The Virginia Class new attack submarine is an advanced stealth multi-mission nuclear-powered submarine for deep ocean anti-submarine warfare and littoral (shallow water) operations.Although the Seawolf submarine was developed to provide an eventual replacement for the US Navy Los Angeles Class submarines in combating the Soviet forces, the prohibitive unit cost and changing strategic requirements led to the US Navy defining a smaller new-generation attack submarine.
The US Navy's total requirement is for 30 of the class. It placed a bulk-buy contract for the first five ships and, in January 2004, placed a multi-year contract for the following five. Virginia was laid down in September 1999, launched in August 2003 and commissioned in October 2004. It is undergoing a three-year operational evaluation before operational deployment.