The U.S. Navy plans to add Virginia Payload Module missile tubes to its existing and future Virginia-class submarines to give the ships the ability to deploy new missiles and unmanned undersea vehicles, USNI News reported Wednesday.
Rear Adm. John Tammen, director of undersea warfare on the chief of naval operations’ staff, said the service is developing a next-generation land-attack weapon that would replace the Tomahawk land-attack missile as one of the principal weapons on the submarines.
The new missile will also support the future Block VI and VII Virginia-class submarines and the SSN(X) ship of the Navy.
George Drakeley, the Navy's program executive office for submarines executive director, said the plan comes amid the "great power competition" with Russia and China.
"We need to be focusing on other potential capabilities," he added.