THE STORY: Modules for the SSBNs are made at Quonset Point in North Kingstown and in Newport News, Va. The SSBN Virginia-class submarines are the strategic deterrent force of the U.S. Navy, providing first-strike capability and reconnaissance, if needed, globally via cruise missiles and special operations teams.
› The first U.S. submarine – the Turtle – was built during the Revolutionary War in Saybrook, Conn., while the first nuclear submarine – the Nautilus – was commissioned in Groton, Conn., in 1954
› The company has over 17,000 employees, and it takes just about as many to make one unit
› It takes a little over 60 months to make the submarine
› Two Virginia-class submarines are completed each year
› While major work is done at Quonset Point, in Newport News, Va., and Groton, components for the submarines are made in every state and overseas by a network of hundreds of suppliers
› Each Virginia-class submarine costs $2.8 billion
Jaime Lowe is a PBN contributing writer.