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Navy Officials Say Contractors Outsource Work on Aircraft Carriers, Submarines

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Two U.S. Navy officials said some prime contractors are outsourcing construction work on nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers as they face difficulty in hiring enough workers, Defense News reported Friday.

Rear Adm. Jon Rucker, the program executive officer for attack submarines, said General Dynamics Electric Boat and HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division outsource 1.1 million hours and 900,000 hours of work, respectively, each year as they develop new Columbia- and Virginia-class submarines. 

Rucker said the combined work hours of 2 million will increase to 5 million by 2025.

Rear Adm. James Downey, the service’s PEO for aircraft carriers, said he thinks outsourcing work will surge over time amid the labor shortage facing the sole shipbuilder for aircraft carriers.

Downey noted that companies like Virginia-based Fairlead Structures and South Carolina-based W International are constructing about 189 hull units for the future aircraft carrier Enterprise.

Two dozen-ish have come in so far from various suppliers: so far, quality is OK,” he added.