Connecticut Sees Big Gains in Federal Budget Deal

By:  Max Reiss
NBC Connecticut

Connecticut defense contractors were among the big winners to emerge from the budget deal that came out of Congress last week.

The new federal budget provided nearly $20 billion in spending that will go directly toward the completion of products made in Connecticut.

One of the biggest committed investments went to Electric Boat, the New London-based submarine-maker. The company received $6.4 billion for the production of two new Virginia Class Submarines, and for the development of a new Ohio Class Submarine.

"These measures will retain and expand the workforces at Electric Boat and they will add immeasurably to our national security," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

US Sen. Chris Murphy, had been touting the need for new research and development for Electric Boat for the past few years. He said the deal in Washington could spark a new age of economic success for the region.

"This budget sends a loud clear signal that Electric Boat and all of the partners and suppliers are going to be hard at work this year and next year as we continue to ramp up these programs," Sen. Murphy said.

Sikorsky received more than $2 billion for new helicopters to be built for the Air Force, Navy, Marines, as well as for new Presidential aircraft. The Stratford aerospace company was recently acquired by Lockheed Martin after being a part of the United Technologies family for decades.

Middletown's Pratt and Whitney engine plant received $8.4 billion for the procurement of F-35 aircraft for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force. The engines are produced by Pratt and Whitney and will be installed on the Lockheed made F-35 fighter jets.

In Middletown, Pratt and Whitney are considered to be a stand-up member of the community and people there are thrilled with the result from Washington.

"They're a great corporate citizen with a lot of jobs," Larry McHugh, the President of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce said. "That’s why we’re really excited about the defense appropriations means more jobs in Middletown, at least no cuts in Middletown."