The Los Angeles class and improved Los Angeles class attack submarines served the USN very well. They were the quietest hunter platforms of their time in an environment where quiet meant survival. However, in the 1980s the Soviet Union and other countries acquired Los Angeles "quiet" technology through espionage and throughout right purchase from companies looking for a quick buck. Nothing is so perishable and fleeting as military secrets. As a result the USN lost a substantial edge that it had enjoyed through most of the Cold War. To re-establish this edge, a new submarine class was designed, the Seawolf. The design was extraordinarily quiet but also extraordinarily expensive, so as part of the "Peace Dividends" the politicians decided to end the series run at three boats, instead of the twelve originally contemplated. However, the USN still needed a replacement design for the Los Angeles class but one that was not so expensive. The answer was the Virginia class.
Originally designed under the name Centurion class, the first unit, USS Virginia, was laid down on October 3, 1997. The photographs below show the PitRoad 1:700 scale kit of the USS Virginia SSN-774. This kit is part of their "The Seven Oceans Story" line of kits in this scale. The Virginia is kit number PTK-03 in the series of submarine models. Some of the kits in this series come pre-painted but the Virginia is not one of them. Also included with the parts for the Virginia are separated small submersibles, one for Special Ops and the other for underwater rescue. The instructions are found on the back of the box. The PitRoad 1:700 scale USS Virginia is available from Bill Gruner at Pacific Front.