According to a Day report, the Electric Boat shipyard
's Quonset Point, R.I., facility unveiled a new $11.4 million metal fabricating plant that fully automates the cutting and shaping of the sheet metal that goes inside a submarine — from the ventilation ducts to the sailors' lockers.
The dedication of the new fabricating machinery, which includes huge three-story towers that hold hundreds of trays of material, brought out Rhode Island's top dignitaries, including its governor and members of its congressional delegation, as well as hundreds of Quonset Point shipyard workers.
EB has teamed with Northrop Grumman Newport
News to build the next-generation fast attack submarines. EB officials, along with Connecticut and Rhode Island's congressional delegation, are pushing for the Pentagon to endorse building two Virginia-class submarines a year, instead of the current build rate of about one sub a year. The sophisticated Virginia class subm
arines cost about $2.4 billion each.
The fabricating plant is housed in a new three-story addition to EB's existing metal fabricating works, a sprawling factory floor that covers about 175,000 square feet and employs about 170 specialty workers.