Courtney Statement on Navy Decision to Award USS Hartford Planning Contract to Electric Boat in Groton
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Navy’s announcement that it has awarded a new planning contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) in Groton, CT, for the future maintenance availability of the USS Hartford (SSN-768). The new federal contract award is valued at over $125 million, and is expected support work at the Groton Shipyard through February 2022. The Navy is expected to award the full maintenance availability next year.
“Groton is home to some of the most talented shipbuilders in the world, and today’s announcement by the Navy is another endorsement of the value that they and other private shipyards contribute to the readiness of our submarine force,” said Congressman Courtney. “As we’ve heard time and again, our submarine fleet is becoming more important and more heavily relied upon each year—that’s why the House voted in bipartisan fashion to restore the missing second Virginia-class submarine to next year’s budget, and to keep U.S. submarine production at a steady two-per-year clip. At a time when our public shipyards are operating above capacity and demand for submarines is increasing, private yards like Electric Boat are ready to take on this sort of critical work when needed. The Navy’s decision to award this contract to EB is a strong vote of confidence in Groton’s skilled workforce capability and the work they do to build and maintain our submarine fleet.”
As Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Services Subcommittee, Courtney has continuously pressed Navy officials about shortfalls in submarine maintenance and the need to utilize available private sector capacity to assist. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report requested by Courtney and members of the House Readiness Subcommittee outlining severe delays in addressing attack submarine maintenance requirements. Among its findings, the GAO reported that “attack submarine maintenance delays are getting longer and idle time is increasing,” and identified shifting more repair work from the public to private shipyards as a way to mitigate future shortfalls.
In 2018, in response to a request from Representative Courtney, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis showing that between 1993 and 2017, after adjusting for missing or incomplete overhead costs, the average costs of submarine repair availabilities at private shipyards were 38 percent lower than at public shipyards.