$240-Million Modernization Program Announced For Portsmouth Navy Shipyard

Members of the Maine and New Hampshire Congressional delegations have announced a $240 million program to modernize Portsmouth Navy Shipyard. Some 600 employees were laid off or retired from the yard earlier this year as competition among Navy-owned shipyards heated up.

The project will consist of converting one of these existing drydocks to a covered facility. This will allow yard personnel to work out of the weather during winter months, and by one estimate could shave some $36 million from the $120 million cost of overhauling a nuclear submarine.

The yard management has been streamlined to reduce cost of operations. This included a reduction of personnel from 8,200 to 7,600 and has resulted in a workload projected to keep all those employed through 1988, a spokesman for the yard said.

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