A Boatload of Cash for EB, Northrop Grumman

What does $14 billion buy?

Ask General Dynamics' Electric Boat unit and Northrop Grumman and they will probably say some naval vessels and lots of jobs for Connecticut and Rhode Island.

U.S. Navy officials announced a new submarine contract Tuesday worth $14 billion Tuesday morning at Electric Boat's shipyard in Groton.

The deal will double production of Virginia class submarines to two ships a year beginning in 2011, a plan the companies and public officials have been pushing for to save and create thousands of jobs.

Labor union workers and members of Connecticut and Rhode Island's congressional delegations said the agreement is critical to the region's economy and to national security.

EB President John Casey said the contract is historic because it is the largest submarine award in the nation's history.

The contract is for eight more Virginia class submarines to be built by the Electric Boat-Northrup Grumman partnership.

Officials said the agreement will lead to at least 1,000 new jobs over several years at EB and another 500 to 750 jobs at Northrop Grumman.

Electric Boat employs more than 10,000 workers in Groton and North Kingstown, Rhode Island, while Northrop Grumman has nearly 3,000 workers in Newport News, Virginia.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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