GROTON, Conn. — Electric Boat has entered a historic new era in submarine construction, which is great news for southeastern Connecticut's economy
While the $9.5 billion contract for the new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program was just announced, they are already way ahead of the game here at Electric Boat.
"We’ve already worked about two-million-man hours on the Columbia program," said Kevin Graney, President of Electric Boat.
And the differences between the Columbia versus the Virginia class fast attack subs that are currently being built at EB.
"The fast attacks are submarines are designed to be quick and stealthy and provide that punching power tactically," Graney.
Conversely, the Columbia class is designed to protect the nuclear arsenal.
"Our Columbia class will annihilate a photo, who initiates nuclear warfare against us," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D -CT).
Blumenthal says this $9.5 billion is just the beginning.
"They will arguably be the two most technologically complex machines that I’ve ever been built," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D - CT).
"We are at a point right now where it’s over 80% done design completion, which again breaks all records in terms of other Navy ship building programs going back decades," Rep. Joe Courtney (D - CT).
Friday's press conference was staged at the site of the future south yard assembly building, scheduled for completion in three years.
"About a 200,000 square-foot facility that will form the support structure that will actually assemble and test the Columbia," said Graney.
The first of two Columbia class subs is scheduled to be completed in 2027. The second is expected to be delivered two years later.
"Our organization of 17,000 today it will become 20,000 by the time 2030 rolls around," said Graney.
Between now and the end of the 2030s, it’s expected some 30 subs, between the Virginia and Columbia classes, will be constructed in Groton.