Electric Boat News
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GROTON, Conn. (March 31, 2022) - The Electric Boat Fire Department (EBFD) conducted a submarine fire drill this morning aboard the USS Hartford at the Groton shipyard. The drill followed a tabletop exercise that took place in March in preparation for today's full-scale response to the potential scenario of a fire on-board a submarine.
Supporting this full-scale simulation was Electric Boat, City of Groton and Sub Base New London personnel, the crew of the USS Hartford, over 20 surrounding fire departments and other outside first responders. Fire trucks and ambulances arrived outside the shipyard gates prior to the 9:00 a.m. start time before making their way through the south yard ways and staging near the Hartford in Graving Dock 2.
"The Electric Boat workforce collectively collaborated with ship force personnel from the USS Hartford and our mutual aid partners to test our Submarine Fire Response Plan," said Jeff Chandler, Electric Boat's Fire Chief. "We accomplished our goal of continuous water application to the simulated fire and are taking the lessons learned to apply to our response plan. This exercise demonstrated the strong commitment to emergency response which keeps our employees safe and protects our critical infrastructure."
GROTON, Conn. (March 10, 2022) - Electric Boat celebrated the topping off milestone for its South Yard Assembly Building (SYAB) on March 10, 2022, when the last beam was placed atop the structure. Electric Boat leadership, members of EB's Facilities Master Plan (FMP) team, the staff and employees of AECOM; the General Contractor, Berlin Steel; the structural steel erector, and several of SYAB's construction contractors gathered in EB's Groton South Yard on Thursday to witness and celebrate the final roof truss being lifted and set into place.
Those in attendance were invited to sign the truss before its placement atop the building where the ballistic-missile and attack submarines needed to defend our nation through this century and beyond will be assembled and tested before delivery to the U.S. Navy.
"We need this building to keep us safe, our families safe and the world safe," said Joe Drake, EB's vice president of real estate and facilities. "The last five years we've been building, and now we're in the home stretch."
The South Yard Assembly Building is the centerpiece of General Dynamics Electric Boat's $1.85 billion facilities expansion project at Groton and Quonset Point to support construction of the Columbia Class ballistic-missile submarines—the nation's top strategic defense priority. The project was designed by Jacobs Engineering Group.
For nearly 15 years, Electric Boat has been working on plans to execute the design and construction of this crucial program, and has hired and trained thousands of new skilled tradespeople and collaborated with its suppliers to prepare for expanded demand in support of construction. The Columbia program is now in full-scale production, with construction of the lead ship, Columbia, nearing 17% complete. Last May, advance construction for the second ship, Wisconsin, began.
This 200,000 square-foot building is the largest construction project to take place at Electric Boat in over 50 years. Expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023, the SYAB will be home to 1,400 skilled shipbuilders who will deliver the Columbia Class to the U.S. Navy beginning in 2027.
"2027 may seem a long ways away," said Capt. Andrew Gillespy, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion & Repair, Groton. But before we know it, he continued, "we're going to see the Columbia—20,000 tons of American sovereignty—sail down the river."
GROTON, Conn. (February 28, 2022) - Electric Boat delivered the nuclear-powered attack submarine Oregon (SSN 793) to the U.S. Navy on Feb. 26, 2022. Oregon is the 20th submarine of the Virginia Class, which provides the Navy with the capabilities required to retain undersea dominance well into the 21st century. With the other ships of the class, Oregon represents a revolution in submarine design, construction and mission capability. This versatile and powerful vessel—unobtrusive, non-provocative and connected with land, air, sea and space-based assets—will maximize the contribution the U.S. submarine force makes to national security.
“Today is a great day for the Oregon, a great day for the Navy and a great day for Electric Boat,” said Pete DiNapoli, ship manager of SSN 793 Oregon at her delivery ceremony on Feb. 28. DiNapoli addressed the shipbuilders of Electric Boat, noting their excellent performance leading up to the significant achievement of delivering EB’s latest contribution to national security. “This journey was not easy, and each and every one of you rose up to the challenge and made it look easy. Shipbuilding is a big team sport, and I thank you all for your hard work.”
Stan Gwudz, director of the Virginia program and ship’s management, also offered his acknowledgement of the EB team. “I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a team that makes our Navy the best in the world,” said Gwudz.
Sea trials for Oregon, directed by U.S. Navy Adm. Frank Caldwell Jr., director – Naval Nuclear Propulsion, began in December 2021. The trials included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship’s propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.
“I was on that boat, and I wish every one of you, and really every American, could see what I see on those boats,” said Electric Boat President Kevin Graney following Oregon’s Alpha trials. “It is eye-watering, unsurpassed technology. It is sailors who are at the pointy end of the spear and are absolute masters at submarine warfare. It is EB people fiercely proud of what they’ve built.”
The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) gave the Oregon a score of 95 following her final INSURV trial, continuing the trend of high performance on Virginia-class new construction. Oregon is commanded by Cmdr. Lacy Lodmell.
Oregon is the second of the 10-ship group of Virginia-class submarines known as the Block IV series, continuing a whole new level of capability for the Virginia Class. Increased stealth, improved surveillance and design changes that increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine and reduce total ownership cost are the hallmarks of this newest attack submarine. By making these smaller-scale design changes to increase the component-level lifecycle of the submarine, the Navy will increase the periodicity between depot maintenance abilities and increase the number of deployments. Blocks I-III of Virginia-class submarines are planned to undergo four depot maintenance availabilities and conduct 14 deployments, while Block IV design changes are intended to reduce these planned availabilities by one to three, increasing deployments to 15.
Virginia-class submarines displace 7,835 tons, with a hull length of 377 feet and a diameter of 34 feet. They are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and can dive to a depth greater than 800 feet, while carrying Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
GROTON, Conn. (January 25, 2022) - On Monday, Electric Boat (EB) President Kevin Graney hosted virtual briefings for elected and appointed leaders from southeastern Conn. and R.I. including federal, state and local elected officials and along with business leaders, representatives from EB’s customer and vendor base and the press.
In his briefings, Graney told legislators that Electric Boat will be hiring 3,050 employees this year, an increase over the 2,533 employees the company hired in 2021 in keeping with its continued growth.
"Electric Boat is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation, quite possibly historic, expansion to support concurrent production of the Columbia and Virginia classes of submarines", said Graney. "We are hiring and training thousands of new employees, strengthening our national supply base and investing nearly $2B in our facilities in CT and RI to accomplish our mission."
The Columbia class submarine will replace the aging Ohio class of ballistic-missile submarines as the backbone of the U.S.’s strategic deterrent. Over the last 14 years, Electric Boat has been preparing to support this program. Construction of the lead ship, Columbia, is 15% complete. Last May, advance construction for the second ship, Wisconsin, began.
The great power competition involving the United States, Russia and China is driving a demand signal from the U.S. Navy for more capable submarines. Electric Boat has continued to upgrade and evolve the fast-attack-submarine Virginia program so the United States remains ahead of its adversaries. Russia continues to build submarine classes with asymmetric capabilities like very large nuclear-powered and nuclear-tipped torpedoes. China continues to develop its Navy, threaten Taiwan and has demonstrated a hypersonic missile capability, Graney said.
Like other businesses, Electric Boat has been affected by COVID, especially with hiring challenges caused by retirements and more people leaving the job market. In response, EB is trying new approaches, including television advertising, and seeking potential recruits from non-traditional populations and under-served communities.
"But we can’t do it alone, we need your help," said Graney. "If you remember anything that I’ve said today, please remember that EB, the company that designs and builds the most complex machines on the planet, is looking for people who want to join a company with a storied history, strong future and a noble mission. Come join us."