General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton was awarded a $9.47 billion construction contract by the U.S. Navy to build the first two Columbia class submarines.
The contract modification will help with design completion, engineering work and design support efforts, according to Electric Boat.
“The shipbuilders of Electric Boat recognize the responsibility and welcome the opportunity to deliver the Columbia class. Columbia is our nation’s top strategic defense priority and, as the prime contractor, we will provide the safest and most capable class of submarines in the defense of our nation," Electric Boat President Kevin Graney said.
Graney said Columbia's design is more advanced than that of any previous submarine program. Electric Boat said they have made preparations by hiring and training the next generation of shipbuilders, expanding and modernizing their facilities and strengthening their supply base.
Electric Boat is the prime contractor on the design and construction of the 12-ship Columbia class, which will replace the aging Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines, according to the U.S. Navy.
“Today’s announcement means ‘Game On’ for this exciting and transformational project that will shape our region’s economy for the next two decades—and I know that our talented shipbuilders of Electric Boat are up to the challenge,” Congressman Joe Courtney said in a statement.
“Since my first days in Congress, I’ve worked hard to make this program a reality, starting with securing some of the first initial funding to get started on designing this new submarine and working on a bipartisan basis to provide new contracting tools to ensure its success," Courtney said.
Advanced construction began in 2017 at the company's facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, according to Electric Boat. They say the final assembly and testing of the Columbia class will take place starting in 2024 at Electric Boat's shipyard in Groton.
“This very welcome news recognizes the unmatched skills and dedication of Electric Boat’s workforce. Our nation is counting on Electric Boat and its suppliers to produce the Columbia on time, and on budget, as they have done other subclasses. Our national defense depends on our sub makers’ time-honored excellence," Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.
Electric Boat's three primary locations are located in Groton, New London and Quonset Point, Rhode Island and they currently employ more than 16,000 employees.