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General Dynamics Friday announced it has begun construction on its second Virginia-class ballistic-missile attack submarine in 2011.For the first time in 22-years the Navy has started building two subs of the same class in the same year, naval officials say the dual construction process will save time and money.
When complete the SSN-788 and SSN-789, will bring the total number of Virginias in the American fleet to 13.
The nuclear subs carry 40 weapons, special operations forces, unmanned undersea vehicles, and contain an Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS).
Aviation Week pegs the new boats at $1.2 million, while previous vessels ran at $1.8 billion apiece.
The new procurement strategy is the Navy’s way of trying to lower costs of its next generation submarine commanders hope will replace its Virginia fleet.
Submarines ranked the third highest military expense between 1998 and 2008 with — $16.2 billion spent on contracts and modifications.
This amount does not include the amount spent on the nuclear reactors propelling the subs.
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