Congressman Joe Courtney today announced two significant contracts awarded by the Navy to Groton-based Electric Boat that provide stability to the region's workforce as we near the fiscal cliff. The two contracts are a major design contract for the Ohio Class Replacement and a construction contract for the next two Virginia Class submarines in 2013.
The first contract, for $1.9 billion, supports research and development of the SSBN(x), which will replace the current fleet of Ohio Class Submarines. The five-year contract (FY13-FY18) provides research, development, and design work for the SSBN(x). It is the first major contract that includes development work outside of the Common Missile Compartment and contains unique financial performance incentives designed to reduce program costs.
"Even as we continue working toward a balanced solution to defuse sequestration, these contracts stabilize Groton's workforce and ensure that submarine production--a key component of our national security--moves forward," Rep. Courtney said. "This contract will leverage the unique skills of Electric Boat's submarine and design workforce in designing a capable and cost effective replacement for our Ohio class submarines. For southeastern Connecticut, this is welcome news for ensuring stability in the historic gains our region has made in growing our submarine design workforce, and a vote of confidence for the talented men and women of Electric Boat, who have a record of building producing submarines ahead of schedule and under budget."
Congressman Courtney has been a strong supporter of the development of the Ohio Class Replacement program, which has fueled significant growth at Electric Boat in recent years. Since taking office in 2007, Congressman Courtney has helped secure $2.2 billion in research and development funding for the new submarine through 2012, with another $565 million authorized as part of the FY2013 defense authorization. As a result of this investment, in 2011 Electric Boat moved into the former Pfizer complex in New London, where hundreds of new engineers and designers have been hired to support the program.
Under the SSBN(x) program, the Navy is expected to build 12 SSBNs to replace the current fleet of aging Ohio class submarines. The lead ship is currently scheduled to begin construction in 2021, with several years of development, design and advanced construction planned between now and then to support that schedule. The contract announced today allows the Navy to conduct research, development and prototyping efforts required to validate components to support detailed ship design, currently scheduled to start in 2016.
In addition, this week the Navy awarded $2.5 billion to Electric Boat for the construction of two Virginia class submarines, the SOUTH DAKOTA (SSN 790) and DELAWARE (SSN 791), in Fiscal Year 2013. These boats are the last two to be constructed as part of the Block III multiyear procurement contract that was authorized in the FY2008 Defense Authorization Act; the resulting was signed in December 2008. Congressman Courtney was a leader in helping not only to enact the authorization for that multiyear contract, but also in ensuring that it accelerated and locked in the two-a-year production rate.