Congressman Joe Courtney and the House of Representatives today passed the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), building on gains in submarine production and bolstering our nation's security and eastern Connecticut's industrial base. The bill authorizes billions of dollars of investments for Electric Boat and other key defense priorities for eastern Connecticut and the state. It includes measures secured by Rep. Courtney -- and supported by the bipartisan Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus -- to ensure doubled submarine production in 2014. The NDAA sets the federal budget for the Department of Defense for the next fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2012.
The NDAA includes $4.9 billion in funding for the Virginia-class attack submarine program, including $3.2 billion to build two submarines in 2013 and $1.7 billion - $778 million above the President's budget request - in advanced procurement for two boats in both 2014 and 2015. The bill marks the third-consecutive year of fully funding doubled submarine production -- a goal Courtney worked on for nearly five years, beginning in his first year in Congress.
The bill also authorizes up to 10 Virginia Class Submarines as part of the Block IV multi-year contract for 2014-2018 (the budget requested nine, with one submarine in 2014).
"Doubled submarine production at Electric Boat is good for EB, and has massive economic benefits that will ripple, up and down the supply chain, across Connecticut," said Congressman Courtney. "Additional manufacturing and design work on the OHIO replacement program has already directly led to EB's expansion into Pfizer's New London complex and the addition of hundreds of design and engineering jobs. The new work already underway and the work bolstered by today's vote solidify and add to those gains, providing security for our region's economy and for the men and women of EB who routinely complete submarines ahead of schedule and under budget.
"Earlier this month, Navy CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited Electric Boat to accept delivery of the USS Mississippi -- the newest Virginia class submarine -- which was completed 363 days ahead of schedule and $60 million under budget. Continuing a steady submarine production rate today will ensure that the Navy has the submarine force structure it needs, and that EB will still continue to produce the savings and efficiency that have made the Virginia class submarine program an example for all Pentagon programs."
The bill supports a steady, two-per-year production rate for the Virginia Class submarine program through 2018 by authorizing $4.9 billion in procurement funding, including $3.2 billion for two submarines in 2013 and $1.7 billion, $778 million above the President's budget request, in advanced procurement for two boats in both 2014 and 2015. The bill authorizes up to 10 Virginia Class Submarines as part of the Block IV multi-year contract for 2014-2018 (the budget requested nine, with one submarine in 2014). To allow the Navy to achieve a two-boat production rate in 2014, the bill authorizes an additional $778 million for advanced procurement for long-lead items needed to support that schedule. The bill also fully authorizes the budget request of $100 million in 2013 research and development work on the Virginia Payload Module (VPM).