EB to get $152 million contract for Virginia-class submarine design, development

Groton — Electric Boat will receive a $152 million Navy contract modification that will support development studies and design for Virginia-class submarines, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, announced Wednesday.

"This investment shows that even in times of fiscal uncertainty, the work that Electric Boat employees are doing each day remains absolutely crucial to the strength of our submarine fleet and our national security," Courtney said in a press release.

Under the contract, EB will maintain and update design drawings and data, including technology insertions, for each Virginia-class submarine throughout its construction and post-shakedown availability periods, EB said in a press release.

With the exercise of this option, the cumulative value of the contract at its completion in 2014 would be $921.4 million, according to EB.

The company said the work will engage its engineering and design organization, which comprises more than 4,000 employees. These employees work on all facets of the submarine life cycle, from concept formulation and design through construction, maintenance and modernization, and eventually to inactivation and disposal, EB said.

Congress has supported a plan to purchase two Virginia-class submarines a year, although that funding could be at risk under sequestration.

"Today's contract announcement is good news not just for the talented men and women of Electric Boat, but for eastern Connecticut's industrial base and economy, as well," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in a statement. "Electric Boat submarines play a critical role in our national security strategy, and ensuring that work goes forward even as budget deadlines loom, provides certainty for workers in Groton and beyond."

Robert Hamilton, EB spokesman, said the contract was expected and built into workforce projections.

Earlier this month, EB announced that it would lay off about 200 fewer shipyard workers than expected after the loss of two major repair contracts, but was still estimating that 300 designers could lose their jobs.

Earlier this week, EB announced that the 55 carpenters whose last day was supposed to be this Friday will now work for six more weeks.

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