Days before Christmas, the Navy gave Northeastern lawmakers something to celebrate – a $14 billion, five-year contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat to make eight Virginia-class submarines.
In a statement, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) pointed out that he and his colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee worked to make the multi-year contract possible.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), also a member of the committee, hailed the deal that is worth more than as the president’s emergency bailout loan for auto companies.
“Virginia-class submarines are a critical component of our nation’s national defense capabilities, and Rhode Island plays a vital role in their construction,” he said.
The Navy signed the deal Monday and will save 13 percent by buying the vessels in bulk, Rear Adm. William Hilarides, the Navy’s program executive officer for submarines, told reporters at the Pentagon.
In an editorial Sunday, The New York Times suggested canceling the purchase of Virginia-class submarines to buy other Navy ships.
But now that the deal’s locked, the Navy cannot cancel the purchase of submarines without a penalty, Hilarides said.