Mark Esper, James Geurts Tour General Dynamics Shipyard Amid Virginia-Class Submarine Negotiations

Jeff Brody

Defense Secretary and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Mark Esper and James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, recently visited General Dynamics’ shipyard in Groton, Conn., USNI News reported Thursday.

Geurts and Esper conducted the tour at the General Dynamics Electric Boat facility ahead of the Navy’s plans to acquire at least 10  Block V Virginia-class submarines from fiscal year 2019 through 2023. Nine of the 10 fast-attack submarines will be modified to accommmodate payload tubes for firing Tomahawk land-attack missiles.

“Having the SECDEF down here today, I mean, it shows the importance and shows why for the nation we’ve got to be all in: working between the shipbuilders, between the Navy, between suppliers, and quite frankly a lot of workforce development programs to get this enterprise in the shape we need it to, to deliver for the nation,” said Geurts.

The Navy initially intended to award a contract for the Block V effort in April. A deal is expected to be finalized before fiscal 2019 concludes by the end of September.

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