General Dynamics Electric Boat
|Headquarters||Groton, Connecticut, U.S.|
Number of locations
Groton, Connecticut; |
Quonset Point; Rhode Island, New London, Connecticut
General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) is a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation. It has been the primary builder of submarines for the United States Navy for more than 100 years. The company's main facilities are a shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, a hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and a design and engineering facility in New London, Connecticut.
The company was founded in 1899 by Isaac Rice as the Electric Boat Company to build John Philip Holland's submersible ship designs, which were developed at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Holland VI was the first submarine that this shipyard built, which became the USS Holland when it was commissioned into the United States Navy on April 11, 1900—the first submarine to be officially commissioned. The success of Holland VI created a demand for follow-up models (A class or Plunger class) that began with the prototype submersible Fulton built at Electric Boat (EB). Some foreign navies were interested in John Holland's latest submarine designs, and so purchased the rights to build them under licensing contracts through EB; these included Great Britain's Royal Navy, the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Imperial Russian Navy, and the Royal Netherlands Navy.
During the World War I era, the company and its subsidiaries (notably Elco) built 85 submarines via subcontractors and 722 submarine chasers for the US Navy, and 580 80-foot motor launches for the British Royal Navy. After the war, the US Navy did not order another submarine until Cuttlefish in 1931. During World War II, the company built 74 submarines, while Elco built nearly 400 PT boats, and Electric Boat ranked 77th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. In 1952, Electric Boat was reorganized as General Dynamics Corporation under John Jay Hopkins. General Dynamics acquired Convair the following year, and the holding company assumed the "General Dynamics" name while the submarine-building operation reverted to the "Electric Boat" name.
Electric Boat built the first nuclear submarine USS Nautilus which was launched in January 1954, and the first ballistic missile submarine USS George Washington in 1959. Submarines of the Ohio-, Los Angeles-, Seawolf-, and Virginia-classes were also constructed by Electric Boat. In 2002, EB conducted preservation work on Nautilus, preparing her for her berth at the US Navy Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut where she now resides as a museum. Electric Boat's first submarine Holland was scrapped in 1932.
In the early 1980s, structural welding defects had been covered up by falsified inspection records, and this led to significant delays and expenses in the delivery of several submarines being built at EB shipyard. In some cases, the repairs resulted in practically dismantling and then rebuilding what had been a nearly completed submarine. The yard tried to pass the vast cost overruns directly on to the Navy, while Admiral Hyman G. Rickover demanded from Electric Boat's general manager P. Takis Veliotis that the yard make good on its "shoddy" workmanship.
The Navy eventually settled with General Dynamics in 1981, paying out $634 million of $843 million in Los Angeles-class submarine cost-overrun and reconstruction claims. As it happened, the Navy was also the yard's insurer, liable to compensate the company for losses and other mishaps. The concept of reimbursing General Dynamics under these conditions was initially considered "preposterous," in the words of Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, but the eventual, legal basis of General Dynamics' reimbursement claims to the Navy for the company's poor workmanship included insurance compensation. Veliotis was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury under racketeering and fraud charges in 1983 for demanding $1.3 million in kickbacks from a subcontractor. He escaped into exile and a life of luxury in his native Greece, where he remained a fugitive from U.S. justice.
Electric Boat overhauls and undertakes repair work on fast attack class boats. The company built the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines and Seawolf-class submarines, as well as others. In April 2014, EB was awarded a $17.8 billion contract with Naval Sea Systems Command for ten Block IV Virginia-class attack submarines. It is the largest single shipbuilding contract in the service's history. The company builds the submarine along with Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding. The boats of Block IV Virginias will cost less than Block III, as Electric Boat reduced the cost of the submarines by increasing efficiency in the construction process. The submarines of this type will build on the improvements to allow the boats to spend less time in the yard.
|Cuttlefish||SS-171||diesel-electric||8 June 1934||Sold for breaking up, 12 February 1947|
|Shark||SS-174||diesel-electric||25 January 1936||Probably sunk by Japanese destroyer Yamakaze east of Manado, 11 February 1942|
|Tarpon||SS-175||diesel-electric||12 March 1936||Sold for breaking up, 8 June 1957; foundered off Cape Hatteras, 26 August 1957|
|Perch||SS-176||diesel-electric||19 November 1936||Scuttled in the Java Sea on 3 March 1942 after being damaged by Japanese destroyers|
|Pickerel||SS-177||diesel-electric||26 January 1937||Sunk by Japanese vessels north of Honshū on 3 April 1943|
|Permit||SS-178||diesel-electric||17 March 1937||Sold for scrap on 28 June 1958|
|Salmon||SS-182||composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric||15 March 1938||Constructive loss due to battle damage; broken up for scrap, 1946|
|Seal||SS-183||composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric||30 April 1938||Sold for scrap, 6 May 1957|
|Skipjack||SS-184||composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric||30 June 1938||Sunk in Operation Crossroads atomic bomb test, 25 July 1946; raised 2 September 1946; sunk as a target off southern California, 11 August 1948|
|Sargo||SS-188||composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric||7 February 1939||Sold for scrap, 19 May 1947|
|Saury||SS-189||composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric||3 April 1939||Sold for scrap, 19 May 1947|
|Spearfish||SS-190||composite diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric||19 July 1939||Sold for scrap, 19 May 1947|
|Seadragon||SS-194||diesel-electric||23 October 1939||Sold for scrap, 2 July 1948|
|Sealion||SS-195||diesel-electric||27 November 1939||Scuttled at Cavite on 25 December 1941 after being damaged by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941|
|Tambor||SS-198||diesel-electric||3 June 1940||Sold for scrap, 5 December 1959|
|Tautog||SS-199||diesel-electric||3 July 1940||Sold for scrap, 1 July 1960|
|Thresher||SS-200||diesel-electric||27 August 1940||Sold for scrap, 18 March 1948|
|Gar||SS-206||diesel-electric||14 April 1941||Sold for scrap, 11 December 1959|
|Grampus||SS-207||diesel-electric||23 May 1941||Possibly sunk by Japanese destroyers in Blackett Strait, 5 March 1943|
|Grayback||SS-208||diesel-electric||30 June 1941||Sunk by Japanese aircraft south of Okinawa, 27 February 1944|
|Mackerel||SS-204||diesel-electric||31 March 1941||Sold for scrap, 24 April 1947|
|Gato||SS-212||diesel-electric||31 December 1941||Sold for scrap, 25 July 1960|
|Greenling||SS-213||diesel-electric||21 January 1942||Sold for scrap, 21 June 1960|
|Grouper||SS-214||diesel-electric||12 February 1942||Sold for scrap, 11 August 1970|
|Growler||SS-215||diesel-electric||20 March 1942||Sunk by Japanese vessels west of the Philippines, 8 November 1944|
|Grunion||SS-216||diesel-electric||11 April 1942||Sunk off of Kiska around 30 July 1942, cause unknown|
|Guardfish||SS-217||diesel-electric||8 May 1942||Sunk as a target off Block Island, 10 October 1961|
|Albacore||SS-218||diesel-electric||1 June 1942||Probably mined off of northern Hokkaidō, 7 November 1944|
|Amberjack||SS-219||diesel-electric||19 June 1942||Sunk by Japanese torpedo boat Hiyodori and SC-18 off Rabaul, 16 February 1943|
|Barb||SS-220||diesel-electric||8 July 1942||Transferred to Italy on 13 December 1954|
|Blackfish||SS-221||diesel-electric||22 July 1942||Sold for scrap on 4 May 1959|
|Bluefish||SS-222||diesel-electric||24 May 1943||Sold for scrap, 8 June 1960|
|Bonefish||SS-223||diesel-electric||31 May 1943||Sunk by Japanese vessels in Toyama Wan, Honshū, 18 June 1945|
|Cod||SS-224||diesel-electric||21 June 1943||Museum ship at Cleveland, Ohio since 25 January 1975|
|Cero||SS-225||diesel-electric||4 July 1943||Sold for scrap, October 1970|
|Corvina||SS-226||diesel-electric||6 August 1943||Sunk by Japanese submarine I-176 south of Truk Lagoon, 16 November 1943|
|Darter||SS-227||diesel-electric||7 September 1943||Grounded in the Palawan Strait and scuttled on 24 October 1944|
|Angler||SS-240||diesel-electric||1 October 1943||Sold for scrap, 1 February 1974|
|Bashaw||SS-241||diesel-electric||25 October 1943||Sold for scrap, 1 July 1972|
|Bluegill||SS-242||diesel-electric||11 November 1943||Scuttled as a trainer off Hawaii, 3 December 1970|
|Bream||SS-243||diesel-electric||24 January 1944||Sunk as a target off California, 7 November 1969|
|Cavalla||SS-244||diesel-electric||29 February 1944||Museum ship at Galveston, Texas as of 21 January 1971|
|Cobia||SS-245||diesel-electric||29 March 1944||Memorial at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 17 August 1970|
|Croaker||SS-246||diesel-electric||21 April 1944||Museum ship at Groton, Connecticut on 27 June 1976|
|Dace||SS-247||diesel-electric||23 July 1943||Converted to GUPPY IB and transferred to Italy, 31 January 1955|
|Dorado||SS-248||diesel-electric||28 August 1943||Sunk, off Panama on 12 October 1943|
|Flasher||SS-249||diesel-electric||25 September 1943||Sold for scrap 8 June 1963, conning tower is a memorial at Groton, Connecticut|
|Flier||SS-250||diesel-electric||18 October 1943||Mined in the Balabac Strait, 13 August 1944|
|Flounder||SS-251||diesel-electric||29 November 1943||Decommissioned 2 February 1960|
|Gabilan||SS-252||diesel-electric||28 December 1943||Sold for scrap, 11 January 1960|
|Gunnel||SS-253||diesel-electric||20 August 1942||Sold for scrap, December 1959|
|Gurnard||SS-254||diesel-electric||18 September 1942||Sold for scrap, 29 October 1961|
|Haddo||SS-255||diesel-electric||9 October 1942||Sold for scrap, 4 May 1959|
|Hake||SS-256||diesel-electric||30 October 1942||Sold for scrap, 5 December 1972|
|Harder||SS-257||diesel-electric||2 December 1942||Sunk by enemy vessels off Dasol Bay, Luzon, 24 August 1944|-|
|Hoe||SS-258||diesel-electric||16 December 1942||Sold for scrap, 10 September 1960|
|Jack||SS-259||diesel-electric||6 January 1943||Transferred to Greece, 21 April 1958|
|Lapon||SS-260||diesel-electric||23 January 1943||Transferred to Greece, 10 August 1957|
|Mingo||SS-261||diesel-electric||12 February 1943||Transferred to Japan unmodified, 15 August 1955|
|Muskallunge||SS-262||diesel-electric||15 March 1943||Transferred to Brazil unmodified, 18 January 1957|
|Paddle||SS-263||diesel-electric||29 March 1943||Transferred to Brazil unmodified, 18 January 1957|
|Pargo||SS-264||diesel-electric||26 April 1943||Sold for scrap, 16 May 1961|
|Clamagore||SS343||Balao||June 1945||Museum in Charleston SC|
|Perch||SS-313||diesel-electric||7 January 1944||Sold for scrap, 15 January 1973|
|Nautilus||SSN-571||nuclear-electric||30 September 1954||Museum ship since 20 May 1982 as part of the Submarine Force Library and museum.|
- General Dynamics Electric Boat home page
- The Turtle was used in combat during the American Revolutionary War, but it was never officially commissioned into the Navy.
- Gardiner, p. 101, 132–133
- Lenton, H. T. American Submarines (Doubleday, 1973), p.37; Friedman, Norman. U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History (United States Naval Institute Press, 2005), pp. 285–304.
- Lenton, pp.5 & 62–102 passim.
- Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.619
- "General Dynamics Corporation". U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission. Archived from the original on 12 November 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2006.
- Van Voorst, Bruce; Thomas Evans (24 December 1984). "Overrun Silent, Overrun Deep". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
- Alexander, Charles P.; Christopher Redman; John E. Yang (8 April 1985). "General Dynamics Under Fire". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- "The Fugitive Accuser". Time. 8 April 1985. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- Biddle, Wayne. "Defense Contracts – News – Times Topics – The New York Times – Narrowed by 'VELIOTIS, P TAKIS'". Retrieved 20 March 2009.
- "U.S. Navy Awards 'Largest Shipbuilding Contract' in Service History". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. pp. 285–304. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
- Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
- Gardiner, Robert, Conway's all the world's fighting ships 1906–1921 Conway Maritime Press, 1985. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- The Defender: The Story of General Dynamics, by Roger Franklin. Published by Harper and Row 1986.
- Brotherhood of Arms: General Dynamics and The Business of Defending America, by Jacob Goodwin. Published 1985. Random House.
- The Legend of Electric Boat, Serving The Silent Service. Published by Write Stuff Syndicate, 1994 and 2007. Written by Jeffery L. Rodengen.
- International Directory of Company Histories Volume 86 under General Dynamics/Electric Boat Corporation, July 2007; pp. 136–139. Published by St James Press/Thomson Gale Group.
- Who Built Those Subs? Naval History Magazine, Oct. 1998 125th Anniversary issue, pp. 31–34. Written by Richard Knowles Morris PhD. Published by The United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Md. Copyrighted 1998.
- The Klaxon, The U.S. Navy's official submarine force newsletter, April 1992. Published by the Nautilus Memorial Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton/New London, CT.
- "The Ups and Downs of Electric Boat" John D. Alden, United States Naval Institute, Proceedings Magazine, 1 July 1999, p. 64.
- Running Critical: The Silent War, Rickover, and General Dynamics, by Patrick Tyler. Published by Harper & Row 1986.
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