ your historical analysis of post CW-1 period, and further ramifications for USN post 9/11. Also agree the ChiComs are the paramount future threat, though the Orcs bear some attention. Believe BAES should be encouraged to seek USN SSN maintenance and refit work at a US facility. Longer term, it may prove beneficial for BAES to become the third supplier of SSNs, but that may involve a larger capital investment than BAES would tolerate. In the interim, Australian investment in UK and US submarine infrastructure should prove beneficial, including enhancement of supply chain resiliency. 🤞 BTW, though no one… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_825784)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The issue with BAe doing Maintenance at a US facility is many have gone and what’s left is pretty run down. I have a very odd feeling that the opposite may happen and some come over here instead. Which would explain why we are buying 2 new floating Drydocks, to supplement the Faslane Ship Lift.
MOD are throwing money at the Nuclear industry at present. Faslane, Rosyth and Devonport are all getting serious investment in facilities and extra bodies being trained up.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_825787)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

🤔 Intriguing idea. RN may eventually have greater than sufficient infrastructure to maintain its own fleet? Wonder whether the Aussies are contemplating something similar for HMAS Sterling? Would facilitate forward basing of USN SSNs in Europe and increase collective AUKUS footprint w/in Indo-Pacific theater. Very interesting…🤔

DB
DB (@guest_824147)
1 month ago

In terms of costs and manufacturing capacity will we ever see a time when AUKUS produce one type of submarine for the SSN role and one type for the SSBN role therefore eliminating some of the bottlenecks, introducing competition into this fantastic market and allowing true economies of scale?

(Not in my lifetime, perhaps).

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_824166)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Then we loose tge ability to design our own. Bad enough as it is

DB
DB (@guest_824204)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Where did I write that?

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_824213)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

That’s what said. One design for an SSN and one for an SSBN. So the design would effectively be electric boats with minor changes in UK ones. I cant see how that would create competition. The opposite in fact

DB
DB (@guest_824263)
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

All I am going to add to this convo is that GE Electric Boat supplied the project team for the Astutes onwards; but, of course, your worries are such a concern.

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_824273)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

GDEB or general dynamics electric boat. GE don’t built subs

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_824270)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Well we sort of already do better than that as the U.K boats are developed in a generational arrangement. Each generation of SSBN brings in a new level of tech (not just a new Reactor) and the following SSN is very much a smaller but highly leveraged design, so you get a lot of commonality in the production and supply chain. The reason ours look very different to the USN ones is we have a different set of requirements and our operating ethos is different. For starters we aren’t operating in the Pacific nor trying to pack a load out… Read more »

DB
DB (@guest_824272)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Adding informed opinion to the debate.

Thank you Rodders!

Jon
Jon (@guest_824293)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Might it not be possible for the US to adopt some SSN-As, by including an extra cruise missile launch module or two (APM)? If it actually incorporates the best tech from all three countries, why wouldn’t they?

We might not be operating in the Pacific (much) but SSN-A will be.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824307)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Labour government may surprise observers and commit one Astute, and eventually, 1-2 SSN(A) to the Indo-Pacific theater. 🤔

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_825235)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

It may surprise you to know but SSN(A) will incorporate some iteration of the VPM, simple reason is the US isn’t developing TLAM for torpedo launch anymore. So we need VLS and so do the RAN !
If I were to bet it will be 2 or 4 VP so 14 or 28 TLAM or other options, as we don’t tend to like as Big a Stick as the USN I’d guess 2 VPM but it has to be a flexible design.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_825788)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Potentially, a load out of SLCM-N onboard SSN-A from the early 2040s? RN SSNs would then wield a HUGE stick. 🤔😉

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824306)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

SSN(A) is the first iteration of a common design, all three nations are contributing to the design and the associated trades studies. SSN(X) will probably be a design evolution of SSN(A). Some SSN(X) features will then back feed into SSN(A). Rinse, repeat. And thus there will be a continuous design process, ad infinitum. 🤔

Grant
Grant (@guest_824318)
1 month ago

We have a trade surplus with the US, and they are our largest export market, despite the fact they hate buying from abroad and we have no trade deals. Shows what those trade deals are worth (not much)

Contrast with the EU where before Brexit we had a large and growing trade defecit (which somehow has been allowed to grow further post Brexit)