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Q&A: Outgoing Navy chief talks submarines, F-35s and his legacy

Sailors move an F-35C, the carrier version of the joint strike fighter, during sea trials aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower last year.

In a recent wide-ranging interview over lunch, The Connecticut Mirror pressed outgoing Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the longest serving naval chief in 100 years, about the future of submarine warfare, delays in the F-35 joint strike fighter program and why the Pentagon wants another round of base closings. Continue Reading →

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Electric Boat plans major hiring, expansion to tackle sub ramp up

Electric Boat's Groton shipyard.

WASHINGTON — The man in charge of developing and acquiring the Navy’s weapons systems said it’s going to be “a tough ramp up” to get Electric Boat’s shipyards and another at Newport News, Va., ready to meet the nation’s need for submarines. The decline in the U.S. manufacturing base and the retirement of skilled tradesmen pose key challenges. Continue Reading →

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Bright future for sub industry, if Navy can find the money

The Ohio-class fleet ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska.

WASHINGTON — Forced to retire aging submarines and facing an increased need for sub to fend off potential threats from China and Russia, the Navy has an ambitious, $100 billion plan that will boost work at Electric Boat. But, despite its strategic vision and detailed timeline for the new fleet of boats, the Navy doesn’t know yet how it will pay for the ambitious program. Continue Reading →

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Pentagon, McCain weigh cuts to number of F-35’s

The F-35A stealth fighter.

WASHINGTON — The high price tag of the F-35, a Lockheed Martin aircraft whose engine is made by Pratt & Whitney, has made some Pentagon officials and the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee consider whether the Defense Department can afford as many of the Joint Strike Fighters as they had once planned. Continue Reading →

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Analysts: Lockheed Martin purchase fortunate break for Sikorsky, Connecticut

Marine One, the presidential helicopter, manufactured by Sikorsky.

WASHINGTON — Some may lose jobs and a few Connecticut companies may lose contracts, but Lockheed Martin’s purchase of Sikorsky Aircraft is likely to anchor the helicopter maker in Stratford and increase it’s share of Pentagon contracts and the overseas market, analyst say. Continue Reading →

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Obama budget would boost CT military spending

Some of the military aircraft and submarines that would be funded under the defense bill.

WASHINGTON – President Obama’s new budget would dramatically increase spending on F-35s and other military programs that are important to Connecticut’s economy. It would also boost funding of public works and establish a series of new programs aimed at easing the financial burden on students and working families Continue Reading →

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