Today, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) released the following statements after the United States Navy announced a new multi-year contract for the next block of 10 Virginia Class submarines to be built jointly by Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut:
Murphy: “The men and women at Electric Boat have once again proven their strength and ability to produce the submarines that make the U.S. Navy the strongest fleet on the planet. This contract is fantastic news for those workers and for the tens of thousands of jobs that building and maintaining submarines supports in our state. Our delegation fights hard all year long to ensure that Congress and the Navy remain committed to building two submarines per year, and this contract keeps that commitment through 2023.”
Blumenthal: “The United States Navy has once again entrusted the talented men and women of Electric Boat with building one the most technologically-advanced vessels in the world – one that is critical to naval preparedness, as well as jobs and economic growth in our state. The Department of Defense could not have awarded this contract to a better company, and I am confident that Electric Boat will continue its recent record of delivering submarines ahead of schedule and under budget – providing the strongest and stealthiest weapons system at sea today. This announcement is a huge win for the dedicated workforce at Electric Boat, as well as for our national defense.”
Courtney: “The contract executed today between the Navy and Electric Boat locks in a program that will provide a stable employment future for the top shipbuilders in the world in southeastern Connecticut. In addition to the more than 11,500 shipbuilders in Connecticut and Rhode Island, this contract represents a strong, continuing investment for the more than 350 Connecticut suppliers who provide crucial materials and support that make ours the most advanced undersea fleet on earth.
“This contract is the culmination of long-running efforts to overcome a preliminary shipbuilding plan proposed in 2012 that would have provided funding for only nine ships over five years, cutting one ship from the 2014 budget. In the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, we produced a creative bipartisan solution to stretch taxpayer dollars farther to accommodate ten ships, and increase advanced funding authority to help the Navy make their budget work. This has given the Navy the ability to make cost-effective advance procurement payments in order to produce the world’s most advanced submarine under budget and on time, ensuring its critical role in our nation’s security.”
The award will be a multi-year contract for 10 Block IV Virginia Class submarines that will span construction from 2014-2018. Virginia-class submarines are built jointly by General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division (GD/EB) of Groton, CT, and Quonset Point, RI, and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), of Newport News, VA, which forms part of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). Under the arrangement, GD/EB builds certain parts of each boat, NNS builds certain other parts of each boat, and the yards take turns building the reactor compartments and performing final assembly of the boats. The arrangement results in a roughly 50-50 division of Virginia-class profits between the two yards and preserves both yards’ ability to build submarine reactor compartments (a key capability for a submarine-construction yard) and perform submarine final-assembly work.