WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to strengthen America’s shipyards and undersea supremacy, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, helped include $3.3 billion for the Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) in the national security supplemental approved by Congress this week.

Reed called the additional $3.3 billion “critical,” and noted that it will help create more good-paying jobs at American shipyards. This funding is part of a broader continued investment to make sure that the SIB is well-positioned to expand to meet future submarine requirements in the years ahead. 

Reed championed the funds in part to help the United States fulfill its commitments under the tripartite AUKUS security partnership (a 2021 pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) aimed at enhancing Australia's maritime capabilities for defensive purposes with nuclear-powered submarines.  The U.S. industrial base investment is being matched by significant Australian contributions in support of AUKUS.

“This additional funding is critical for maintaining industrial capabilities.  It’s a win for our submarine industrial base, for American workers, and the small businesses across the supply chain that contribute to America’s national defense.  It’s a needed investment in ensuring we have the workforce and shipyard capital improvements needed to continue building the best, most advanced submarines in the world to ensure our Navy’s undersea superiority and to help protect U.S. interests across the globe,” said Reed.

The U.S. Navy’s most advanced submarines are primarily built by Electric Boat at Quonset, RI and Groton, CT and by Huntington Ingalls Industries at Newport News, VA.

Buoyed by federal investments of more than $12 billion annually to support submarine design, production, and procurement, America’s submarine manufacturers -- and the suppliers they rely on for parts, materials, and other services -- are in the midst of a hiring boom as they seek to meet production demands.

Electric Boat has invested billions of dollars in its facilities at Quonset Point, has hired more than 5,300 new employees over the last year, and is expecting to hire another 5,200 employees in 2024. 

Electric Boat plans to continue its large-scale hiring through 2033.

A recent report by SENEDIA shows that the total direct and indirect economic impact from defense spending in Rhode Island accounted for $7.6 billion in 2022. The report found that Rhode Island’s defense industry is growing and supported a total of 34,068 direct and indirect jobs across the Ocean State with an annual payroll of $3 billion.