General Dynamics Electric Boat announced on June 12, 2020 that it had signed a contract to begin the next phase of construction on a facility to support construction of the nation’s new class of ballistic-missile submarines. The company signed a $544 million contract with AECOM of Los Angeles, California, to complete the construction of the South Yard Assembly Building (SYAB), the centerpiece of the biggest facility expansion in 50 years at the company’s Groton shipyard.
In September 2019 the company broke ground on the SYAB, a 200,000 square-foot/18,580 square-meter building that will eventually be home to 1,400 skilled shipbuilders who will deliver the Columbia class to the U.S. Navy. Electric Boat is also expanding and modernizing other manufacturing spaces in Groton and building a floating dry dock.
Electric Boat is the prime contractor on the design and build of the 12 ships of the Columbia class, which will replace the aging Ohio-class of ballistic-missile submarines. Early construction began in 2017 at the company’s facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Final assembly and test of the Columbia class will take place starting in 2024 at Electric Boat’s shipyard in Groton.
«General Dynamics Electric Boat continues to make investments – in facilities, in our supply chain and in the next generation of shipbuilders – to support the Columbia class, the Navy’s top strategic priority», said EB President Kevin Graney. «Efficient completion of the SYAB will position us to begin delivering the next-generation of ballistic submarines in advance of the Ohio-class retiring from service».
The South Yard Assembly Building is part of an overall $1.7 billion investment the company is making in modernizing and upgrading its facilities to meet the expanded needs of the U.S. Navy.
The company has hired and trained thousands of new employees and has worked with its national network of suppliers to prepare for the estimated 150% increase in the need for supplies and materials to concurrently build the Columbia and Virginia classes.