GROTON, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut and Rhode Island officials are celebrating a new submarine contract for General Dynamics Electric Boat as a major economic win for the region’s economy.
The $9.47 billion contract with the U.S. Navy, which was announced Friday, is for construction and testing of the first two Columbia-class submarines.
The 560-foot (170-meter) Columbia-class submarines are slated to be the largest constructed in the United States and will replace the older Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, the company said.
“This isn’t just a milestone for the shipbuilders at EB - the Columbia-class program will also be a major opportunity for industry partners up and down the supply chain for years to come, and a foundational piece for our region’s economic future,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, a Democrat who represents southeastern Connecticut. “Generations of shipbuilders and manufacturers will get their start working on this multi-decade program, and it’s an exciting time to get more people into the pipeline for the jobs and opportunities that will come with the start of this effort.”
The first submarine is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2027, and the second one in 2029.
Electric Boat is to perform about 78% of the construction on the submarines, the company said. Major sections of the subs are to be built at EB’s Quonset Point, Rhode Island, facility. They will then be transported by barge to its yard in Groton, where the components will be assembled in a 200,000-square-foot (18,580-square-meter) facility now under construction.
Electric Boat President Kevin Graney said he anticipates Electric Boat’s workforce will grow from 17,000 workers today to 20,000 around 2030 as a result of the contract.
“We’re hiring and training and we’re going to continue to hire and train thousands of skilled shipyard workers who will be constructing new ships for the Navy for generations to come,” he said.
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