Submitted by Congressman Joe Courtney
(July 31, 2022) — Great news for our U.S. Navy and for eastern Connecticut’s shipbuilders and economy. The Navy has officially awarded a new contract for the men and women of Electric Boat (EB) to complete the maintenance upgrade and overhaul of the USS Hartford (SSN 768), one of America’s Los Angeles-class submarines. This major contract award represents the completion of one of the largest maintenance availabilities in EB’s entire history, and it comes at the same time as production of the first-ever Columbia-class submarine has also just begun. Most importantly, this repair work will stabilize the shipyard workforce, which in the past has struggled with ebbs and flows of work orders. The Seapower Subcommittee, which I chair, authorized this contract in the 2022 defense bill – at the time a very high priority for EB management and labor. When the USS Hartford was first sidelined for maintenance in 2021, preliminary work was done by our region’s shipbuilders in Groton under a preliminary “Smart Start” contract award, which allowed them to get an early start on the project. The Seapower Subcommittee also authorized the funding for that innovative “Smart Start” approach, and our shipbuilders took advantage. Their success on that initial maintenance led directly to this nearly $700 million contract award, which was also authorized by our Subcommittee, and that’s going to fuel activity at the Groton shipyard and throughout our larger manufacturing sector for years to come. This is another strong endorsement by the Navy in the talent and enduring importance of our shipbuilders and manufacturers in eastern Connecticut, and in the critical role they’ll continue to play. Learn more about USS Hartford and this new contract here.