New contracts to help General Dynamics add 100 employees this year


PITTSFIELD — Bolstered by two new contracts that have been awarded during the first two months of 2016, General Dynamics Mission Systems is expecting to add 100 new employees in Pittsfield by the end of this year, a company official said on Monday.

The U.S. Navy recently awarded a new contract that will allow General Dynamics to continue its work on nuclear ballistic missile submarines for both the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.

In January, General Dynamics received a U.S. Navy production contract to provide upgrades to an electronic warfare system that provide greater detection and identification of threats to combat ships.

No new positions were added because of January's contract. There were no specific job numbers attached to the most recent contract that was announced on Monday.

Exact numbers are hard to pin down because, "we move people from to one contract to another," said Carlo Zaffanella, general manager and vice president of General Dynamics Mission Systems' Maritime and Strategic Systems

"There absolutely are going to be more positions added in Pittsfield," said Zaffanella, a Pittsfield native. "Over the course of 2016 we should have well more than 100 people than we started the year with, and this contract is certainly a big part of that."

He said General Dynamics currently has 90 open requisitions for available positions in Pittsfield, he said.

Most of the new work is in engineering fields, Zaffanella said.

The new contract adds to the scope of work that General Dynamics has been conducting on nuclear-ballistic missile submarines since the work was first awarded in December 2014. The contract's total potential value is $440 million over seven years.

The new work will allow General Dynamics to deliver support and modernization of the existing SSBN strategic weapon systems including fire control subsystem installation, maintenance, sustainment, training and repairs to navigations and launch subsystems, according to the company.

Under the new contract, General Dynamics will also develop the fire control system for the U.S. Navy's Ohio Replacement submarine and the Royal Navy's Successor-class ballistic missile submarine along with the production of new systems for the Royal Navy's first-of-class SSBN 09 submarine and Trident Training Facility.

Work on the development and sustainment of the U.S. Navy's Ohio-class guided missile submarine attack weapon is also part of the new contract.

"What we do for the Ohio class submarine is we make the fire control system command and control system network of computers that controls the launch of the missiles," Zaffanella said. "Our largest contracts are Ohio submarine contracts."

The work awarded to General Dynamics in December 2014 was for the development, production, installation and deployed-systems support of U.S. and U.K. Trident submarine strategic weapons systems and subsystems. The majority of that work has been done in Pittsfield.

General Dynamics has been supporting strategic systems for the U.S. Navy since the nuclear submarine program began 60 years ago.

"We knew this was coming," Zaffanella said, referring to the new contract, "and we've been working on it. Part of our ramp-up with people is due to this contract.

"Generally speaking, we're growing at a controlled but comfortable clip in Pittsfield."

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413 496-6224.


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